A Letter From Executive Director Kelly Salee
I think it is accurate to say that the year 2020 will forever be etched in everyone’s mind as it has undoubtedly influenced every one of us. Whether it be that we’ve experienced fear, anxiety, uncertainty, or even anger, our lives, our routines, our hobbies, and our habits have been completely altered. For many of us it is difficult to even know what tomorrow will look like, much less next week, next month, or even next year.
As I reflect on everything that has occurred this year and the emotional roller coaster that it has been, I can’t help but think that this is exactly how many of our youth have felt every single day of their lives. It also makes you wonder where would they be if were not for UMYH?
The first several months of the pandemic, our campus was essentially on lock down. Our youth were unable to leave our campus. They were unable to have any visitors, including family members. Instead, their new reality included Zoom meetings with their families and friends, virtual learning, routine hand washing, getting used to seeing staff members in masks, and even getting used to wearing masks themselves. Just imagine, here they were already trying to work through trauma that they had experienced, then out of the blue, they had to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
If I had to pick just one thing that stood out most in 2020, it would be how unbelievably resilient our youth have been throughout all of this. Our youth have managed to stay positive, optimistic, hopeful, and humble. It’s because of their resilience that they’ve continued to accomplish so much. Some have got their first jobs, others are making better grades than ever, and a few have even moved out. We’re thankful for their hard work and happy to see them persevere in spite of everything that’s happened.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for your support, your thoughts, and your prayers this year. Please know how important your support is, especially during these difficult times. Your generosity ensures that we will still be serving youth for many years to come. We can’t do it without you!
As the year comes to a close, we ask that you consider making a gift to our Annual Fund to help us finish 2020 strong and have the resources to keep helping our youth.
Wishing you all a blessed and healthy end to this year and a bright fresh start to 2021!