It's that time of year where we look back on plans we made at this same time last year, take note of what we've learned, make predictions about what might be ahead and strategically plan to make the next year even better.
As with so many of you, that annual tradition has taken on new meaning for me. The circumstances of 2020 require even more thoughtful reflection and heartfelt consideration for what's head. Here are a few things on my mind.
- Sometimes we need to push ourselves to make changes to ways we've always done things and change is so easy to resist. This year, we didn't have a choice. And while it wasn't easy, care for the community made it necessary. There isn't a single MOM service that didn't change in 2020 -- outdoor food distributions to people in need of nutritious food, shifts in food procurement, virtual conversations between community members and case managers when a crisis made housing stability rocky, and seasonal programs that operated in completely new ways to name just a few. While many volunteers stayed safely at home, we found ways to streamline and reduce contact, opposite of our instincts.
As we move into 2021, we are reflecting on what pieces of these changes made our work stronger and even more impactful and what pieces we'll quickly reincorporate once we know it's safe.
- The response of the community to local, national and even global conversations about food insecurity and housing instability has been humbling and truly extraordinary. While these issues have always existed, more and more people have reached to say "tell me more, and how can I help?". Volunteers who felt they could safely volunteer stepped forward. Your deep motivation to have strong bonds of care has continued to shine all year long.
- We don't know what is ahead. Our plans have to be nimble and our willingness to explore new ideas and respond to new challenges must be robust. It's your support of that work that makes these conversations and actions possible. We can plan because we know you are here with us.
This past week, a local company gave us a donation, directed to MOM because their current employee used MOM's services nearly 20 years ago and is always sharing with people how much it changed her life. She was there for the presentation, stating "The work that you're doing with people today is going to carry through for decades longer... It keeps on giving."
You are the ones that keep on giving - of your time, your care, and your resources. Care stays with someone forever. So while our daily world continues to shift at a pace no one could have imagined, let's keep care as the constant, weaving in and out of each day.
On behalf of our entire staff, we say a heartfelt thank you, and a hearty welcome to 2021!
-Ellen Carlson, Executive Director
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