Friday, January 27, 2012

A Positive Outlook

Thinking about nonprofits during these difficult economic times, it is quite easy to paint a bleak picture. Not for Ginny Ormsby, executive director of Northwoods Shelter in Amery, Wis. She has a positive outlook for her organization. Ormsby believes that her caring community and the support of other nonprofits has resulted in Northwoods' ability to access more help for its homeless clientele.

Like most nonprofit directors, Ormsby wears many hats. The benefit of this she believes, is that it allows her to do more than she thought she could in her job. For example, she is now a better public speaker than she imagined being simply because the opportunity presented itself and she took it. In the process of helping her organization, she is also upgrading her own skills.

Ormsby said she realized that once you get over the hurdle, it was really not that big afterall.

One of the highlights of her job is to work with the Western Wisconsin Continuum of Care Collaborative that meets periodically to discuss and support nonprofit issues for a seven-county area. Everyone is helpful, open and willing to share. It is a great support system for participants.

Another example of good news for Northwoods Shelter is that every month, Ginny receives about 200 pounds of food donation in soups, hot dishes, stews, etc. from a local restaurant. She completely believes that this happens only because everyone cares in her community.

She is excited to be on Facebook and encourages other nonprofits to jump on board. This would be a good way to connect and share nonprofit information.

In addition to low-income work experience, Ormsby's academic experience is from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor's degree in music education, specializing in double reed woodwind and piano. Music relaxes her and helps her to stay motivated.

Northwoods Homeless Shelter also received a grant from Otto Bremer Foundation in December, 2011. 

Pictured above is Ormsby (left) next to Bremer Bank employee Tonya Fuglsang, the co-chair of the Northwoods Board of Directors.
Posted by Maltee McMahon, NRS, Wisconsin

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