My name is JoLene Danielson, I graduated from Walla Walla University in 2018 with a BBA in accounting and I currently work for a nonprofit for low-income housing in Portland. A few of my hobbies include Krav Maga, horseback riding, Yoga, Zumba, hiking, traveling and watercolor painting. I recently purchased a 16 ft long Airstream called Bambi that I plan to live and adventure in hopefully soon!
My passion is to help homeless people. I found out in my junior year of college that my childhood best friend who was like a sister to me and was my next-door neighbor growing up was homeless for a period of time. I was heartbroken to find out that she was homeless and living on the streets. When I went to Walmart the following week, I noticed a homeless man standing with a street sign. It was a hot day in Walla Walla, so I made sure to buy a Gatorade and some peanuts as a snack. I went over to the street corner, introduced myself with a handshake and talked with the man about life. When I offered him the snacks, he told me he can’t take them because he’s diabetic so he can’t have sugar and he doesn’t have teeth so he can’t eat the peanuts, but me spending time and talking with him made his day so much brighter. I’m passionate about helping homeless people because for me they’re not strangers, they are brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents and best friends. The people on street corners people treat as invisible are family.
I started a project where I paint with homeless people on street corners (my website is paintdropsart.com). My dream is to start a nonprofit, where I put their artwork on products to help them earn a source of income to get out of homelessness. Art is a form of therapy and offers a creative outlet for people to better their mental health. With my experience from working as an arts and crafts instructor at Camp MiVoden, my business knowledge as an accountant at a nonprofit for low-income housing Bridge, combined with my connections volunteering at a homeless shelter Transitions Projects I’m hoping to start working on my business full time in the next few years.