MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
Lessons learned through hard times
The pandemic has brought to light some hard truths about our society, and tough lessons about building a compassionate community that benefits everyone.
But good lessons aren’t hard to find here at the Fuller Center! Every day we find inspiration in our fabulous children, our hardworking families, our caring and diligent staff, and our kindhearted supporters. For me, the silver linings are in witnessing the dedication and creativity I see at work here every day as we evolve to continue this mission through hard times.
We learned that there’s a glaring disparity in health care access that runs along demographic lines – mostly affecting the populations we serve.
In response to this, we provided resource information and counseling by our Family Support Team to ensure no child or family slips through the cracks at this time when health care access is so very important.
We learned how damaging long-term isolation can be, and how desperate the need for family and community connections can become.
In response to this, we organized a unique community event – the first Giving Thanks Together virtual family dinner. This event is an opportunity for friends and families to re-discover the healing, strengthening tradition of the family dinner, and join together from the comfort and safety of their own homes and share a meal as we engage in meaningful conversation.
We learned that widespread emergency and crisis worsens food insecurity for those already in need. Children miss out on daily school meals, and struggling families must squeeze their budgets even further on inflated grocery expenses – if they can afford additional meals at all.
In response to this, our team worked with individual families to provide the resources they needed so they wouldn’t go hungry, and worked closely with community organizations and volunteer initiatives to provide for the nutrition of our children and families.
We learned that technology and internet access are absolute necessities for children attending school virtually, as well as to maintain our teachers’ and Family Support Team’s connection with children and families to ensure their well-being. Unfortunately, the population we serve are least likely to own such equipment or have such reliable internet service.
In response to this, we put all our electronic resources to work and created the School Away from School program, connecting 175 children to their individual online classrooms from the Center, and providing the guidance they need to continue their education and social skills development despite the circumstances.
All around the country, we learned how much we truly owe to the essential workers who kept our communities safe and supplied through the shutdowns.
We learned how crucial child care is to them – to the 90% of hardworking parents of Fuller Center children who ARE essential and front-line workers – who were there for us when we needed it most.
We confirmed what we already knew – how essential the Fuller Center services are to this community – especially during crisis, and especially as we recover economically.
Click below to hear from CEO Ellyn Okrent, Board member Peg Anderson, and Fuller Center parents on what the Fuller Center means to them today.
This is why we do this work!
The Fuller Center is committed to its mission in good times and in bad. We will continue to embrace our children and families to ensure that their opportunity to build happy, healthy, and successful futures is not lost.
Please never forget that YOU are a vital part of this important work. None of this happens without the kind hearts of caring and responsible individuals like yourself! When these children grow up to break the cycle of poverty despite everything that stood to hold them back, they’ll have you to thank for believing and investing in them. Thank you.
To see what else is happening at the Fuller Center,
click here for the full October e-Newsletter.