Throwaway account because I don’t want people seeing this on my personal account and saying something. Sorry for the long post, tried to condense it as much as I could.
I work for a nonprofit in my city that helps families with children who have special needs. They‘ve been around since like 1995 so it’s a legit, recognized organization. When I had my son a few years ago who has special needs, we went to one of their events and it totally changed our lives because they were so helpful, loving, and welcoming. It was the only safe space I felt like we had and their events have always been so special for us.
Fast forward to beginning of this year. I got an email asking if i was interested in a job opening they had for a position that basically helps new parents and provides them with resources, handles phone calls/emails with them, plan play dates/events, etc.. I said yes because it was only a couple hours a week (I have 3 kids and am in school full time) so it seemed like a great side gig that would also be helping the community and connecting us with other families too. One of the women who hired me (there were 2 that hired me and both were ’directors‘ of the organization), we’ll call her “Carla”, left abruptly in February and I thought it was odd but i didn’t say anything. Her husband, “Tom”, still works there and does payroll for everyone. Yesterday, the other director who hired me and who I’ve talked to pretty much everyday since being hired, “Paige”, abruptly resigned and made a post on our FB page about it, and then proceeded to fly to a different state for a week for “vacation”. Everyone was baffled and so confused. I got a phone call later that day from “Amy” who apparently is the interim executive director and she told me that the entire organization is basically fizzling out in June because we’ve run out of funds (this was after she tried to say we were “pausing“ everything in June, but I finally got her to tell me the truth). Amy goes on to tell me: the “board” of the organizaiton apparently knew this was going to happen for months, including Paige who resigned yesterday, but she was instructed not to say anything to us, but Amy felt obligated to tell us, as she should. Apparently they didn’t get a large grant that they were hoping for. Here’s the kicker though: she mentioned ”rumors and speculation” going around, including funds being stolen by Tom and Carla. I also am pissed because we’ve been planning this huge event for the summer and Paige is the one who has been pushing my self and 2 of my coworkers to plan it all. I literally just sent an email blast out to thousands of people in our contacts encouraging them to RSVP and introducing myself since I was just hired a couple months ago. So Paige knew this event was never even going to happen and still looked us all in the eyes and told us to plan it and post on social media about it. Not to mention, my coworkers who are planning it with me have worked for them for 5+ years and have special needs children of their own and this is their main source of income. They feel so betrayed and scared that they only have a month to find new employment. Amy also kept saying “this is your chance to maybe start your own organization” during the phone call and also said that to my coworkers when she called them to share the news. It got me thinking, because Paige recently changed the cover photo on their parent guides that get sent out to everyone who is a new parent of a special needs child, to a photo of my son and I smiling. I thought it was so sweet of her to do that, I cried when I saw it, but now I‘m thinking that she did that because she has been trying to basically pressure us to start our own organization. Like this whole thing, my hiring and everything, was a scheme that was planned. It feels like we’re being gaslighted in a sense because they are making it out to be a “good” thing and an “opportunity” for us to start our own which is total bullshit because they’re being unethical and so shitty. It’s devastating because we all thought we were more than just coworkers but a family. There’s nothing like the support of others when it comes to raising a child with special needs. I’ve put way more hours into this than I’ve been paid for because it’s advocating for my child and others, so this feels like a slap in the face to say the least.
We (all staff) are supposed to have a Zoom call next week to speak with Paige and Amy. I wonder if it’ll even happen. At this point, I 100% think someone stole the funds and is being shady as fuck, and I want it to be investigated. What should I do? Who do I tell? What would you do?
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