Clay Street Table Student Editor Interviews Doyle at Annual Gathering

Audrey Farrimond helping out at Clay Street Table.

By Audrey Farrimond, editor, Clay Street Table Newsletter

Audrey Farrimond is a sophomore at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. As a freshman, she joined the school’s FlockFeast service club and immediately fell in love with the sense of community at Clay Street Table. Volunteering at Clay Street Table allows her to have an impact in her own community, she says, and to connect with people she never would have otherwise. Reprinted with permission from the Clay Street Table newsletter.

Meet Jamar Doyle, president and CEO of the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries of the United Church of Christ

Clay Street Table, based in Portland, Ore., was officially voted into CHHSM’s national network of organizations at its Annual Gathering in 2022, after it became a 501c3 nonprofit in 2021. Each year, Clay Street Table participates in the Annual Gathering, and shares CHHSM’s vision that “together, we create a just, caring and compassionate world.”

Jamar Doyle

Doyle has been CHHSM’s president and CEO for the past two years, and he’s grateful for the effect his work has had on his own daily life as well as the lives of others. “It’s been wonderful to work with so many organizations doing so much good work across the country,” he said. “[I’m] so blessed because of all the work that Clay Street Table does.”

The theme of this year’s gathering of CHHSM organizations was “Collaboration as the Gateway to Innovation,” and the focus was on ways agencies are working together to change lives.

The Rev. Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson during CHHSM’s Annual Gathering.

Speakers included: the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund; ‘Mama Cat’ Cathy Daniels, founder of PotBangerz, a meals program & more for people experiencing houselessness in St. Louis; The Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, president of Eden Theological Seminary, also in St. Louis; and the Rev. Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson, president and CEO of MOLO Village Community Development Corporation in Louisville, Ky.

When asked what his favorite part of the conference was, Doyle said, “I think hearing so many first-timers say that the conference was the most authentic event they’ve ever been to. And that the conference itself was transformative in terms of reconnecting them to their ‘why.’ Why do they work at a nonprofit organization?” 

“Serving people, getting recharged, and getting reconnected to the mission, that was really impactful for me,” he added.

Doyle and outgoing CHHSM Board Chair Michelle Just.

CHHSM’s 400+ agencies across the country make a difference, said Doyle. “There are food programs like Clay Street Table. But there are also services for the homeless,” he said. “There are organizations that do senior services, organizations that serve children, youth, and families, and organizations that provide mental health services. There are organizations that provide low income people affordable housing across the country.”

“I view CHHSM as a support agency,” Doyle added. “We support organizations like Clay Street Table that are on the ground doing direct service.” 

In total last year, CHHSM organizations served 3 million people, provided $1 billion in charitable care, operated 34,000 units of residential housing, employed 88,000 people, and gave communities in need 370,000 hours of volunteer service.

Thanks to Doyle, CHHSM provides the resources that nonprofits need to thrive — including community, collaboration, networking, new partnerships and fresh ideas. May we all feel connected to the greater, national community in service and work together toward the CHHSM goal of “creating a just, caring, and compassionate world.” 

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