Q: How long have you been with SPAN?
A: (Joe) “Somewhere between 20-25 years I would say. Initially I got involved, they were looking for a volunteer to stamp, fold, staple and mail seven thousand newsletters once every three months. So I’d bring it all home and stamp the return address on it, it’d take me like three days at home. I’m a behind the scenes kind of guy. But eventually, ya know, overtime everybody goes electronic, so obviously that job went away. After that, we got more and more involved. Started helping with the Fling,.
(Heather) Interesting fact, Joe was the first male volunteer for SPAN. So he would go to the outreach center and they would look out and see a man standing there, and they’d say, “there’s some random guy here.” Everyone would say, “Ohh, no worries it’s just Joe!”
Q: What’s been your favorite part about being a donor for SPAN?
A: (Joe) Heather and I have been married over 40 years, we have two beautiful children, two grandchildren, a very loving family. And to think about what some of these women and children go through, it was really the main reason I got involved. As far as being a donor, I remember there was a walk-a-thon one time, I raised the most money, “This woman came over to me and she was holding a baby and she had another baby in a stroller, and she said, “thank you for all you do for this organization, I don’t know what I would do without it.” It’s just things like that that really moves me.
Q: What’s been your favorite memory at SPAN?
(Heather) Along the lines of watching the faces and hearing the stories of these families that have been protected and saved because of what SPAN does, it’s amazing. And it’s done in such a loving way, I don’t think these women, these children, these families, feel pitied. They’re allowed to feel worthy and loved and safe, from SPAN. So that’s my favorite memory, the faces of the clients.
(Joe) I would agree with Heather, I think when you hear the testimonials from the clients of where they started with SPAN and where they are now. Being back on their feet, having a job. Or, the kids! The kids, I remember there was a 12 year old boy at a farm-to-table event awhile back and he did an incredible talk about what SPAN did for him and his mom. It’s stuff like that, you guys are just awesome.
Q: As we honor our 40 years of support to survivors, what would you like to see from SPAN and the community in the next 5 years?
A: (Heather) I would like to see more community and business awareness about what SPAN does. I’d really like to see more companies in the area to stand up and realize that this isn’t a political issue, this isn’t a moral issue, this is a humanitarian issue. And I mean, I really think there is so much hidden potential in Boulder County that’s been untapped. Figuring out a way that we can help to bring more money and bring more support to the organization.
(Joe) “Boulder County is a very affluent area. Company wise, corporate wise, let alone personal wise. And yeah, I mean for me I love volunteering my time, but there’s nothing easier than writing a check. It takes a lot of work to get grants, and I’d like to figure out a way to get more awareness for the organization to get you guys more money.”
Q: Among all the other worthy organizations, what made you choose SPAN?
A: (Heather) I was working for a pregnancy care center the first time that I met Anne. And I’m not sure if this was after or before Joe’s involvement but I had several clients that wanted to carry their babies and they didn’t feel safe and didn’t know where to go, because of the father of the child. I remember talking to Anne, and her just making me feel safe in sending my clients to her. Knowing that maybe a lot of values cross sometimes, there are women’s rights, etc. But again, I go back to SPAN is a very safe place, regardless of your choice moving forward. There are no questions asked, there is no judgment, we value you and we value whatever you choose to do.