By Josh Nadzam
Development Specialist

Throughout my day at GreenHouse17, I try to take a few breaks to relax and rejuvenate myself before diving back in to the demands of the day. I take these short hiatuses in our breakroom, a wonderful and low-cost breakroom that even the most employee-first company on the Fortune 500 list can’t compete with:


Our domestic violence shelter sits on 40-acres of land in a tranquil side of town far removed from the city chaos. We utilize this property and the natural healing powers of nature to protect and nurture survivors of intimate partner abuse as we help them along the road to safety and self-sufficiency. And it is on this property that I am fully removed and everything is turned down.

Way down. Like, off.

When I take these breaks, it is then I realize how loud our lives have become. Advertisements. Social media. Phones. Emails. Cars. Texts. Even as I type these words I feel myself tensing up. Everywhere we go, someone is trying to sell us something or compete for our attention.

It is for these reasons that we have our shelter in the countryside. What better way for survivors to heal from the trauma of abuse than surrounded by nature? When planning this healing approach I don’t think we anticipated the simultaneous rejuvenating impact it would have on the employees.

On these breaks, as I sit in silence, I am reminded about the austere beauty of our work. To my right a mother and son work happily in the garden, gently harvesting deep-green arugula. To my left, gorgeous flowers rise triumphantly out of the ground, grown with meticulous care by the residents at our shelter.

Out here, survivors and helpers are united by the uncomplicated, gentle nature of…nature.

And after each break, I take one last final deep breath and walk back in, rejuvenated and full of passion, inspired to continue doing what I love to do and ever so thankful for our breakroom.

In addition to his development role at our agency, Josh does most of the tweeting for our organization. Hope you’ll follow us on Twitter so we can tweet at each other. (He puts together some neat Vine videos from the farm, too.)