Our Executive Director, Agnes Thomas, Surveyed the Year That Was Since COVID Started and Found CCS Remarkably Resilient and Giving in the Face of Adversity.

The generosity of spirit is one of the strong themes that come to my mind above all other things that have happened in the most unfathomable year of our century. In many ways, the personal, professional, and global all blurred in the havoc created by COVID- 19 and it also tested our will and resiliency. However, the kind and creative ways we supported one another, showed up for work, and contributed to our community are testaments to our commitment to common humanity.

In the past year, the most used words in our ‘work world’ were pivoting, surviving, ‘zooming’, or on the technical side, virtual, digital, hybrid, etc. However, what kept me going, and I believe what kept us (CCS) going amid the chaos, was more than any of this; that was the spirit of generosity we felt, saw, and shared. There are numerous examples of it, and I am choosing a few that profoundly touched me with the hope that it will inspire you as much it did inspire me.

We all have experienced grief one way or another, but we also found ways to console one another and created opportunities for celebrating in small ways. Acknowledging grief/trauma and providing ongoing support made our work achievable and allowed us to serve our communities intentionally while serving as wounded healers.

There were many moments of joy; one of which was when someone walked through one of our offices and dropped off a fifty-dollar bill, saying they were having a good day, and wanted to share the joy. Another moment of joy was when our clients started making facemasks to give back and donate them to the community. My list can go on. These seemingly small gestures had a tremendous impact on our well-being as an organization, team, and individuals; it helped us move forward with greater energy and enthusiasm. This also reminded us the pandemic is not going to stop us from being kind to one another. In fact, it called us out to be trusting in the possibilities of goodness in unexpected ways.

The generosity of spirit was very much evident when significant contributions, small and big gestures of support, and encouragement from all of our funders, partners, and other stakeholders made our service delivery as seamless as possible while dealing with so much uncertainty. This also made the workplace and program planning stable and creative in dealing with the new and emerging challenges.

In the day-to-day operation of CCS in the past year, I felt encouraged and deeply moved by the generosity of spirit among our staff. Employees rose above the personal struggles of dealing with the pandemic to support their team and their community. Staff shared their talents and skills beyond their roles to help our teams and the broader CCS, whether by offering training on stress release or showing someone how to run a zoom meeting or gathering for a fun activity. There was always someone or committee available to support, offer suggestions, and find a solution to emerging issues. When we couldn’t find resources internally for a particular need, we called upon our friends and community; they also responded by offering their time and talent to support us in our work and move forward in an uncertain time.

We continue to survive, pivot, thrive, and do what we are called and entrusted to do, and it was all made possible because there was the generosity of spirit among us and around us. For that, I am grateful to all of you. Onward and upward!