Today we’d like to introduce you to another one of our Home Start Heroes, Board Member Shoshanna Mitchell.
Originally from the UK, Shoshanna studied law before working with the British Government to safeguard and protect victims of child abuse and human trafficking. She moved to the US in 2015 and is V.P. of Talent, Culture and Happiness at Thought Provoking Consulting.
As a Home Start Board Member since 2018, we are thrilled to have Shoshanna stateside, looking out for children and families here in San Diego.
Thank you for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself and your work with Home Start. Let’s start with you – tell us something fun.
I love dogs, and I’ve developed a bit of a passion for collecting rescues from around the world. I have 4 in total! One was a stray Italian village dog that got hit by a car when I was visiting family. Another was a stray beach dog in Thailand who followed me everywhere when I was traveling. Finally, I have two Californian foster failures! I actively speak out against the dog meat trade in South East Asia and, in 2015, organized a briefing in Parliament on the issue. Actress Dame Judi Dench attended, which was incredible!
I thoroughly enjoy working with non-profits. In addition to being a Home Start Board member, I volunteer at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. I also coach writers/performers for a performing arts non-profit called So Say We All in San Diego.
That all sounds so fulfilling – lucky doggies! So, what led you to us here at Home Start and how would you define your role?
I wanted to get back to supporting the most vulnerable in my local community. I met Mark Lagace, Home Starts Director of Philanthropy, and Laura Tancredi-Baese, the fabulous CEO, at a Chamber of Commerce Event (at the WAG Dog Hotel in Mission Valley!) I was instantly drawn to the life-changing work they do. They kindly invited me on a tour of the Maternity Housing Program shortly after, and the rest is history!
In addition to being a board member, I am the Chair of the PR and Marketing Committee, where we have an excellent team working on creative ways to share our purpose with others. In early 2019 I helped set up the Social Media Committee, and each year I sit on the Event Committee planning the fabulous and fun annual fundraiser! I am incredibly passionate about sharing the Home Start mission with my network.
“As a team, I believe that we offer support, kindness, and compassion to those in the program. I hope this encourages these extraordinary individuals to see that they are not alone and that they have a chance to make this life a wonderful one they are proud of.”
Have you had any memorable experiences you can share since working with Home Start?
I had the honor of hearing one of our clients tell her painful story to a room of individuals. Hearing what she had been through made my heart ache beyond belief. It astounded me how she told her story with such eloquence and sincerity to an audience of almost all strangers. I was so proud of how she had found her voice and courage. Her response to the most challenging adversity that many cannot even begin to imagine was an inspiring display of resilience.
It is always so compelling to see what people, especially young mothers, are capable of overcoming with just a little support and guidance. That’s key to Home Start’s mission of assuring the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families and their communities.
Are there things you’ve discovered about Home Start that you want to make sure our readers know?
We have an extensive range of programs to support our clients, including access to nutrition, therapy, and shelter. We encourage our clients by giving them skills for life through our social enterprise businesses; we have a thrift boutique on Adams Ave, where mothers in our program work, as well as Bright Futures Candles, where they make the most delightful smelling candles!
It’s important to mention that Home Start delivers a bespoke program to every child, parent, and family. It’s not generic, and I found many other non-profits of this kind are. I believe a unique approach is imperative to bring about long-lasting, sustainable change to improving the lives of these brilliant individuals.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to encourage anyone who has read this to donate $10 (or more!) to Home Start – everything helps!
Great idea! Thank you again for spending this time with us and for everything you’re contributing to the Home Start mission.