Monday, November 30, 2009

A Microcosm of the Mission

Glimpses behind-the-scenes help you see how an organization really works: dust on the windowsills, animated hallway conversations, empty coffee cups stacked neatly or haphazardly filling the sink.  All of these can be positive or negative indications of single-mindedness, collaboration, and mission-focus.  With trained eyes you quickly get a feeling for the culture of the place.  Messy does not mean bad and too neat can mean trouble.  Getting it just right is a collaborative effort. 

At East Cooper Community Outreach the lobby is bright and cheery.  There is enough space so that clients do not feel cramped.  Behind-the-scenes is another matter.  The working conditions are professional but cramped.  All available space is given over to a dental clinic, a food distribution facility, offices for social workers interviewing clients, a classroom, a medical other words, all available space goes first to service and only later, if there is any left, to working comforts.  Even the Staff offices are divided into tight cubicles shared with the one desk offices of smaller, collaborating nonprofits.  Jack Little tells me that the latest renovation enclosed what used to be a shady porch so that a childcare service can be provided to visiting clients.  East Cooper Community Outreach, even without saying a word, says we are here to serve.

So here's a behind-the-scenes photograph for you to interpret.

And here is a close-up of this coming week.

Get the picture?

East Cooper Community Outreach is a service organization that packs into every available space service to clients.  They collaborate with other organizations while striving to become a full-service operation that caters to the needs of those in need.

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