Dear Valued Supporter,
Thank you for many years of dedication to our youth and our community. Your generosity has made an immediate impact on the lives of the children we serve. Your faithfulness is much appreciated and has allowed Champions of Youth to serve over 424 at-risk youth in 2020 as well as continuing our 100% graduation rate among kids matched in the CORE Program. We could not do this without your investment in our mission. Matching children like Sophie, a 10-year-old, who lost her mother in a car accident last December would simply not be possible.
Michael Jordan said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” As Champions of Youth experiences an ongoing increase of youth in need of a positive mentor, we realize our greatest obstacle is always time. While Bowl for Youth has been a great event and is so important to our ability to run a quality program, an event of this magnitude is so labor-intensive that we find ourselves becoming devoted to fundraising instead of our mission of matching kids. This is something that we find unacceptable.
As we move into the 2021-2022 school year, we are still facing a time of uncertainty. Our AIM (school lunch program) will not be meeting again as groups inside the schools. However, Champions of Youth staff will continue to engage in one-to-one contact with those Aim Program youth and mentors. We are also going to increase our efforts to engage even more volunteers in our CORE program as our CORE Community-Based program continued to grow at record rates even through COVID, adding 11 new volunteers. Many of those mentors transitioned from the AIM program after learning more about our CORE Program during those valuable one-to-one conversations. As you can see, we found our way around the wall.
These realities have led the Board to make the tough decision to try something new that will allow our staff time to be more devoted to the mission of making matches that will make a lasting impact on the youth of our community. We will not be having our Bowl for Youth fundraiser in the spring of 2022 but we still desperately need and ask you to continue to champion our cause. We know that our Bowl for Youth “sponsors” are indeed investing in our mission, not an event. We ask that you continue to do so through our new, annual campaign, “Project Potential!” We value your support and want you to understand the changes we are making and the reasons behind them. We see more and more youth referred to us because they are struggling with some wall. We believe that in making these adjustments to our operations we can find them the support they need to reach the top and find that bright future, creating a better community for all of us. If you have any questions, please reach out to Lisa Hermesch at firstname.lastname@example.org.