FROM THE DESK OF MURRAY
2020. The year we wish wasn’t. We all suffered in some way. Whether it was with our own illness, a friends’ illness or sadly enough, the death of someone close to us, we all felt the pressure and anxiety of 2020. With a vaccine within our reach, let’s hope we can put all of it in the rearview mirror and move on!
Last March we were knee deep in planning for The Longest Table, our first in a series of Garage Sales and the Golf Tournament was about to launch into full sign-up mode! It all came to a temporary halt. As we were all on a Stay-at-Home Order, we worked together as a team to create a new normal for Help Give Hope. We thought outside the box and we created solutions and a plan to help the most vulnerable in our community.
Bill Miller and his staff worked quickly to help us secure a PPP loan that allowed us to continue to work without disruption. In May, with the help of a grant from The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, we were able to establish a rental relief program to help prevent eviction for many families. Michael Brady joined our staff and quickly began to research funding to continue to provide assistance to so many families in crisis. Through the Cares Act and Greene County, he secured a grant to provide much needed utility assistance for many more of those in need.
As odd as this sounds, Covid helped us out. Because of Covid, we were able to reevaluate and change things for the better interest of the organization. We moved the Golf Tournament to September—apparently ideal golf weather. The Longest Table went semi-virtual. Our guests enjoyed their meal at the restaurant of choice in smaller groups. This was not what we envisioned at all, but it was a solution to our problem. (Let’s hope 2021 will get this event back to normal.). We moved the Christmas sign up to the warehouse, allowing us to be more efficient and streamline several points of operation. When everything shutdown globally, so did production of toys, bicycles and many other imported items. Concerned that we would fall into the shortage, we began purchasing bicycles in July. Because of the uncertainty of toys, we scheduled our shopping at Walmart three weeks earlier than normal. This allowed us extra time to get the things we needed without the pressure of time restraints. All of these changes have resulted in positive outcomes for Help Give Hope that we will implement in 2021.
As Fall rolled around, we were concerned about donations and the ability to fully carryout the Christmas Adoption program as we were used to and as we envisioned. As donors, you stepped to the plate! Your generosity helped us serve 183 families, 580 children and 762 individuals. We donated 343 bicycles, 82 bed and so much more! Very fortunate and grateful families indeed!
I am sometimes asked if I still like my job. Without question or pause I answer yes! I work with best team. Brad, Sandy and Michael are without a doubt three of the biggest gifts we have. Our volunteers are above excellent and a phone call away from whatever need is at hand. We never work too hard at recruiting volunteers, but we do encourage and welcome new volunteers. Give us a try…you will be hooked! I promise. Very few organizations can say that.
We are looking forward to another exciting year and with your help we will continue to serve so many families. A hand up, not a hand out. We are actively collecting for the garage sales and hope our world will be back to some sort of normal in the near future. Until then, stay safe and healthy and THANK YOU for all you do for Help Give Hope!