Reflecting on 2020: A Message from Our CEO

I do not think we were alone when we eagerly bounced into 2020. We all had high hopes for the new decade, complete with big plans and bold visions. When March came and talks of the novel virus picked up speed, we still held out hope that the disruptions to our lives would be minimal and that things would resolve themselves within a few weeks’ time. Eight months later and nothing feels resolved or normal. As humans, I believe it goes against our basic nature to live with this level of uncertainty. To say this has taken a toll on everyone is an understatement. However, I would be mistaken if I tried to say that we were all impacted in the same way.

Many of us are counting our blessings right now, acknowledging how undeniably fortunate we are. Others are reaching the end of their fortune and finding it increasingly hard to hold on to the hope they once had. And many of our friends and neighbors started this journey far behind the rest, only to find themselves in an overwhelming place of despair. Regardless of where you are, we hope that the holidays bring some light and love to you and yours and if you are able to reach out to those who are struggling behind you, please consider doing so.

Our year has been full of ups, downs and all the in-betweens you can think of. Here’s a snapshot of our 2020 roller coaster ride.

  • Canceled our annual gala TWO days before the event resulting in an almost $200,000 loss for the agency.
  • All events scheduled in the Mansour Conference Center canceled beginning in March resulting in a loss of $35,000 per month.
  • Received grants to provide emergency assistance in April resulting in over 100 families served and almost $200,000 distributed in less than 10 weeks.
  • Added two additional companies to our Employee Financial Assistance program bringing the total to five resulting in more than 200 households provided with emergency financial assistance.
  • Closed on the sale of the Mansour Conference Center building at the end of July, successfully transferring ownership to Cobb County Government as the new home for Cobb Board of Elections.
  • Added two critical team members to provide resource coordination for those seeking assistance through a partnership with Cobb Douglas Public Health.
  • Identified a new space, negotiated a lease, built out the suite and moved the agency all in a four-month window (thank God for good friends and amazing community partners).
  • Continued to assist and place homeless families in stable housing and provide employment assistance to those in need.
  • Managed emergency assistance funds for the City of Powder Springs resulting in over $100,000 being utilized to help city residents with rent, mortgage and utility payments helping them maintain stable housing.
  • Offered emergency assistance for the City of Marietta and Cobb County through government grants made available specifically for those impacted by COVID.
  • Offered virtual life skills classes to clients to keep staff and clients safe and socially distant.
  • Reimagined our annual Thanks for Giving event and successfully fed over 1,000 families for Thanksgiving – read more about it in this month’s newsletter!
  • Going into the holiday season with full and grateful hearts for the tremendous amount of support from our community, board, staff, and clients.

As you can see, we’ve been busy. Our work this year will result in more than $1 million dollars being spent on direct client services; keeping families and individuals housed, providing basic needs like food and utility assistance, covering childcare costs, and providing temporary housing for families in homelessness. Since mid-March, we have received over 1,000 calls a month from individuals and families seeking assistance. We are thankful for the opportunity to help where we can and to collaborate with our partner agencies to try and ensure no one is left out.

As we close 2020 I harbor no delusions that the first quarter of 2021 will be as difficult or worse for many. The Center for Family Resources is committed to our community and to providing as much assistance to our neighbors as we can. Please remember to allow yourself and others grace as we navigate these unexpected and unfamiliar challenges. We must take care of ourselves first and others when we are able.

Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone that while there have been many losses this year there are always gifts to be found hidden in our challenges. Thank you for being one of our gifts and supporting The Center of Family Resources. We couldn’t do this without you.

Gratefully,

-MK

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