By: Paul Mina, President & CEO of United Way of Tri-County
A year ago, we never could have predicted the ups and downs 2020 would bring. Of course, there’s the phrase we’re all sick of hearing, so I’ll say this year was unparalleled, bizarre, and just plain extraordinary instead. It’s a year that has us wishing we were all back in the old normal when air-fives were still high-fives.
This year we saw firsthand what a global pandemic could do to our communities where thousands of families were already living paycheck to paycheck. We saw how layoffs, furloughs, and closures impacted our neighbors and our small business community. We saw a lot of things that were hard and different.
But we also saw a lot of things that were good. We saw our people band together to hold food drives to keep our food pantries stocked. We expanded our community meal programs. We saw package after package – and even truckload after truckload – arrive with holiday gifts for children. We trained even more call takers to respond to emotional support calls. People who suddenly had more time on their hands started to volunteer.
We saw an outpouring of support that has enabled us to keep working to fill in the gaps that many families never anticipated. We saw grit and resilience. Now we see a glimmer of hope as a new year dawns.
Because of an outpouring of support, I look forward to the new year with hope. Hope that as a community we will continue to share our time, our talent, and our treasure to lift one another up. Hope that we’ll continue to come together to stand up for each other, even when times are tough. Hope that 2021 will bring better days.
On behalf of our team at the United Way of Tri-County, I thank you for your generous support and wish you and yours a Happy New Year!