Every year at this time, I sit down to think about what I will say to all of you. How can I express my gratitude for your support of our mission? How can I impress upon you how important your support is and how much we depend on it? What more can I tell you about why you should donate to Second Chance? This year, I thought I’d give someone else a chance to do the talking.
Dale Watkins is the President of Sheffield Platers. Sheffield is a third-generation, family-owned business in San Diego that provides top quality metal finishing and has a worldwide reputation. Dale originally approached Second Chance in 2015.
“I read an article about Second Chance in The Reader, titled "These People Really Want to Work" and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m interested in people who really want to work!’ I hire a lot of manual laborers, and we tend to get people with ‘colorful’ backgrounds, but many of them just didn’t have the right attitude and didn’t last very long. Second Chance was a step up for us. I got candidates who were pre-qualified, pre-screened and hand selected to fit my needs. And they had already been through their comprehensive Job Readiness Training program, so I knew they really wanted to get the next chapter of their lives started as they recovered from their previous chapter.”
Dale believes strongly in second chances. Growing up in a beach community, he says he saw many examples of people struggling with dependencies, even within his own family.
“Whatever your mistakes have been, I’m not one to judge.”
Dale estimates he has paid over $500,000 in wages to Second Chance graduates over the past three years. One Second Chance graduate Dale hired started out at minimum wage doing bulk wiring; now she’s a Lead Hermetic Inspector making over $40,000 a year.
“I donate every year to Second Chance because the work they do is good for San Diego. My company has benefitted in great ways from Second Chance, so why not support a program that has brought me so many qualified, eager-to-work individuals?”
Since 2015, Dale has hired over 35 Second Chance graduates to work at his shop. Just last week, he came back for more. “If you’re taking ownership of what you’ve done and are ready to restart your life, I’m ready to give you a chance.”
Thank you, Dale.
Second Chance’s mission is to help lead people to self-sufficiency. We define self-sufficiency by the following four outcomes:
1. Financial – Has basic financial literacy and sustainable employment
2. Housing – Has access to safe and stable housing
3. Health – Accesses available healthcare
4. Resiliency – Has life goals and a plan to achieve them
Thanks to you, in the last fiscal year, 840 men and women who had taken a path in life that led to incarceration, addiction or homelessness were given a second chance and were able to regain their self-respect. Some learned the importance of a smile and a proper handshake, how to write a cover letter and resume, and how to interview for a job with confidence and a positive attitude. Some experienced the safety and support available in our sober living homes.
And 260 youth came to Second Chance to get services, including case management, and educational, employment and training opportunities. Some learned how to harvest, market, and sell fresh fruits and vegetables in the Youth Garden Program. Others gained introductory skills in carpentry, plumbing and construction. Most learned the value of mentorship, the power of working as part of a team, and resiliency in an often chaotic world.
The impact we were able to have on these lives was a direct result of the donations we receive every year from folks like you and Dale. There’s no better gift than a second chance.
President & CEO