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The heart behind HART - Joan O'Connor



Meet Joan O'Connor, one of our Freshen Up Shower Program volunteers!


Joan has a passion for volunteering and giving back to her community, and came to HART through her volunteer work at the Orangevale Foodbank. She heard about HART's Freshen Up Shower Program and wanted to help where she could!


Joan's favorite aspect of volunteering is the excitement everyone feels when one of our clients moves into housing and stops coming to the showers. "The Navigators we have are wonderful folks who help our clients pursue housing if they choose. We've had two people get houses in the last five months and it's really wonderful to witness their 'graduation' from us."


Joan's positive impact was certainly felt in the weekly Freshen Up Shower Program at the end of last year. During the winter months, she started making chili because it was so cold. It acted as a nice, warm and substantive supplement to the snacks provided for clients, and some clients come specifically for the food!


Joan would love to encourage others to volunteer as well. She says "It's all about the people. The other volunteers are like-minded folks who are there because they want to help. Our clients are genuinely happy we are there to help them, and truly appreciate all that we do and always thank us. It's really eye opening to hear their stories and reminders that 'there but for the grace of God go I.'"


As a technical program manager at Intel in Folsom for 25 years, Joan spent much of her time traveling in Asia designing software at the factories. Now an avid long distance bicyclist, she likes to go on multi-day bicycling trips with friends or solo. She also volunteers at two other organizations during the week.


We are so grateful for Joan's devotion to volunteering and truly making differences for at-risk individuals in our community!



Joan holding a clients' dogs while they take a shower

Joan helping at our weekly Freshen Up Shower Program

Joan volunteers at both the Foodbank and HART

Joan at the shower trailer with another of our wonderful volunteers

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