Reflection on JONAH’s annual event by Julia Bennker

My name is Julia and I have been serving on the event planning committee of JONAH for a year and a half. My role in the annual JONAH fundraiser this year on October 8th allowed me to see the ability of JONAH members, committees, and task forces to come together and lift up the work we all do. The event planning committee combined with the fundraising committee in a harmonious way. Joanne, Becky, Sharon, Lynn, and I were able to combine our talents and ideas to make this event as successful as it was. At this event I experienced a community of support that came out to uplift and be uplifted.

The annual event started with a volunteer celebration first, followed with a formal fundraiser afterward. During the fundraiser, members representing each task force of JONAH shared what they have been working on in the past year and what they plan to work on in the future. In between each task force, live music filled the space allowing for quiet contemplation on the impact of the stories.

As the task forces shared powerful stories of their important work, a variety of stakeholders were represented, including people directly impacted by issues such as affordable housing, transportation, environmental justice, mental health, poverty, incarceration, and rehabilitation. 

Several attendees shared with me how impressed they were with the work of JONAH’s organizer Lynn as well as each of the task forces. I agree. It is incredible what can be done when a determined group of like-minded people come together and work toward a goal. The extent to which the task forces impact the community and the people who need advocacy the most is impressive and this celebration was a perfect way to showcase this.

“GREAT JOB!!! I loved that the evening was split into two. I loved the speaker and thought the first half was so fun! The music was a nice touch and the food worked out well. Great venue. Overall – it was a great event. The event organizing team did a wonderful job!” – Sue Waits

“I had no idea how much JONAH did!” – Nick Poss

“I know how much JONAH does but was truly amazed to hear from all the task forces and realize exactly how much good JONAH does with and for our community.” – Jodi Emerson

This JONAH annual event was my first time and two things impressed me. The first was the scope of the concerns and of the work that we do in the seven teams; these touched so many parts of life that need to be touched. The second was the way that different faith communities joined together, having discovered that these concerns and work were common to their understandings of living with God.” – Gary Hedding