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Jeobany's Story

May 2020

I was inspired by an unlikely source last week; when I pulled my Time magazine out of the mailbox, I was struck by the cover, which read “Finding Hope.” As I thumbed through the pages, I stopped short on the writing of Steph Curry (yes, that Steph Curry: the two-time NBA MVP champ and Golden State Warriors guard). One particular quote from his essay resonated with me:

“Small gestures in times of crisis can end up being the big gestures that make the difference.”

Offering help in small doses, where it is needed most, has helped me wake up each morning with a sense of purpose. Whether that means donations to organizations whose missions are meaningful to my family, checking in with my elderly neighbor, or picking up trash in my neighborhood, being devoted to something positive is a reminder that we are valuable, even if from our couches.

And for those who do not have the choice to stay home and give generously from our safe havens, we honor your commitment to our community.

Like our police officers
, who continue to be on the front lines each day, just as they’ve always done, regardless of crisis or circumstance. Many of our officers are recently hired and are navigating new jobs in addition to this world that is unfamiliar to all of us. We still depend on them to keep us safe and we need them to be the best they can be, every single day.

Face-to-Face is committed to assuring that our community and our police officers are still building genuine, unique relationships, even if that means Face(mask)-to-Face(mask). Police officers like Jeobany and his fiancée, Sarah, who despite having family here in Portland, are still texting, calling, and emailing with their Liaison Family.

Jeobany was actually hesitant at first to join the Liaison Family Program; “I was overthinking it!” Sarah convinced him to take a leap of faith and they had an instant connection with Dale, a longtime Portland resident whose father was a police officer in Montana. “It’s another person to talk to, about the good and the bad, who really understands what both of us need in this journey,” Jeobany says. They met each other only once in person before the implementation of our shelter-in-place, yet they are still committed to their growing friendship.

The work of Face to Face continues. The value of genuine connection prevails, and our police officers and their families still need your ongoing support, especially right now. Police officers like Jeobany need the encouragement of families in our community, as he learns the very important job of how to be a police officer in our city.

YOUR small gestures could be the big gestures that make a difference for our police.

In this storm we are weathering, we can always look for a break in the clouds. The uneasiness our current situation creates should not define us as a community. Instead, we can strive to be generous. We can work to be kinder. We can BE the neighbors and friends that we all hope to have.

Stay safe and healthy.
Very Truly Yours,

(The) Amy Johnson
Executive Director and Founder
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