First and foremost, I hope this finds you safe and healthy, prioritizing physical and mental health for yourself and your loved ones.
March at DNDA was a series of no-win decisions – cancelling our fundraiser, locking the doors of our beloved Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and shuttering many programs to protect the health and safety of our communities.
I remain, however, a relentless optimist. In the face of this tragedy, I’m focused on opportunities for positive change.
I am talking to other leaders, gleaning best practices, discussing with our team new ways to serve our communities.
I am grateful to our Board, helping laser our focus on people; the families living in our affordable housing, and the youth in our programs. And I am immensely proud of our staff, still fully intact, shifting our priorities to serve the basic needs of those who need it most.
We’re getting supplies and resources to the families and artists living in our 7 affordable housing properties. We’re working in partnership with King County and Seattle Public Schools to get needed computers and internet access to students, so all students can continue their learning from home. Our staff is building online content and completely re-tooling arts programming. The result? Virtual arts and recreation classes so that our Summer Youth Program can continue engaging youth at High Point, NewHolly, and Rainier Vista. We are also looking to the future, positioning ourselves to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever in support of our neighbors and neighborhoods.
You can help right now.
Your donation to our Uplift Community Campaign will support the basic needs of our neighbors and strengthen our organization’s ability to serve. Your financial contribution is critical now. The chain of support is in place and you can make an immediate difference in our community.
There are also many other ways to help.
Do you have ideas or resources that can extend our reach? Let us know.
Are you able to participate in our programs? Like and share our online content?
Send a note of love and encouragement to our staff? I hope you will.
Both the virus itself, and the mental and emotional tidal wave now washing over us, are so completely new. They are exposing the fragility of our existing economic and social systems, while highlighting the groups that sustain the networks essential for our community’s health and basic needs.
DNDA is one of those groups. I am proud and humbled to lead us forward through these uncharted waters. Our roots are in supporting the needs of our neighbors. Our flame is fueled by the thousands of people who make up our growing community. And though we have seen brighter days, I know we will rally together because our light has never been needed more.
Thank you for shining with us.
Please stay strong.
Stay home, stay healthy, and stay connected.
DNDA Executive Director