A Letter from Brian Cole
Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
It’s times like these that can make you feel helpless, out of control, and overwhelmed by what’s going on. You aren’t alone. Many of us feel the impact of the situation but also realize that we are blessed with our situation and would like to help others through this difficult time. I’m hoping I can provide you with a way to help your neighbors, your community, and your state immensely from the comfort and safety of your home.
I learned about St Joseph the Worker (SJW) a few years ago as I was looking for an opportunity to make the biggest impact in helping others that I could find. SJW fit the bill – helping people to get employment and help themselves…what a concept right! The mission is simple – “Assisting the poor, under- and unemployed, and those in transition, crisis and homelessness in their efforts to become self-sufficient through quality employment.” I believe most people want to be productive people in society as well as self-reliant. SJW is THE BEST (see data below) at helping people that want to help themselves – they connect them, they coach them, and they support them before and after getting employment. So…I got involved…and ultimately joined the Board at SJW (I am in my second year on the Board). Not only am I concerned about the potential 16%+ projected unemployment rate for AZ, meaning families won’t have access to a paycheck, healthcare, purpose, and everything else that a job provides, I’m concerned about our economy and what it will take to rebuild it. These two go hand-in-hand. Our neighbors are being displaced, and SJW is here to help them, connecting them with the essential jobs we still need in order to survive.
The people that SJW is currently seeing cannot or will not rely on unemployment. They are choosing to fight back and help not only their families remain stable, fed, and healthy, but helping to take the pressure off an already strained unemployment system. The people that SJW will help in the aftermath are the 300,000+ Arizonans who will need employment in the wake of the pandemic. SJW’s average turnaround time is less than 5 days and those who have not had to job hunt in a year or more will need help in an ever-changing landscape.
Since COVID-19 began to take over our daily lives and unemployment soared beyond 5%, SJW has been open and serving. They have not shut down once, meaning they’re the only employment-focused organization that has remained open and committed to being here, now and in the aftermath, to produce a strong, financially stable, firmly employed Arizona. In fact, during the month of March, they helped 154 people gain employment, and are currently receiving 100-200 inquiries weekly.
I want to give you some control and allow you to find a way to help in the most important manner you can; ensuring SJW is here NOW to serve fully, and will be here LATER to serve fully, to connect Arizona to employment and all it provides, and in turn stabilize our neighbors and boost the economy back up as quickly as possible.
While other organizations put people to work for nearly $5,000 per job seeker, a donation to SJW of $400 gets someone back to work – that is how good they are at what they do! On average, SJW supports individuals into employment that provides at least $13/hour. Meaning, your $400 investment in SJW is turned into approximately $30,000 annually. That money is used to maintain a home, buy food, clothing, and overall fuel the economy. Now imagine what $10,000 could do for SJW. That’s 25 individuals and families back to work, totaling $750,000 into the economy on the low end.
While millions of dollars in funding are being diverted to healthcare, food, and shelter (as it should be), organizations like SJW, who are and will be needed to connect people to jobs, are being faced with challenges like never before. SJW is community funded, meaning they don’t accept restricting government funding. They are funded by YOU so that they can serve each job seeker as the individual they are, getting them an individual plan, and individual resources. No one job seeker is alike, so SJW does not prescribe to cookie-cutter methods. It is what they do best.
Now the ask…
I am so committed to and believe so deeply about SJW and their mission that I will personally match your donations through May 31st up to a total match of $10,000. So please help a great organization with a great mission that will in turn help get your neighbors and our community back on its feet again. And remember, a donation to SJW qualifies for the AZ Tax Credit too.
We are blessed to be in the position that we are…help SJW help others help themselves.