Director’s Note

director darden

Director Mike Darden

This year we will center our goals around the following theme: Engage

Have you ever found yourself at a social function only to realize that you don’t know anyone? For some, this is no big deal—you’re the naturally gregarious type who thrives on working the room, telling great stories and leaving with 20 new life-long friends. For the rest of us, however, we can find this scenario anywhere from mildly uncomfortable to completely terrifying.

Most will try to be friendly and enter into conversation with those around them, resulting in many “So what do you do,” “I love your sweater” and “Did you catch the game last night”-type of exchanges. However, on occasion, a meaningful discussion organically begins, and you leave feeling that you genuinely connected. We often refer to these conversations as engaging.

An engaging conversation is one that piques interest and encourages a higher level of intensity that often leads to an investment of time, energy, and maybe even emotion and vulnerability.

The word engage arises from a French phase which meant to pledge or bind by oath. It indicates a sense of promise or investment. It is never passive and never nonchalant.

Engagement is a concept that truly resonates with us at Rescue Mission Alliance Ventura County. This year our goal is to engage with our community on a greater level on vital issues that concern us all, such as homelessness, the opioid crisis, mental health, and human trafficking. It is our goal to increase our engagement with those who are presently affected by these and similar situations as well as their family and friends who are desperate to find resources. Further, we wish to engage with the greater community, people like yourself who wish to learn more, to do more but often don’t know where to start.

The serious issues facing Ventura County are far too big for any one organization to tackle alone and require the involvement of us all. Throughout this year, we intend to provide you with points of engagement so that together, we can make a difference. We will continue to share the stories of our engagement with people navigating recovery addiction, spiritual growth, family reconciliation, safe housing, employment, etc.

However, this year we will also be sharing opportunities for you to actively engage in the conversation by means of educational resources, prayer requests, participation in various community events, and hands-on volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups alike. In 2024, we would love to engage with you, meet you, hear your thoughts and partner alongside of you to truly impact our county for good.