A theme of immense gratitude has emerged from nonprofit organizations throughout Longmont throughout the year and the pandemic. In a series of letters throughout the day, Longmont nonprofit organizations are sending out their heartfelt thanks to the Longmont community for the support they have received. The Longmont Leader accepts contributions, photos, and op-eds for publication from community members, business leaders and public officials on local topics. Publication will be at the discretion of the editor and published opinions do not represent the views of the Longmont Leader or its staff. To submit a contribution, email email@example.com.
As I look back over the last year and a half, the things I’m most grateful for in our organization are our donor base and our ability to partner with other wonderful community organizations. We have all been impacted by COVID; however, it has brought us closer together as a community.
As COVID hit we were faced with a great crisis, as were so many people and organizations. Our families were forced to choose between working and taking care of their children who were suddenly being homeschooled. As single parents, they were not able to have a partner who could share the burden of school being shut down; therefore, many were forced to stay home with children and lose their jobs.
We were blessed by our partnership with LifeBridge Christian Church as we worked together with them to create an innovative program called “Study Hall at LifeBridge.” Together, we hired a fully accredited teacher who, along with the assistance of Pearl’s Kid Mentors, were able to assist with schoolwork and supervision while in online learning.
These children were successful in their schoolwork and developed a supportive relationship with our wonderful teacher and mentors. The Study Hall allowed single parents to continue working and decreased their need for dependence on critical social services.
We also were able to strengthen our partnerships with the OUR Center by joining their “Getting Ahead in a just gettin’ by world” zoom class. We worked closely with A Woman’s Work as well as OUR Center to help many single parents in our community with rent and utility assistance, car repairs, grocery assistance and many other critical needs in the community.
In March of 2020, we were blessed by a large monthly donation which enabled us to create an emergency assistance program which we called ‘COVID assistance’. For many months we were able to help single parents from our community with emergency needs in their lives ranging from rent, groceries, and even car repairs. This also brought us closer to many single parents in the community who had never heard of PEARL. As a result of the new relationships forged with these clients, we were able to bring several new candidates into our Focus PEARL program and we are now walking alongside several of them as they move forward with their educational goals. This heartens us greatly as our motto “Empowering Transformation” is served by offering a “hand up” as well as the “hand out” these folks originally came to us for.
There are never enough thanks to the community for their support throughout this very difficult time. Every single one of us has been touched by the never-ending generosity of our community.
Hal Bagley, board president, summed up the last 20 months perfectly: “The pandemic resulted in doubling our Focus PEARLS; single moms and their children who decided to accept a "hand up" in addition to our "hand out" services. Our core donor base stepped up, new donors stepped forward, and new team members stepped in with creative energy. We are truly grateful for God's hand in response to this pandemic. It is a privilege to be part of this team and grateful to all engaged!” We look forward to continuing working with the Longmont community in the future and cannot wait to see where this next year takes us!"
Rochelle Borrego, Program Director