Dear Friends,

Up until a few weeks ago, we had been hard at work putting together another show-stopping A Taste of Talent event, brimming with culinary delights. And although we’ve “Tasted” through blizzards, recessions, and more, our first priority is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all of the event participants, our staff, and the community.

 

So we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s A Taste of Talent event.

We know you love A Taste of Talent as much as we do. It’s an amazing night of friends, food, and generosity. We always say, and truly believe, there is no place like our corner of this state. Nights like A Taste of Talent are when we prove it:  We come together as a community to lift up every one of our neighbors who needs help. I have confidence that no matter what this virus may bring, our community will remain united, strong, and committed to one another.


We are keenly aware of the challenges and sacrifices we all must make to get our community through this health crisis. Our own organization is currently undergoing changes to instate remote services and adjust staffing so we can keep our doors open for those who need us while also minimizing social contact. The amazing restaurants who participate in A Taste of Talent each year will have to shut down or drastically reduce the number of people they serve. And so many local businesses – salons, bookstores, cafes, retailers, etc. – will see a dramatic loss of business. 

 

Project Self-Sufficiency’s clients are particularly vulnerable to this crisis. 


With schools closed, parents who are working face the prospect of losing income or even employment. 


Those who are currently seeking jobs will be hard-pressed to find one with so many businesses temporarily closing or reducing hours and staffing. 


Families who depend on school meals will have a harder time getting the nutrition they need. 


There are so many ways in which this health crisis, which will affect each and every one of us, but it will hit these already vulnerable populations even harder.


At a time like this, it feels uncomfortable to talk about fundraising. But the reality is that during and after this crisis our participants will need our help more than ever. A year without A Taste of Talent is frankly disastrous for the services we provide to all the families in our community.

With this in mind, and with hope and humility in our hearts, we are asking you to consider supporting the fundraising mission of A Taste of Talent 2020 despite the cancellation of the event.


The funds donated to A Taste of Talent in previous years changed lives. It went directly into providing essential services for your neighbors: Home visits from a nurse for vulnerable women in their first pregnancies; classroom education, tutoring, and community service to help high school dropouts earn their diplomas and prepare for productive next steps; a food pantry and diaper donations to meet the basic needs of struggling families; job training and life skills education to enable unemployed and under-employed adults to obtain and maintain living wage employment. With or without the A Taste of Talent event, your support is needed just as much now as it was then. We humbly ask you to make a gift this year to help us help your neighbors weather this storm.
 
This storm will pass. It is not a question of if, but when. Please know Project Self-Sufficiency will continue working to keep our community healthy and strong no matter what. That includes keeping our Central Intake line up and running to receive calls for assistance, making food and diapers available and delivered to those who need them, reaching out to our senior citizens, and offering counseling and in-home support to clients via video-conferencing. We hope we can count on your support to do that. 
 
The funds A Taste of Talent raises are critically needed and will support services that embrace, empower, educate and employ your neighbors to build a stronger, healthier community for us all. With this virus so deeply impacting everyone in our community, Project Self-Sufficiency finds renewed purpose and dedication to this mission to aid in the recovery. 
 
We very gratefully and humbly thank you for all you do to support your neighbors in need, not just during times of crisis but in the day-to-day challenges and quiet moments where hope takes root and transformation begins.  

 

With Gratitude,

Deborah Berry-Toon,

Executive Director

A Message from the Executive Director