This past year has been unprecedented, at least in our lifetimes. When we look back at January and see all that we planned and all that we hoped it’s almost ridiculous…we made plans and we had dreams with no idea what was in store. Perhaps it’s been more serious for you or your family…you lost a loved one or got sick yourself. Maybe you counted on a project or an account that never came through, or on making that sale, or keeping that job..and here you are in October and it feels like everything is gone.
So many of our clients are in that exact position. For many of them they were just starting to get ahead for the very first time in their lives. They had begun building a savings account, making plans, paying all of their bills. Small businesses were started, steps were taking to prepare to reintegrate into the labor force, gains were made in the areas of personal growth and therapeutic markers were met.
And then El Salvador closed down, and it closed down tight. El Salvador had one of the strictest and longest quarantines in the entire world. Martial law and government bickering, economic shutdown and a collapsing health care system were bad enough. Then back to back tropical storms washed away any remaining hope of recouping gains made earlier in the year.
Here our clients sit in October and they are struggling. They have watched their savings dwindle away to nothing. Hard-won jobs have been lost, extra time and money is all being pushed into keeping their kids in school, scraping together something to pay the internet bill required for connection to online classes. For every one step forward taken last year, they have now taken two (or three) steps back.
Through all of it our mission remains the same…to empower Salvadorans to find the freedom to realize their dreams and pursue their futures. We want to connect people with the freedom that is found through a relationship with God, to help them find healing from past pain, to help them recover, and to provide opportunities for dignifying work. In 2020, that’s a tall order. But it is one that we know we must fill if we want our clients to keep dreaming.
Like so many other events in 2020, we made the decision to cancel our “Gala for Growth” in favor of an online event. During the week of October 11-17 we hope that you will make plans to join us. We will be sharing the inspirational stories of how our clients have persevered and we will be celebrating their resiliency. We will also be joining forces to meet immediate and unexpected needs so that we can continue to provide for them and accompany them through this crisis. Meeting their needs today means that they can keep dreaming about tomorrow.
We hope that you will join us as we take a look back at the adventure of 2020 and share all of the beautiful and miraculous things that have happened, and as we look ahead to see what more is still to come! Make sure to check back on our blog, check your inbox, and stay connected via social media for matching fund opportunities, ways to get involved, videos to share, and more! Let’s keep dreams alive together!