Meet Karen Cox!

Our Executive Assistant Karen (pictured second from the right) is celebrating four years here at StreetWise! Keep reading to discover more about her, and be send her a note to congratulate her on her work-iversary. 


How did you first hear about StreetWise? 

I saw StreetWise advertised on the 12Stone Job Posting site. The posting was everything I was already doing at my job at the time, but one thing caught my attention – it said “You must believe in Jesus Christ”.  I immediately said, “that’s me!” I had other job offers, but I really wanted to work at StreetWise.

What is your role at StreetWise? Tell us what your day looks like. 

I currently serve as executive assistant to Tracy Joseph [StreetWise’s executive director] and also help with communications.

I manage our client management system, help train volunteers and team leaders for special events and our Mobile Food Pantry, manage email communications, help our volunteer coordinator ensure that stations have enough volunteers to serve our clients, and assist Tracy with meetings, grants, fundraising, canned food drives, reports, and gathering data.

My day is always full of fun, smiles, laughter and love! I see my position as the first point of contact: I set the stage of communication with a potential donor, partner or volunteer, and Tracy takes it from there. But at StreetWise you wear many hats, and that includes sometimes sweeping the floors! 

Why are you grateful to be a part of this ministry? 

Because I’m doing something bigger than myself. I get to help others every day, even when they don’t know it is me behind the scenes answering the phones or emails for help or prayer requests.  That’s a great feeling. 

I’m also very grateful that I get to talk about God. It’s tough to speak of God in corporate business, much less signing off with “have a blessed day” on emails – but I get to do it here! It means a lot to me to share the word of God and spread the joy that StreetWise is blessing upon others. 

What do you want others to know about StreetWise? 

We’re the helping hands to families in need, and we strive to inspire our clients to become self-sufficient. And while we do this by providing them with food, clothing, personal hygiene items, and guidance from our client advisors, StreetWise also spiritually uplifts people. We treat every person that walks through our doors with dignity and respect and give them a big smile – a smile goes a long way.  

When someone is having a tough time, is stressed, and doesn’t know what to do – and by God’s grace they come to StreetWise – when we greet them, we say, “We’re blessed to have you here today”. We get to further the work and purpose of Jesus Christ. 

What difference have you seen StreetWise make? 

Over the past four years, I’ve seen StreetWise grow – not only with the increase of volunteers and clients but also with partners and donors. We have people calling to ask how they can be a part of the great things we’re accomplishing. 

With COVID-19,  like so many other organizations, StreetWise faced many challenges. Not only did we meet those challenges, but we also rose above them. StreetWise has become a leader in our field; many other organizations are taking notice and want to be a part of our mission and/or learn from us.

What’s your dream for StreetWise? 

To help others learn from the things we’ve been able to accomplish, to serve even more families in need of our services, and to make StreetWise a household name as a place of hope, recognized by families in need. 

Also, I dream of seeing more involvement in our community; to reach more people who want to give their time and volunteer at a place that feels like family, because we really do think of our volunteers and staff as family.

Tell me about you – family, pets, hobbies, etc. – and what you like to do outside of work! Are you involved in any other organizations?

My husband and I have four young adult children and they are an important part of our lives. We love to vacation together and find new beaches to explore every year. (We also enjoy volunteering at StreetWise as a family!) 

My husband and I enjoy growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs. I also love to cook: there’s just something about a home-cooked meal, and smelling – and tasting – the fruits of your labor makes it so gratifying and special. 

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you? 

I’m passionate about writing and wrote for my high school newspaper about books that I read. Now, I mostly write about my own life experiences. I share my writing with my family and friends, but I have submitted some of my poems and short stories to Guideposts, Reader’s Digest, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, hoping to inspire others.


We’re so grateful for all you do, Karen; thank you for being a part of the StreetWise family!