Yet another year has gone by, and for many of us, things seem to have gotten better. Economic data suggests that wages and salaries continue to rise, fuel and food costs are down and the unemployment rate has seen its best numbers since 2008. We have a lot to be thankful for, but despite the shining light at the end of a long tunnel for many of us, the population we serve continues to grow.
This past summer, we served more guests than we’ve seen in 29 years of service to the community; and as the year comes to a close, we continue to see unusually high numbers of guests. In addition to the steady increase in our nightly service, our board put an end to the four weeks of closure that was standard policy over the past several years. And while we’ve continued to meet the demand, we’ve done so with little to no increase in donations, grants or in-kind gifts.
Recently, I met a mother who visited DESK with her two young children for a meal. Our other humble guests asked that the family be advanced to the front of the line, where I had a chance to speak with the mother briefly. Having only been to the kitchen a couple of times, she was visibly uncomfortable, but we all knew that she was just doing what she needed to in order to keep her family alive and healthy. These sorts of situations are not unusual.
Through DESK, homeless and working poor individuals and families receive hot meals, fresh and nonperishable staples, clothing, pet food, basic medical services and respite from the cold. Without the kindness and love for humanity found in donors like you, our reality would be vastly different.
Today, I invite you to become a greater part of our cause. We always welcome volunteers to serve nightly meals, distribute food at our pantry, help with administrative tasks and serve on the various subcommittees responsible for organizing fundraisers and special projects like our recent Thanksgiving meal delivery.
Lastly, on behalf of the staff, volunteers and board of directors, it is our hope that you will find it in your heart to once again help us serve this vulnerable community with a donation of any size. Perhaps you’ll consider increasing your contribution this year so that we can continue to meet the growing need. Just as the mother with two young children said to me, “I don’t know what I would do without you.” I echo this sentiment to you and all of those who make fulfilling our mission possible.
President of the Board