Love Letters from the CEO: Everyday Work in Extraordinary Times

Last night I received an email, the first of many I imagine, from a woman with children asking for assistance. She’s nervous and trying to navigate unchartered territory like the rest of us. She’s being pro-active, knowing that her financial situation has or will be impacted. She’s reaching out. I don’t pretend to know her story specifically, but it isn’t unlike the hundreds of others we see every month. So why does this feel different? Probably because it is the beginning of what is likely to be a tsunami of requests, and our job is to figure out how to answer.

In this interesting time, where it is springtime outside and the birds are singing the song of a new season that usually signifies renewal and growth, there is an eerie and odd heaviness that seems to be covering everything. You can’t see it, but you can certainly feel it.

As an employer and a business, the wellbeing of our staff is just as critical as the services we provide to others. With so many factors complicating our current situation (children at home due to school and daycare closures, activities being halted, furloughs, and layoffs), the limits of every business, large and small, are being tested.

As a nonprofit, we like many others, are here to serve our community and provide resources and assistance for those in need. We do this every day, not just in times of national crisis. The programs and services provided by nonprofits throughout are often the underlying fabric of this and so many other communities. We are the safety net, the reinforcements, the keepers of the hungry, poor, sick, and burdened.

For 60 years, the Center for Family Resources has served Cobb County through decades of change, growth, hardship and unexpected challenges. We have no plans of changing that now. We are doing everything we can to continue vital services while limiting the risk of exposure for our staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, times of crisis are often magnified for the most vulnerable, and our agency’s own ability to support those in need has been impacted as well.

Despite challenges, unexpected loss of revenue and what is sure to be an increased need, we are committed to this county today, the same as we have been the last 60 years. We are built on the backs of those who came before us. Each one of them a leader, each one of them demonstrating great strength, determination, dedication and heart. The staff and the dedicated board of directors that serve with us today are no different. We will persevere and use this opportunity to step up for this community.

We are so incredibly thankful for the many nonprofit partners that are in the trenches day in and day out. Those providing much needed food and resources to children and seniors, those tending to domestic violence victims, those sheltering folks and providing a safe place; we see you. We thank you. We admire you. Now more than ever our community will need to come together to support each other and those with increased need; but for many of us, this is just an extended version of what we do every single day.

 

-MK

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