Nearly six months ago, like most of you, I could not imagine our country in quarantine and on lockdown. The thought of food scarcity and basic home necessities seemed implausible. And how could we have prepared for the enormous changes in our everyday lives as we navigate working from home, learning at home, social distancing and wearing a mask in public spaces as a new way of life?
However, despite these enormous and unprecedented challenges, even a global pandemic could not stop our mission of serving more than 250 adults with developmental disabilities. Because of the work of our heroes – our courageous and dedicated staff – we have remained singularly focused on protecting the health and safety of the clients we serve. Sadly, we have not been immune to COVID-19 and have experienced positive cases with both our team members and clients.
Thankfully, today our clients are free from the virus and our team members are recovering and hope to return to work soon. It appears the virus will continue to be with us until a vaccination is found.
When COVID first impacted our organization, our team members quickly pivoted and developed a plan for office staff to work remotely. We also formed a COVID response team that met virtually every day to assess critical needs and communicate decisions to our more than 700 team members. For more than 4 months, we also asked our clients to shelter in place to ensure their continued safety. We are grateful for the support from our donors that funded iPads that allowed our clients to communicate with their loved ones.
Like many others, we found ourselves in need of critical supplies including personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer and much more. When we asked for help, our loyal donors delivered. Many of you sewed masks and gowns for our team members. Others donated household supplies like antibacterial soap, disinfectant spray and yes, even toilet paper. A community of volunteers helped us keep our clients entertained by hosting months of Facebook Live events that included art and cooking classes, live concerts, bingo and more. Our Pastoral Care team also provided Zoom worship services and bible study classes.
Although our offices and client homes currently remain closed to visitors, our hearts continue to be wide open for our community. We look forward to the time when we can all be together again.
President & CEO
P.S. Be on the lookout for our Annual Report in the coming weeks.
The Duckfest committee has made the difficult decision to cancel Duckfest, scheduled for October 3, 2020.
While the ‘traditional’ Duckfest event will not take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – raising money for local charities.
Proceeds from Duckfest benefit Emmaus Homes, a local non-profit that supports more than 250 adults with developmental disabilities.
For more information, to enter the raffles, visit www.DuckfestMO.org