As we look back on a successful year, we also recognize that many things have changed. The questions we have asked ourselves in the past two months would have been unheard of in 2019. How do you rent a kitchen in the middle of a pandemic? An unthinkable question that suddenly became extremely relevant when we lost our kitchen due to covid concerns and had to find a new one quickly. With the help of supporters like you, we found one after three weeks.
Publishing these cards is a group effort with an undercurrent of chaos. Technically these stories aren’t anyone’s job. Usually Meggean, our Operations and Training director, conducts or arranges an interview and finds us a picture. Interns or others on our team might be sitting in and need help. A translator might not show. I usually compress a write-up of the interview from a page or two to 175-200 words. Rebecca, usually catches my spelling errors.
There has been a lot of news lately about the Cares Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help small businesses retain their employees during the pandemic. Like many other non-profits, we applied for these funds. And like many others, we were not funded in the first round.
We’re writing to share what the process has been like for us so far. This seems important since the PPP involves public funds. We’re a non-profit, partnering with and representing the public in our mission.
Some of my earliest memories, either real or imagined, came from that bunker. For some reason I remember the light down there as a beautiful emerald green. I remember a cylindrical kerosene heater with pretty blue flames. My dad had been in ROTC and part of a reserve unit, so he knew enough to make a guessing game of estimating the distance and counting down to the boom of mortars.
I keep wondering why our president insists on calling this the “Chinese virus.” I know it’s probably a way to irk and distract people like me (sadly, it really works), but it also seems like a gross attempt to hook the fear of difference that so many Americans grow up with. I feel bad even repeating the phrase. The crazy part of this to me is that difference should be a celebration.
A quick update on how we are doing in this time of rapid change: Probably we are coping about the same way you are—feeling our way along, trying to make good decisions for the right reasons, figuring out how to hold cyber meetings, balancing personal concerns (like helping my daughter move out of her college dorm today) with those of running a business.