Letter to the editor: MALT owes debt to Dave Hallam
Dave Hallam is like Miyagi from “Karate Kid.” Yes, he has been secretly teaching me karate in the MALT office. Okay no, but he has been teaching me, a lot.
Dave has been a steady and encouraging presence in the MALT office since 2006 and I have been fortunate enough to work side-by-side with him for the past three years. He is a steadfast mentor in moments of uncertainty and times of celebration. Dave is an Otter Creek Bakery fairy and dedicated steward to MALT’s donor database. He is a friend of mine and a gift to MALT. In 2016 Dave helped MALT move our donor database from clunky software to a modern and multi-faceted program, Little Green Light. In the early years, we only scratched the surface of its capability, still hand-typing gift acknowledgements (ouch!) and keeping limited records. In 2017, MALT began uncovering gems of this new software and on the top of the list? Automatically printed and emailed gift acknowledgements!!
I think Dave and I shed a few tears of joy and laughter the afternoon we figured that out. Fast forward to 2019 when Dave, myself, and a couple board members re-envisioned membership for MALT. With Dave’s help, we generated monthly renewal letters, linked new youth program revenue to donor profiles, automatically printed labels for membership letters, and synced our new online giving with our donor database.
Now all this may sound ho-hum, but here’s the truth. A non-profit’s ability to track, communicate with, and thank donors is its lifeblood. At MALT, our lifeblood wouldn’t be possible without Dave. Our entire MALT community stands on a foundation quietly maintained by a local friend for over a decade.
“Every time Dave walks into the MALT office, I am filled with a sense of calm and joy that feels similar to an eagerly awaited family celebration,” says MALT Programs Coordinator Caleb Basa. “The support Dave gives and continues to gives is far more than a dedicated volunteer. It is love. Every second of his time is carried out with a thoroughness, consideration, and sense of empathy. For all that you do at MALT, and for the person you are, I am honored to know you.”
Dave is retiring from his role at MALT. Maybe you didn’t see this sad news coming, but it’s true, and here’s what I’ve learned from Dave that will infuse his generosity for decades to come: it’s not grand ideas that make a mission thrive. It’s doing each part of your job with pride, diligence, and perseverance that leads you one step further down the trail. Each stride adds up to a beautiful walk in the woods.
Today, six months through our fiscal year, MALT has more members than we did during the entire year of 2017. Now that’s progress. So thank you Dave, for walking this trail with us, side by side. We love you and will miss you so very much!
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