From Elika’s Desk: 2020 in Review

Dear VISIONaries,

2020 was a challenging year, and left me humbled on several occasions. In March, the uncertainty of the global shutdown was stressful, and initially, we were not sure what it would mean and how it would impact this organization. I wondered how creative we had to be to maintain our fiscal health, how we’d be able to continue serving our clients, how it would impact our staff and their loved ones, and especially as time went on, how much it would impact our hxstorically excluded groups – with the disproportionate impact we saw COVID having on these populations.

The VISIONS team took to heart great advice from our “elders” and took it day by day…we slowed down to reflect. We were able to find creative solutions to the context and developed new ways to support our clients through COVID and beyond. We were living out our own principles, and “tried on” some new ways of being.

I am relieved to share that we have continued to serve our clients uninterrupted this entire year without any reductions in our staff. We immediately adapted to serve our clients remotely, started exploring other virtual programs, such as our webinar series, and published a few articles in order to bring attention to the disproportionate impacts from the awakening this summer.

We built and strengthened our community through crises through launching weekly community calls to stay connected and check in with one another. We took our programs online, increasing access and reaching an even greater audience, as well as reducing travel costs.  We experienced silver linings like developing virtual trainings and webinars, reaching hundreds across the country (and world!), and strengthening our bonds of community.

The heroes of this story are our incredible staff, consultants, board, and volunteers – and of course, our clients who reached out and were ready to do this courageous work. I am honored to work alongside them every day and am inspired by their creativity and willingness to put in extra work for the betterment of our communities throughout this challenging year. Although this year held its challenges, our team did not skip a beat to do what was best to support our clients and to impact our communities.

As we turn the corner into 2021, I am confident we will continue to serve our clients and community organically and effectively. We will keep strengthening our systems, fine tuning our processes, designing new programs intentionally and with creativity, and updating our curriculum. We cannot do this work as securely without your support. I hope that you will consider making a gift to us to ensure we have the necessary funding to continue our vital services into the future.

I hope you and your loved ones had a healthy and joyful holiday season while we forge ahead to learn, listen, heal, and celebrate each other in this new year.

With the greatest gratitude and appreciation,