It is remarkable when I think about it. Our phenomenal volunteers, dedicated staff, and board of directors made it happen. Wonderful support from state and local government, funders, and generous donors kept us going as we completely modified our flagship hunger relief program. There were many logistics and increased costs, but we were able to take this on thanks to broad community support.
I want to commend our Kitchen Manager, Sydne Wirrick-Knox, and members of our Leadership Team*. They met frequently to plan for the day to day, 365 day operations during a global pandemic. This was an unprecedented event for all of us! They worked with our various staff and volunteer teams to make sure safety, sanitizing, services, community relations, and fundraising were uninterrupted. And it wasn’t easy. We were often uncertain how to lead. Morale dipped from time to time as was normal in a situation like this and in the current climate of divisiveness. But we kept showing up for the working poor and homeless. We learned different ways to serve and to offer hope. And while it was a hard time, and still is, it was also time for growth, both spiritually and professionally.
There is also ZERO tolerance for negativity and discrimination in our organization. If we have learned one thing through this pandemic is that no one is excluded. Any one of us could get sick and it takes everyone's efforts to combat this disease. We encourage others to contribute. Matt Talbot is an inclusive community where everyone is welcome as long as they convey respect for each other, our volunteers, the staff, and the facility. In this next year we will participate in comprehensive diversity and inclusion training and have all our human resource policies reviewed to make sure we uphold our core values in this area.
ZERO days closed! Nothing was going to keep us from offering bold hope to our community. That is who we are and what we do. In spite of the challenges of this past year, and there have been many, there are ZERO other jobs I would want to have. This is God’s work. It is holy and sacred. It is an honor and privilege to serve this mission.
To learn more about our positive mission of hope and recovery and our ZERO days closed last year, please check out our 2020 Community Impact Report.