Dear Beloved Community,
The Summer Like No Other looms ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic continues without treatment or vaccine, bringing illness, grief and fear around the world.
The ravages of COVID-19 infected over 8,334 District residents and killed more than 440. People of color are bearing a highly disproportionate share of the death toll. 78% of those who have succumbed to the disease are African Americans while an additional 11% are Latino. This tragedy exposes decades of structural discrimination resulting in wealth and income gaps that impact every aspect of life and especially health.
In the midst of these extraordinary times we have the stories of the dedication and bravery of health care workers, medical professionals, and essential personnel. 75% of jobs in essential businesses are filled by bravery in grocery stores, nursing homes, housekeeping, and transportation positions. Angie Harrison works in housekeeping at Surburban Hospital in the ICU and COVID-19 wards. “Are you afraid?” we asked. “No”, she said. “The hospital gives use all the protective gear and supplies we need. Every morning we begin the day gathering for the latest news for safe work. My family and friends are praying for me daily.”
As we move into the Summer Like No Other we need your help:
- To put those laid off back to work as quickly and appropriately as possible,
- To place new applicants, especially young people and returning citizens in marketplace jobs or paid internships,
- To provide support, access to resources, and hope for the future for everyone.
Your unwavering caring for the least of these in our community gives us hope and fills our hearts with gratitude. We have been together in the Great Recession and will persevere in these dire times as well.
To support this work during the summer between June 1 and August 31, 2020 we invite you to participate in our Summer Challenge. A special group of donors has committed $100,000 to be matched by contributions from individuals and faith communities between now and August 31, 2020. This support will make possible employment for at least 75 people in marketplace jobs, using the tools for safe working during COVID-19. We will present virtually and in person with hope and practical support for now and the future for every person who comes.
Together we will make this Summer Like No Other a time of hope and compassion for those most vulnerable yet courageous and unwavering in their building a better life and world for themselves and their families.
With gratitude for all your are and do,
Christine Gossens, Executive Director
Terry Flood, Founder