2017 Officer's Letter
The year 2017 will long be remembered as one of unexpected transition and change. We all know that after any new administration enters the Oval Office, legislation experiences a period of flux that can often impact programs such as ours. Before and after the November 2016 election, we continued to work with major coalitions such as Leadership 18 and Independent Sector, who share our priorities for helping America’s most vulnerable. We also took to Capitol Hill to have our voices heard, and continue to make advocacy a high priority as we seek to creatively find new ways to influence legislation that affects our clients' wellbeing.
During this past year, Volunteers of America weathered (literally) some major storms—Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria hit our Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico affiliates. We managed to pull things together faster in Texas and Florida through community collaboration and strong leadership, restoring full programming, sometimes within days and, in other cases, weeks. But Puerto Rico’s devastation required us to step up and do more. Our Project Esperanza mission was launched to get immediate help to our staff and clients. The organization mobilized its efforts across the county to bring support to our Puerto Rican family. There is still a lot to do, and we are doing it.
This past year was also the year for new approaches to traditional events as we held our signature golf tournament, the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, in conjunction with our national conference. In true Texan style, we “did it up big” by honoring former First Lady Laura Bush with our highest and most prestigious award, the Maud and Ballington Booth Award. We also acknowledged our wonderful partners, The Home Depot Foundation, CBS EcoMedia, HSBC, Niagara, and the LPGA. These partnerships continue to flourish through their increased involvement in our work mission. Volunteers of America is blessed and grateful to call these spirited philanthropic professionals our friends and advocates.
Volunteers of America recognizes the fine lines that often separate us as a people, but together with you, we are erasing those lines. We are growing our diverse family that welcomes and includes all people, meeting them where they are. Our mission for serving others has now entered its 122nd year, and 2018 is already shaping up to be another year of challenges. But with your continued support, we are up for the task! Bring it on!
Thank you for your continued support and God bless you,