Announcing Dawnielle’s sabbatical

Jul 19, 2017

Dear Casa friends & familia,

I am excited to announce that after 10 years of life in Chirilagua, the Casa Chirilagua board of directors has granted me a three month sabbatical! As you read this I am in the first week of my sabbatical.

I am incredibly grateful for this generous gesture and wonderful opportunity which will grant me time to experience the joy of rest, reflection, refreshment, rejuvenation, and time to reconnect.

This will give me time…

…to rest while not having to attend to my daily Casa schedule and duties.

…to reflect on the past 10 years of living life alongside my neighbors.

…to refresh my mind and spirit through activities that bring me joy and delight.

…to rejuvenate my soul as I seek to connect with and hear from God.

…to reconnect with friends, family, and mentors.

It is my prayer that this time away will strengthen my ability to lead, returning rested, with fresh perspective, restored vision, and renewed passion.

Not only will the sabbatical be beneficial for me both personally and professionally but it will also be beneficial for the organization as a whole. When leaders step away for a period of time, particularly founders, it fosters the opportunity for others to lead in a new capacity and promotes the flourishing of new life and growth. I look forward to seeing what will happen as a result.

While I am away, Ms. Maralee Gutierrez, our managing director, has agreed to serve as interim executive director. Mr. David Schellhaas, our communications director, will keep you informed about what is happening here at Casa. He will share about our new community-led strategic direction plan as well as new programs and opportunities that are sprouting up as a result of the opening of our new community center. It’s an exciting time for us Casa familia!

Over the next three months, Casa Chirilagua will continue to function as usual. We are blessed to have a confident and capable staff, an active and supportive board, equipped and engaged community leaders and committed volunteers and supporters like you who will lead the organization forward. If you have some available time on your hands and have been wanting to get more involved, now is a great time to reach out to our incredible staff and ask, “How can I help?”

I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to rest and take a break. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you and all you do to make Casa Chirilagua possible!

With much appreciation and gratitude to all of you,
Dawnielle Miller
Executive Director and Co-Founder

We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.