At this writing, I’m preparing to attend and present at the May 24th NANASP (National Association of Nutrition & Aging Services Program) National Conference in Austin, TX. The audience will be aging services professionals from around the country, and I will be detailing our COVID-19 response successes and challenges. More than anything, it’s a great opportunity for me to brag about the amazing staff, volunteers, donors, and community who supported us in a million ways.
In preparation for my presentation, I’ve been sorting through photos from the past 27 months, since the arrival of the pandemic. The work photos portray an unbelievably committed group of people selflessly serving their community! We all worked so hard, with so much worry, for so long; much of that first year of COVID is truly a blur whose memory would be forgotten were it not for the photos.
It was hard not to be emotional as I reviewed the pictures of the many faces who helped keep our mission alive. Some of the volunteers show up in countless photos, as they generously filled every shift we needed. One of the photos that made me laugh showed staff wearing gloves while trying to place labels on meals, a precaution we had to abandon because the labels stuck to the gloves more than the meals.
Sorting through the photos also reminded me of the “normal life” milestones that occurred despite the pandemic—illnesses, deaths, retirements, graduations, weddings, and more. Through all the joys and sadness of life, our staff and volunteers and community stood by us. There really aren’t words to express how grateful and proud I am to be surrounded by all these wonderful folks!
For all of you who contributed to our pandemic success, I say a heartfelt THANK YOU! And for those of you who have benefitted from their efforts, I encourage you to offer your thanks to these folks. We are a better community because they are a part of our lives.