During the inauguration of our new President, Joseph Biden, I was reminded of a song released over 40 years ago called “Everything Must Change” by George Benson. As he sings of life’s hopes and aspirations, the lyrics are more applicable now than ever.
The young becomes the old,
mysteries do unfold,
‘Cause that’s the way of time
Nothing and no one goes unchanged.
I venture to say that 2020 will be either the most memorable or most forgettable year in the recent history of this country. All Americans, as well as the world, faced many challenges brought on by an invisible enemy named COVID-19 as well as the political upheaval that rocked us to our core. This pandemic has impacted millions of American citizens including our Club members and their families who have seen, first hand, the devastation this virus has caused. Financial security, accessibility to quality healthcare, housing, and connectivity to virtual learning are just a few of the things that have thrown our youth into a tailspin.
I am so proud of our incredible staff that came together with a commitment to our members to be there for them. BGCD’s impact was felt by hundreds of families who received food during the year, access to our virtual learning centers, and remote mentorship from the support of Junior League of Dallas and other volunteer groups.
You see, we committed to making the necessary changes in operations because we knew we had to evolve. Our corporate partners and foundations changed by removing restricted funding to allow us to restructure our programs using upgraded technology to deliver continued impactful programming in Covid-19 safe zones. Our investors changed their targeted historical funding to allow us to invest in an abundance supply of personal protection equipment (PPE). Our Board of Directors stepped up to help navigate our organization through unchartered waters and allowed us the flexibility to adapt to an environment of uncertainty. At year-end, we realized how fortunate we are as an organization that successfully managed its resources in an effort to go into 2021 with a bold and committed plan to rebuild our average daily attendance by expanding into more school-based sites.
To date, we have 35 Club sites and expect the demand for our services will continue to grow as families go back into the workforce and will need the benefits of our afterschool and summer programs. That said, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our supporters and we are hopeful you will continue to back our efforts to develop our youth to become productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Your help is needed now more than ever.
George Benson reminds us: “Winter turns to spring, wounded hearts will heal”. In spite of what’s going on in the world, it is more important for our young members to know there is an army on the frontline that is consistently changing the course of history. A change is coming and I pray all youth, especially those of color, will have an equal opportunity to be part of making positive, productive changes. Let us as adults “have a will to want to change”.
Have a Happier and Productive New Year!