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Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

Deb Engstrom: Have you ever worked or volunteered at a non-profit on a daily basis? I've worked with Linda for a very long time who could immediately tell me which recipients needed what no matter what I donated. Couldn't get that from Ballard Center no matter when I called. I gave them up and worked only with Linda at Penn House and advocates at Willow and at Community Shelter and at Churches. Ballard people gave me the run around or never returned calls. It's always about the recipients and the staff should be on top of having knowledge of those immediate needs. Ballard appeared to be very unorganized and out of touch with their recipients.

January 7, 2013 at 10:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

Smitty - there's lots that you don't know about how inefficiently the Ballard Center has been running including their day cares. Penn house wasn't the problem. Lots that the JW and JQ Public is not aware of but go back and read JW when UW announced that Ballard received the largest cut in funding because they weren't meeting the goals: heath, education and self sufficiency. Ballard has been running inefficiently for quite awhile.

January 7, 2013 at 9:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

Thank you Journal-World for bringing this to the public's attention because Ballard certainly wouldn't have! She's the one more deserving of a front page send-off with dignity and respect for 40 years of helping the needy - she certainly didn't get to retire with many benefits from her dedication to a non-profit. She obviously didn't focus on her paycheck because even when they cut her hours to part-time she continued to give full-time. She went above and beyond what was required. So sad that Ballard just lost sight of their humanity when having to let a valued employee go.

January 7, 2013 at 7:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Longtime employee Linda Lassen 1 of 2 laid off at Penn House on Friday

Depending on your donations one could consider the Willow Domestic Violence Center, churches involved in Family Promise and Soup Kitchens, Nursing Homes, New Community Shelter, the Boys and Girls Club, various day cares, Independence Inc., Senior Citizen group on Vermont near library - and sometimes just your neighbors. Plenty of clothing drop off containers (Hyvee comes to mind). Lots of needy and appreciative citizens in Lawrence that do not go to Ballard. Ask around and you'll be surprised at how many people are served that are much larger than at Ballard. Even some schools accept donations since they personally know individuals in need. Hope this helps - Ballard is not the only place in town.

January 7, 2013 at 7:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )