Dana, our Outreach Coordinator, would like to share her experiences with our unofficial motto ‘ruined for life!’:
“What does ruined for life mean to you?
This famous JVC Northwest phase has stuck in my mind long after my JV year way back in the 90’s. Just following my JV year, it meant that I wanted to continue to work in direct service at my JV placement. There at St Francis House, I felt at home like my soul belonged there and like I had been given a gift of being there. In my early thirties, I found myself steered away from social justice direct service work on a day-to-day basis. At that time, ruined for life was more about continuing to question how easy it is to separate ourselves from justice work and the people we’re working for with the rush of society. During this time, I found myself working for a bank. I remember opening a bank account for a gentleman who was living in a community for formerly homeless men. He had been scared to even open an account fearing rejection. In the days following, his friends came in and opened accounts as well. I loved it and it was a great reminder that wherever I am there is an opportunity to be in service. I also remember my boss being so irritated with me about opening these accounts that didn’t bring our branch any money. Inside I remembered that I was ruined for life—regardless of my job or my financial circumstances at that time, I had been forever changed by my JV year. That day and in the weeks and months that followed, when we saw our new customers at the bank I felt a particular pride in being ruined, aka blessed for life.
These days I find myself working in the JVC Northwest office as the Outreach Coordinator. My primary responsibility is to connect with FJVs. I love hearing their stories and experiences and the pride they take in being ruined for life. FJVs actively question how they spend their time on this planet, the money they earn, and how they want to be in relation to others. It gives me great pride to be part of this wonderful organization and to be ruined for life!”