Behind the scenes at CSS is a beehive of activity that keeps a dynamic and challenging organization running as smoothly as can be expected. One of the energetic worker bees in the hive is Pujita Mayeda, whose official title is donor relations specialist.

Pujita manages and reaches out in many ways for CSS. If you see the white CSS van heading to the coast one day with a dozen CSS campers on board for an outing, that would likely be Pujita at the wheel. If you’re reading this newsletter online, Pujita is the IT support person who keeps the computers and programs happy. If you’ve attended a tour of a CSS camp, it’s likely that Pujita showed you around.

Throughout all these activities Pujita brings a bright smile and positive energy to the people she serves.

“Pujita is smart, responsible, hardworking, and committed,” says Kristin Fay de Buhr, co-founder of CSS. “She is also thoughtful and caring and is a very versatile member of our team. She knows how to make everyone feel included, valued, and appreciated, which is critical with an organization like ours that is built on volunteers and donors.”

CSS has expanded and broadened its mission in the 5 years that Pujita has been on staff. The donor base has grown to over 1700 people and businesses, and Pujita is responsible for managing that database and all related donor activity which includes being a part of the development team.

She works with the CSS newsletter team and with other staff and volunteers to prepare and mail the annual appeal letter and digital marketing campaigns. She helps organize the annual benefit dinner, and she makes sure food is available for meetings and camper work parties.

Pujita first learned about CSS in a phone call from a close friend and volunteer, Bhavia Wagner who asked her to come back to Eugene from overseas to work with CSS. After she was hired, Pujita quickly realized her background and skill set were a good match for a non-profit organization whose mission is to create stable and secure shelter for those in need.

She has been a world traveler and volunteer nearly all of her adult life, primarily to places that need social uplift or environmental protection. She provided care for elderly and infirm people at a facility in Varanasi, India, run by the Mother Theresa Order. She has been to Cambodia as part of Friendship with Cambodia, volunteering at orphanages and monitoring humanitarian projects and she wrote a “responsible travel” guide book for travelers to that country. She volunteered at a birthing center in Indonesia and soup kitchens and schools in African shantytowns and worked for a conservation group that protects black rhinos in South Africa.

She is an outdoor enthusiast and has backpacked extensively on the Pacific Crest Trail and the Himalayas in Nepal. She has also worked as a whitewater river guide on thousands of river miles all over the world.

“I consider myself a steward for the planet,” Pujita says. “CSS is a natural fit for me and I feel honored to be a part of the amazing work we do here at Community Supported Shelters.”