First, let me say thank you for the warm welcome and wishes that I have received from so many of you. Amy Foster left some big shoes to fill but I am thrilled to be picking up where she left off and joining such an amazing group of individuals supporting children and teens in dependency.
To say 2020 was an unprecedented year is a bit of an understatement. Our children and families have had to be stronger than ever, adapting not only to virtual school but also virtual visits with their families, case managers, GALS, and friends. We, as a Foundation, also had to adapt. We saw an 86% increase in funding for basic, medical, and emergency needs to support children and teens and shifted to an almost entirely virtual holiday gift drive to ensure more than 1200 kids didn’t miss out on the joy of opening gifts this year.
And you made it happen.
Because of your dollars, your volunteer hours, your donations of gifts/diapers/shoes…our children continue to grow, thrive and heal. We step into 2021 hopeful for what the year holds and excited to look toward the future. We will be opening back up the needs closet in the next couple months and will begin planning our annual back pack distribution and our Superhero 5k with the hopes of safely seeing everyone face to face soon.
Our full 2020 impact report will be out in February as will more information on our plans for virtual support programs & events for our children and teens, caregivers, and Guardians ad Litem.
For now, I simply want to say thank you. Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do help change children's stories and meet the needs of thousands of children here in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We could not do this without you.