Monday, March 10, 2014

Family House Staff Spotlight: Jeanine Homich

Interview with Jeanine Homich, Administrative Coordinator

How did you come to be at Family House?
One of my closest friends (Susan Neff) started working here in November 2006, and I remember thinking, "Great, our kids are graduating high school and she found this new place, and I'll have a new place to volunteer!"  At that time, Susan and I were volunteering 20 hours a week at our sons' school, Marin Catholic High School, and I remember thinking that I could put my hard work into something new and wonderful. I think my first volunteer experience was a holiday dinner - the Monday before Thanksgiving or the Monday before Christmas.

In 2010, I became a contractor to work on Quickbooks one day a week. In 2011, I was working two days a week, and have been working three days a week since 2012.

How has Family House changed since you first started?
For me, since I'm not coming in so "casually," the work I'm doing is more serious, having more of an impact.  For the organization, it feels like we're getting bigger, with the upcoming move to Mission Bay. It hasn't really changed that much, but it's more developed - more grown up, maybe.

What are some of your favorite Family House memories?At events, I really enjoy dancing with the kids; or day-to-day interactions at the House like laughing about something with a fellow staff member or going to lunch together. It's all about enjoying the quiet moments with coworkers or a family. It's not just one thing. Last year, I really enjoyed going to dinner with the Monickens in Sausalito and having sushi - that was really, really nice.

Seeing beautiful children come back well with happy moms, just paying us a visit, years later… And reading some really beautiful letters from people who stayed here in the 80's and 90's, and just give us an update on how they're doing.  In my job, I take donations through the mail and send thank-you letters, and see a lot of notes from families that are doing well now. We got one from a patient who stayed here in the 80's, and now he's all grown up and is working as a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. He sent a donation and a note to say that everything's great, and he just wanted to give back.  I'll never forget reading that letter.  It's very inspirational, reading letters like those - I love that! I love to see the children that we've helped all grown up.  You can just tell by the way they write that their hearts are just a little bigger.  They're changed, but in a really positive way - you can just tell.

At Family House, you just know that what you're doing makes a difference to people. I guess I love that the most.

Learn more about the caring staff at Family House:

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