Self-less: concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.
If I could, I would add a photo next to this definition in the dictionary of my friend Pam Smith. The next best thing I could do is introduce her here and share the photo of us together at The Open Door House. Pam is the Program Director for Cooperative Christian Ministry. She wears many hats and has a full calendar, but she took time out of her day and came to visit with me this week and tour the house for the first time. We had a wonderful time catching up and before she could leave, I asked to take a picture with her. She protested but I convinced her to do so anyway and, here you have it. Who wouldn’t want to see this lovely face of hers?!
I first met Pam at a HUBB Summit meeting on February 28, 2019. This was the first meeting I attended as the founder of The Open Door House. I was a little overwhelmed to be in a room filled with local agencies who were gathered to discuss community needs and how we were going to help the under-served be loved and supported. We broke up into individual groups based on our area of interest; I went to the housing group. That is where I met Pam, she was the facilitator of our group, and she was just fantastic. When the summit was over, I approached Pam and introduced myself to her, which is not something I am comfortable doing. But Pam has a presence about her, she is welcoming and warm, someone you just want to get to know. I explained that TODH was a new organization and shared our mission for homeless and aged-out youth, she understood immediately what we were about and the need we were trying to meet. And that’s where everything changed for me.
Pam made sure to invite me to every networking function; Coffee and Conversation meetings, nonprofit workshops, Lunch and Learn, leadership training and more! She has been foundational to where we are today, and I don’t know where I would be without her support and guidance. The best part is this is just who Pam is. This is not a forced effort on her part, it’s effortless, it is part of her DNA. This is probably why she is the Program Director for CCM because she is always thinking of ways to make life easier for others, she is just a natural at being a ‘difference-maker’.
When our visit together was coming to an end, I walked Pam to her car where we hugged and said good-bye. Of course, she emphasized to please reach out if we are in need of anything. As she drove off, I went back into the house smiling to myself and thanking God for friends like Pam. I have no doubt that divine intervention played a part in getting that invitation to the HUBB Summit, I was supposed to meet Pam because I prayed for her. Starting a nonprofit with absolutely no idea what I was doing was the scariest thing I have ever done. I prayed for God to introduce me to the people who could best guide me along the way, and He has been so faithful to that prayer.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
- Romans 8:28