Ashley Taylor (left) and Guadalupe Ingham (right)
Check out Ashley and Guadalupe’s Facebook “Live at Lunch” video here!
Back in March, as WCA staff adjusted to changes in the way we deliver services and programming to ensure proper physical distancing, many staff began working remotely in order to minimize exposure for community members who still needed to visit our Crisis Center to receive critical services.
A smaller group of staff stayed as a constant presence at the Crisis Center at 720 W. Washington Street, keeping our doors open so those critical services continued without interruption for our community. Two of these staff members who have been at the Crisis Center through it all are Department Specialists, Ashley Taylor and Guadalupe Ingham!
How long have you been with the WCA?
Ashley: I have been at the WCA for almost two years and have been in my current position, Department Specialist for one year in July.
Guadalupe: I have been at the WCA for six months and have been Department Specialist for three months.
What does your position cover?
Ashley: I process and run reports for the monetary donations we receive each day and assist our Controller, Linda Kerr, with various financial tasks such as reconciliations and accounts payables/receivables. I also assist our Corporate Program Manager, Lisa Uhlmann, with our business partners and help plan and execute our major events like Concert for Cause, Witches Night Out and TWIN. There are various administrative responsibilities as well, like answering phones, checking in clients for appointments and greeting everyone who walks in the door.
Guadalupe:The primary responsibilities of my position are 1. Assisting in the shared services department (front desk staffing, IT training, inventory management, and various other in-office related tasks) 2. Outreach and Communications Department Admin (providing assistance to the team regarding outreach-based events, reports, tool kits and inventory management) 3. Philanthropy Department Admin (assisting and supporting with philanthropic events such Idaho Gives, SueB 5k/10k Race, etc. and the Corporate Matching Program)
What brought you to the WCA?
Ashley: After graduating college, I started working for Giraffe Laugh as a toddler teacher at the Marian Pritchett campus, and after a couple of years moved to Boys and Girls Club as a teacher for their supplemental program for kindergartners. I graduated with an Organizational Science major in college and wanted to refine those skills while continuing to work for a nonprofit organization with a mission that I could stand by. That is where I found the WCA. I was excited to have a different professional work experience while still working for an organization that had strong values.
Guadalupe: The WCA is such a great organization and provides so many resources to our community–some I did not even realize. When I originally wanted to start volunteering here, I went on an “If These Walls Could Talk” Tour. When I came in to turn in my volunteer application, I heard about the front desk position. After turning in my application I went home and applied for that position.
What’s most rewarding about your work?
Ashley: The most rewarding part about what I do at the WCA is seeing the amount of support we have from our community and beyond. We have very generous community members who are always looking for ways to help us– whether that be monetary donations, providing new items for our Back to School and holiday programs, volunteering at our events or even just getting our name out there with shoe cards and brochures so that people know we are here. I feel so much gratitude knowing that we are supported every step of the way so that we can continue to assist people needing safety, healing and freedom from domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Guadalupe: To be honest, I still cannot pinpoint what is the most rewarding aspect of my position because there is so much to find rewarding. I get to learn from wonderful leaders and coworkers, help individuals get the assistance they need, and see our community come together especially in a time that is so uncertain right now.
Has anything changed about your position during this time of physical distancing?
Ashley: There hasn’t been much of a change in my position during this time besides the added support for other departments while they are working remotely. We continue to answer the phones Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:00pm and assist walk-in clients as needed. We are also maintaining social distance protocols and wearing masks throughout the day.
Guadalupe: My position has stayed consistent with my current responsibilities, however, there have been some additional tasks, processes, and protocols added since the pandemic has started. The organization is very careful to make sure everyone in the office and individuals who have come in for meetings and services are comfortable and aware that we take the necessary precautions to keep in line with the CDC.
How was the transition into these new processes for you?
Guadalupe: The transition took quite a bit of adjusting. It has still been busy in the office, but going from quite a bit of traffic between staff, clients, volunteers, board members and various other individuals to just a few people was pretty sad. However, the on-site team has been wonderful and it has been great to work so “closely” (but at a distance) with everyone and to (metaphorically) lean on each other when help was needed.
Working in the front, you both are some of the first faces people see when they come to the WCA. What do you hope they feel when they walk in?
Ashley: I hope that when anyone walks into the WCA, they feel safe and valid. We want them to feel comfortable, know that they are being heard and supported and ultimately leave feeling that they had a positive experience.
Guadalupe: I strive to provide the best “customer” service I can, and I hope that anyone who walks in through our doors and sees my face or talks with me, feels the warmth and acceptance that is the WCA.
We are so grateful to Ashley and Guadalupe for all their work as Department Specialists!
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