What to say about the last 365 days? As I write to you, we are just past the one year mark since Covid-19 changed our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine. Like all of you, we faced a bewildering array of facts and fears, and new – and challenging – ways of being. But through all that, we remained a resource and safe haven for our families and our community. At no point in the last year did we close our doors completely. We delivered meals to homebound seniors, distributed boxes of food through our emergency food bank daily, and handed out to-go meals every week-day evening.
We also found ways to connect with our kids virtually during the spring, but we were thrilled to welcome them back to our building in June of 2020. Children and staff returned with a list of extra safety precautions and programming restrictions to ensure everyone’s health, and we took those in stride. Our youngest kids are playing and learning together, while our older kids are coming to us for virtual school. They bring us joy every day.
Our staff stepped into the role of front-line workers without hesitation. They’ve been trusted mentors to young people learning virtually and had dif cult, often heartbreaking conversations with them as they try to make sense of a world lled with unknown and unanswerable questions.
Mid-March also brings the one year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death - a tragedy that launched our community into the national reckoning surrounding racism and racial justice. We examined our own implicit biases, and staff of different ages, races and backgrounds talked openly with one another about our experiences. It was uncomfortable at times, but it made us stronger, braver and kinder. If given the opportunity, I encourage you to do the same.
This year has taught us that our capacity to love others -- often in the face of our own personal challenges -- is much greater than we could have imagined. Our community’s resilience is incredible, and the adaptability and grace our community has shown in a time of tremendous uncertainty and stress is a source of wonder and inspiration.
There is still much to be done to help our friends and neighbors recover from the economic and emotional ramifications of the last year, and we intend to be there every step of the way.
We are, as always, deeply grateful for your support. Thank you for believing in us, and for believing in our kids and families. We hope you will take a few minutes to review our annual report, found here. This document includes some highlights from 2020, none of which would have been possible without you.