Like many of you, this year brought our chapter opportunities to pivot and adapt in ways we never thought possible. Although we have always been sticklers about health and safety, learning to protect our members, staff, board and the entire community has been our highest priority. It has been really challenging, but we are so grateful that we have been able to continue to fulfill our mission with 100s of Zoom meetings, social activities, phone calls and emails. We are exceptionally proud of our COVID page on our website. It was developed with you in mind. We know you have so much more to think about and keep track of these days. As we work to keep you informed through our Weekly Updates, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and whatever else we can think of, we wanted you to have a place to go when you needed answers quickly.
Many of our staff and board members have sons and daughters or other family members with various disabilities. We know first-hand how hard this year has been. Hopefully you have taken a moment to join our Friday night Trivia games, or get ideas on crafts through Pinterest, or join one of our virtual parent support groups. Many of you who are self-advocates have enjoyed the concerts, played hangman, played trivia with people all over our country and the world or spent some time singing along and learning some music theory. Even though we can’t be together in person, we are not alone.
Throughout this challenging time, our primary funder, arcThrift has championed so many initiatives that it is impossible to share them all in this missive. If you were able to donate food, please know that food got to people in need. If you were able to donate clothing, please know that many people who needed a warm pair of socks or some sweatpants got those through arcThrift. It is our sincere hope that those of you who need food, rental assistance, clothing or utility assistance have been able to find help through our community partners. Our web page has resources, and we hope you find them valuable.
Given the information we have today, we think the first half of next year will look a lot like this past year. Please know that our team is planning some incredible events for when we can all be together again for the second half of the year. We can’t wait to see you all again!