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Message from our Executive Director – Fall 2020

Grateful.

As 2020 winds down and we enter the Holiday season, the word that keeps coming to mind is grateful. Yes, Thanksgiving usually brings that to mind so I’m not being original, and yet it is more than that. While we could focus on what a difficult year it has been and how we would normally be gathering with friends and family for the holiday, I am also feeling a sense of relief and gratitude.

When I look back to the earlier part of this year, I recall the panic and despair I felt as the world as we knew it started to crumble. Working remotely, client families and staff exposed to COVID, clients losing their jobs, and fundraising events that just weren’t making the money we needed to pay our staff and continue operations. This was only 6 months ago, which somehow seems like a decade. Since then, I have seen amazing things that truly inspire my gratitude.

I have seen a staff pull together and figure out how to continue to provide compassionate and purposeful service to local families in need. I have seen individual donors and foundations and companies increase their giving to cover the gaps in our normal fundraising. I have seen our Board members experience their own hardships as their businesses struggled, and yet they stayed committed to supporting Attain. I have watched our client families, who were the hardest hit in this pandemic, find new jobs, educate their children at home, and re-pay past rent that they owed even when their housing was not at risk. As this year closes out and we again have to endure another shut-down and an increase in COVID cases, I stay focused on how far we have come and know that soon we will come out of this. And I am grateful.

As you will read in this newsletter, we have had some incredible successes in the last 6 months. Our donors really stepped up for our Week of Giving and helped us reach our goal, which was quite aggressive to begin with. We were honored with a large grant from Premera which will allow us to partner with Catholic Community Services and fund a part-time mental health therapist for our transitional housing families. This is a longtime dream coming true for us! We were selected to be the only Eastside agency to support King County in their distribution of over $41 million in CARES act funding for rental assistance. This is in addition to our normal Stable Home program which is also hitting records in the number of families served. Our staff and Board has started a journey exploring our role in addressing racial inequalities in our systems and it is informing our approaches for 2021. And financially, Attain will leave 2020 in a stronger financial position than when we entered it, despite ALL of the challenges.

Yes, I am grateful. I want to thank you for your support, both emotional and financial. Thank you for believing in us and our work to support vulnerable families who have been hardest hit during this year. I wish y’all (my Southern roots coming out!) a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. I hope you too can find gratitude in small things and enjoy the peace that it brings.

Happy Holidays!