After working with HOPE’s team for nearly four years, I can’t help but notice a few consistent themes with our staff, and I thought you might find them interesting!
1. We all have a HOPE love story. Just like people share stories of how they met their spouses, most of us can pinpoint the moment we first heard about HOPE and mildly gush over the details of coming on staff. Whether we used to be bankers, pastors, educators, or missionaries, HOPE is an important part of our story.
2. We love competition. Whether it’s a Christmas decoration contest, a simple team-building exercise, or building the largest church-based savings program, it’s clear HOPE staff love to compete. We’re internally driven to do our best and excel.
3. We pray and grow closer to Christ together. Throughout the day and especially at 3 p.m. every day, our staff meets to read the Word and pray. We lift up our clients, donors, and staff, and we ask God to guide us and move in our hearts. Through so many interactions with people who know and love the Lord deeply, I have personally grown closer to Christ.
4. We laugh often. Since being at HOPE, I’ve witnessed some pretty funny things, including ho-downs, microfinance raps, ugly-Christmas-sweater contests, and a Mohawk-shaving ceremony to celebrate meeting a fundraising goal (just to name a few). Laughter and fun are part of every day.
5. We eat cold, expired soup. Individually and as a team, we’re a frugal bunch. In pursuit of stewardship, our representatives fly coach and stay in people’s homes rather than use hotels. We share coupons and babysit each other’s children. Even HOPE’s president might be known for eating expired cold soup right out of the can for lunch.
6. We like each other. Even though we see each other all day, we’re still friends. I personally enjoy being with every single person on our staff, and I know that’s not common. The HOPE staff truly is a family and we walk through hardships (emergencies, health scares) and joys (marriage, births, and adoptions) together.
7. We go to different churches. HOPE staff are part of mega churches and house churches and everything in between. Though we have a solid statement of faith, HOPE is not associated with one particular denomination, and I appreciate the unity we share and the richness that comes from diversity in the Church.
8. We love living out HOPE’s culture. The PASSION acronym represents the culture we strive for at HOPE: Prayer, Allegiance, Service, Stewardship, Innovation, Optimism, and Nurturing. I see my colleagues living these qualities on a daily basis. We even call it out when we see it: “Joe, you fixed the copier using a paper clip – ‘I’ for ‘Innovation: We find solutions!’”
9. We drink the Kool-Aid. My colleagues could be making more money at other jobs, but choose to be here because they truly buy into HOPE’s mission. I recently calculated that for every day I come to work, roughly 1,460 clients get access to savings and loans that will change their lives. That’s enough people to fill 34 New York subway cars. Every day. It doesn’t even include the family members that benefit in huge ways. That’s more than enough motivation for me to come to work every day. This is much more than just a job for each of us.