Dear AFF Family,
How does one even begin to describe the year 2020? Early in the year we completed a successful 2019 audit finally showing Affirmations back in the black and growing again. The Spring Bash Black Tie ticket sales were off to a great start and grants and individual giving were all steadily increasing.
The day we decided to temporarily close Affirmation’s doors due to the virus was one of the most challenging days of my career. We had expanded hours, secured a new computer cyber center, and developed new programming like our Fabulous Fourth Fridays in Ferndale art and concert series. The community was responding and visiting the Center more and more with each passing day.
We then faced a worldwide pandemic with no end in sight. It would have been easy for the team to throw in the towel and become paralyzed. Instead, we quickly pivoted to providing all of our recovery, discussion, and social groups online and have seen increased participation in the past months. We doubled the number of graduate-level interns in our counseling program to meet the emerging needs of our community in these historically challenging times. We moved our youth programming to the Discord platform and soon began to see greater participation coming from many rural areas of the state. Our transgender support groups have also seen an increase in attendance by trans individuals from all around the country!
We developed the “Lettuce Help You” food program which distributes food and toiletries to our community and groceries directly to the doors of many of our seniors. To date, we have provided more than 3,500 meals to our community.
We launched an across the state bike ride to raise money and took advantage of government COVID relief funding. We concentrated on increasing grant revenue and asked individuals that could give more to increase their giving to Affirmations.
Still, the reality is we lost our signature black-tie Bash and significant revenue. Again, the team rolled up our sleeves and launched a successful 9-hour telethon event to recoup partial event revenue. With the loss of event income, rental income, sponsorship dollars, and other COVID-related revenue challenges, I want you to know that finances remain stable at Affirmations and we will end the year in the black. Considering the historic challenges faced by all LGBTQ+ community centers this year – this alone is an incredible accomplishment. That said, we are not done. We will continue to develop needed programs and create creative ways to reach and serve our community.
Together, with your help, we are making one last end of year push to raise an additional $20 thousand dollars to help us further stabilize and secure the future of Affirmations. We have secured a $10 thousand dollar matching gift – so every dollar you give to our End of Year Campaign will be matched up to 10k!
Will you help us finish the year strong? Making an end of 2020 gift or a monthly recurring contribution will ensure that we can continue to meet the ever-emerging needs of our beloved LGBTQ+ community. Click here to make your end of 2020 gift or monthly recurring contribution.
Thank you very much for your continued support of Affirmations. We cannot continue to do this work without you.
Please have a safe and joyful holiday season!
P.S. I will be hosting an Affirmations 2020 Year in Review Town Hall via Zoom on December 3rd at 7 pm ET.
There will be a Q and A session for the community and for those unable to attend, the program will be recorded and distributed to all of our donors, volunteers, and partners. Please feel free to tune in and learn more about the progress and challenges facing your community center.
For access, please use the following link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89627942076 or type the following Meeting ID into your Zoom App: 896 2794 2076