The best nonprofit advocates do their job well. They have a good sense of how and when to approach their supporters, governmental and individual, knowing their interests and soft spots, but they make sure their operations are in order and moving ahead. To successfully solicit support from public and private sources, year after year, requires energy and imagination and a strong belief in the value of what you are doing.John Gamble has all those characteristics and skills, and more.
In January 1985, Gamble was tapped to start and grow Southwest Colorado Volunteers of America. This month he is retiring, planning to kick back a bit before volunteering to do more good works in this corner of the state.
The domestic violence shelter came first, about six months after Gamble took the director's position. Then came the homeless shelter in early 1991; a thrift store, which can be wonderfully lucrative, opened in 1999. All were quickly on solid footing, staffed well and growing.
There was a term on the Durango City Council, as well.
There is an opportunity to say thanks to John Gamble for all he has done. A retirement reception for Gamble will be held between 4 and 6 p.m. Thursday at the Durango Arts Center on Second Avenue. Reception-goers also will have an opportunity to meet Gamble's successor, Sarada Leavenworth, who has been with the local VOA and knows Durango.
Southwest Colorado is a better place because of John Gamble's leadership and work. Stop by and tell him that.