After 21 years, Griff retired as the vice president of development at the Mission. His dedication to raising funds for the people we serve and building relationships with donors has been an incredible blessing.
What initially inspired you to work for the Mission?
I was in the banking business for a long time, and during lunch we would always go down to the 16th Street Mall where I established relationships with different people experiencing homelessness. I’d learn their names, talk to them about their story and hear what they were going through. Brad Meuli and I have known each other for a long time, and three years after he became CEO, he asked me to be the director of development. I just felt like it was a calling and like God really said, “This is something that I want you to do.” I’m truly convinced that having those interactions on 16th Street were what God used to prepare me to come to the Mission.
What kept you at the Mission for so long?
I’ve been in this role for 21 years, and I continue to believe that taking care of the poor is really important to God. It’s been a philanthropic journey over these years, and we have a wonderful team. God has blessed us. It’s not my ministry, it’s God’s ministry.
What has it meant to you to build relationships with donors?
It’s always exciting to engage a donor who has read about what we do and get them down here to see what we do, how we do it and to visit with the people we serve. We have donors who have never even been here, but once we get them here, they go, “We never knew you did this much.” That’s the most rewarding.
What are some of your favorite memories during your time here?
I had the opportunity to mentor five men in the New Life Program, and I still stay in touch with two of them. I mean situations where the mentee relapsed, dealing with that and the emotions behind that and how that creates such shame for them, and yet to see them restored and how God continues to work in these guys’ lives. That was 15 years ago and they’re doing great.
This post is part of September’s Changing Lives Newsletter. This month, we’re sharing Vince and Ralph’s story of overcoming hardship in: Good Works.