Thoughts of Giving and Gratitude

Contributed by CarrieAnn Frese

There’s no better time to reflect on all that we have and are grateful for than during the holiday season. Now is the time to think of others and how we can give back to our communities. Junior League of Annapolis encourages you to give back. Give back in any way that touches you—that means something to you. Take the time to give back. Engage with people in any way, be it with your time or monetarily. Pick your joy and give.

JLA was fortunate enough to have Anne Rouse, Director of Development and Marketing at The Light House, speak with us at our November General Membership Meeting. Ms. Rouse shared details about The Light House’s mission, which is to help rebuild lives with compassion, by providing shelter and services to prevent homelessness and empower people as they transition toward employment, housing and self-sufficiency.

The Light House is both a facility and a program. They strive to serve as a national model for how a community cares for its homeless by providing a place of belonging, life-changing programs, and a broad continuum of support to people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. 90% of the funding for The Light House comes from the Annapolis Community, further proving Anne Arundel County’s commitment to service.

Ms. Rouse discussed how homelessness is not a permanent condition—homelessness is often just temporary. The Light House provides learning, growing, gaining skills and confidence in life skills, and financial literacy. Possibility and capability are taught and re-enforced at The Light House in an effort to keep people stabilized wherever they are at the moment.

Ms. Rouse explained that there is no us and them—we are we. She provided a unique perspective as she was born and raised in downtown Baltimore City and educated at one of Baltimore’s suburban private schools. These early experiences of social and economic disparity shaped her career.

JLA has worked with The Light House for many years and assisted with setting up Willow House, a two-year transitional housing for women. For more details on The Light House visit The Light House, located on 10 Hudson Street in Annapolis, is always looking for additional volunteers!