Just like my book club and yoga classes, AFC’s Board and committee meetings have been happening virtually since mid-March. Last month, our Strategic Planning Committee held a series of online meetings to consider different scenarios AFC might experience over the next 18 months. Back in April via Zoom, we kicked off planning and fundraising for this year’s Virtual Benefit Gala – hopeful that local businesses would still donate to our silent auction and our community of individual and corporate supporters would still sponsor a virtual event.
Throughout this crisis, brand-new donors are stepping up to support Arlington Free Clinic. The pandemic has inspired them to make a difference locally by supporting healthcare for the most vulnerable. The Board received a list of these new donors—and took time to call or write them to express thanks. It was a touching reminder of one way our Arlington community is responding to the crisis.
I’ve served on the Gala fundraising committee for over seven years now, so I know how vital this event is, typically raising about 25% of our $3M budget. We launched our 2020 Gala fundraising season in April—the height of the pandemic— sensitive to the fact that these are challenging financial times for many of our regular supporters. However, our patients still needed us to ask. Almost all the families and businesses that my husband and I typically solicit have been able to give this year, and for that, I am very grateful.
People have been lifting up the AFC community in all sorts of ways over the past six months. Just about every Friday in the weekly update email that AFC’s president sends to the board, Nancy has shared news of donations such as homemade masks for our patients and morale boosting meals for our frontline staff.
Thank you to ALL our supporters – new and old – who have stood by AFC and our patients throughout the pandemic. As board chair and a member of our gala fundraising committee, I’ve had the opportunity to thank many of you personally, but if I’ve missed you, please know that your support makes a difference in the lives of our patients.
Chair, Board of Directors