As I reflect on 2020, I am astonished at what we, as a population, were called on to do. There were many dark moments as we faced a worldwide pandemic, racial tensions, and social unrest. Many times the path forward was hard to see. Individually and collectively, our responses were a mixed bag showing our resiliency yet highlighting how much work will still have to do. With the New Year on the horizon, I am ever more grateful for what we accomplish together at 18 Degrees. Centering our mission on a new day’s dawning light allows us to continue to find a path forward from the darkest moments and reach a new beginning filled with hope and light.
Rooted in our mission and with the support of our staff, board members, donors, partners, and committees, we continue to deliver services to those under-resourced and overstressed while keeping our team employed. As an organization, we showed our agility as we adapted to remote work and new technology while adjusting our services to meet our community’s needs. Like with the world issues of 2020, we managed so much and still have a lot to do.
As I look ahead to what 2021 might have in store for us, I think about the political landscape, healthcare issues, and hope for social justice improvements. Admittedly, I have a little angst when I think about the grand scheme of what lies ahead. But with every victory we achieve as an agency, each child placed with or returned to a permanent home, every family we help find solid footing in our community, and all the stories in between, I am reminded that positive change starts with small steps. From my seat as Interim Executive Director for 18 Degrees, I could not be prouder of the work we have done to meet people where they are and walk with them to a better tomorrow. I am thankful that we remain a great place to work, fiscally sound, and ready to continue to meet the needs of the children and families, youth, and individuals who seek our support and services. I can enter into the year 2021 just like our names suggests, ready for new beginnings.