As we send this note, we hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and well.
Tonight, we had hoped to be celebrating with friends and donors like you at our annual Graham Windham Gala. While this event has been postponed, we could not let this day go by without thanking all of you who have supported our Gala in the past for your steadfast investment in Graham's mission on behalf of New York City's most vulnerable population. We are grateful to each of you for your commitment to our children and families.
Since we cannot yet be together tonight, we want to take this time to bring you up to date on what has been happening at Graham Windham. Despite the challenges that we face during this tumultuous time, there is much to celebrate at Graham. Our staff members have been putting in arduous hours, often at great sacrifice and risk to themselves, their families and their own personal health and safety, to make sure that the many needs of our 4,000 children and families are being met each and every day.
To briefly summarize, with the generous support of many of you, we have provided:
• Over 3,000 bags of groceries and basic necessities delivered curbside to family homes (often a shelter) or via food distribution events in our Community Centers;
• 24/7 on-site care for our young people at the Graham Campus;
• Relocation services for our college students as well as academic assistance to keep them on-track to graduation;
• Remote learning and distance learning technology, including over 275 laptops, 33 prepaid cell plans, 22 routers and 75 Wi-Fi installations with three months of connectivity;
• On-site staff at our Community Centers for kids who need a safe place to go; and
• On-line emotional support, youth support and activity groups, safety and wellness visits to ensure children receive the best care, grief counseling and mental health tele-therapy sessions for over 1,000 families.
While we remain at a steady pace during this marathon so that our critically important service remains uninterrupted, there has also been a tremendous amount of loss in our community as many of our Graham families and children reside in the hardest hit areas in our City. So many in our community, including our staff, have lost family members and close friends. Each day, our staff is working to help assuage grief, suffering and fear and this is very difficult work.
In this context, the heroic work of our Graham team must be recognized. In addition, we are proud to honor Jennifer and D. Scott Mackesy for their inspirational leadership and abundant generosity over many years. Our work would not be possible without their guidance, commitment and support. The work that Ali and Joe Torre do through the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation continues to be a source of inspiration to all of us at Graham as we face the challenges of each day and this also deserves recognition.
We hope to be able to gather safely at our newly scheduled Gala on September 29th at Gotham Hall to honor and celebrate our staff, the Mackesys and the Torres. We hope, for those of you who have not yet made a pledge to the Gala, that you will consider making your pledge now. Our needs, including those of our heroic front-line staff, have never been greater. We continue to refine our response to this crisis on an on-going basis and as we listen to guidance from our community members, supporters and friends, we know we are not in this alone. Because of you, neither are our children and families. We are grateful for your loyal support and partnership which inspire our entire team with renewed hope and commitment every day.
To make a pledge, please go online at [link removed] or contact Mayra Pacheco at 646-759-5760 or [email protected]
With kind and grateful regards,
Jess Dannhauser, President and CEO
Georgia Wall, Chairman of the Board