While the turn of the seasons and the approach of the holidays usually brings an element of excitement to the air at Project Self-Sufficiency, this year we find ourselves facing an onslaught of overwhelming need coupled with the complexities of addressing those needs in accordance with public health guidelines. Thanks to the unflagging support of our Board of Directors and myriad community donors, Project Self-Sufficiency never closed its doors during the pandemic. We are proud of our dedicated staff whose commitment to our clients is unbounded. We are humbled by the support we have received from the community which allows us to continue to serve our most vulnerable neighbors during this challenging time.
Having shored up our programming with virtual activities and services during the spring and summer, we are now focusing our attention on safely delivering those services to our clients as we move towards more in-person events. How we do this will be carefully managed in order to safeguard the health of our staff and those we serve.
The community has always played a crucial role in Project Self-Sufficiency’s ability to embrace, empower, and educate our participants while supporting them as they move towards sustainable, meaningful employment. We need that community support now more than ever.
There are so many ways in which the community can help us.
Monetary donations and contributions of non-perishable food are needed to support The Food Project, Nourishing our Neighbors. Our food pantry has served more than 5,000 individuals since the pandemic began. The need for food assistance among the families we serve is never ending.
Funds are also needed in support of our twin holiday initiatives – Thanksgiving and the Season of Hope Toy Drive. More than 500 families will receive complete Thanksgiving meals, including frozen turkeys and all the ingredients needed for a festive meal during November. We expect to provide new, unwrapped toys to more than 3,000 children and teens in November and December as part of the Season of Hope Toy Shop.
The irony of the Covid-19 pandemic is that while social distancing required us to stay apart, it also vividly demonstrated how much we need each other. Our community came together to navigate the health crisis, summoning overwhelming generosity and compassion to meet a shared challenge. We are so proud to be a member of a community that cares so much about each other and we are looking forward to a day when we can come together once again.
Deborah Berry-Toon, MSW