A MESSAGE FROM
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO
“A message from your neighbor…”
You know me. I live in your neighborhood. I see you most every day, and my kids know your kids. You wave and smile sometimes.
What you don’t know is that my kids are hungry- all of the time. You don’t know that we are months behind on our rent and I live in constant fear that we will be evicted. You don’t know the storm that I am living in.
I work two job and still can’t make ends meet. If it weren’t for my children, I’m not sure I could go on another day. I was THAT desperate when I called ACO.
Now because of ACO, I have food every week for my kids, and even diapers and formula for the baby. They paid our electric bill this month and are working with my landlord. They are helping me become whole again to be the neighbor that you think you know.
I asked them where ACO gets the money to help me? I assumed it was the government. They said it was from local donors in the community. I was shocked. I want to say thank you to the donors…to my neighbors. You’ve literally saved my family. Thank you so much.
And, a message from Marjorie Vaneskahian Burr, ACO CEO
“The Perfect Storm”
The message above from your neighbor is the same message that 400 more of your neighbors could write each month. Our case managers are seeing families that desperate each day.
Who could have predicted the storm that would follow the pandemic? Months after we thought COVID-19 and its impact would be behind us, we are faced with more devastation and despair with rising living costs. We have hundreds of applications each month for assistance at All Community Outreach from families across Collin County with nowhere to turn for help. As our staff discusses how to best serve our community through their struggles, we often refer to the current situation as “the perfect storm.”
ACO had set temporary funds aside in 2021 to help additional families through the crisis following the pandemic, but months later the number of families continues to increase, the funds to help keep these families in their homes has run low, and the food lines at our pantry for free groceries continue to be long. It’s the perfect storm. It is a storm that we couldn’t predict, couldn’t plan for and can’t protect Collin County from its harm.
The heartbreaking stories of families who are living in their cars because they can no longer afford their housing, not just one person but the entire family, is hard to hear. The anger and tears in the faces of parents who cannot take another “no, we can’t help you” in their fragile state of despair is hard to see. It’s our job to calm and embrace them, and to counsel as to how we can best support them.
There is a calm in this storm. There are grateful parents who come to the ACO Food Pantry and smile with gratitude and words of thanks for the groceries they receive to feed their children. There are happy tears of appreciation from clients who leave after meeting with ACO staff, knowing that someone is listening and doing all that they can to help.
The forecast is still turbulent, and until the sunny days return we will continue to do our best to help families weather the storms. But I will be honest here. We CANNOT continue to do so without your help. I know that I’ve said this before, but now your donations are CRITICAL.
Your financial gifts help to ensure children are sleeping in their own beds and not in a car on the streets. Your support means that they have their A/C to remain on during the summer heat, and have milk and nutritious foods to eat. Your help to your neighbors is critical at this time.
We are all facing higher costs of living currently, and I know you are feeling donor fatigue from the constant pull for your support. But if we work together, join hands together, and give where we live, I know that we can survive this storm. WE NEED YOU NOW.
Each summer ACO hosts our annual GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE campaign, and we ask our community for support. But even more than simply supporting ACO’s mission, I am asking you to help us keep a family safe and off of the streets with your donations to help pay rent or utilities. I am asking you to help ACO feed hungry Collin County children. I am asking you to change lives with a simple donation.
With a few clicks to www.acocares.org, you will make a difference. You WILL CHANGE LIVES. With my heartfelt gratitude, I say THANK YOU. Not for me, but for moms and dads like you in our neighborhoods who need our help TODAY!
One more thing…
Add the amount you spend this month on drive-thru coffee orders, NETFLIX or streaming services you rarely watch, the pedicure, dog grooming, food deliveries, etc. What can you go without next month to help a family instead?
Donate that amount to www.acocares.org, and email me what you are doing without next month so that a family can keep their home, a child can eat, a senior citizen can stay cool, and we all can survive this perfect storm by helping each other.
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO