A MESSAGE FROM
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO
I don’t cry…
I’m not a crier. I rarely cry at sad movies and it takes a lot to touch my heart to the point of tears. But today, as I sit in my office facing the last few weeks of this crazy year and try to find the words to say “thank you” to an entire community, I am in tears. Real tears. You have overwhelmed me with your generosity.
I’ve told you for months now of the struggles our agency has seen and the many, many families who have come to ACO for help. They’ve been without food to feed their kids. They’ve been without funds to keep their utilities on and a roof over their head. They’ve had nowhere else to turn for assistance and were so grateful that ACO was here in their time of need.
ACO could have never provided the emergency assistance that was needed this year without our community stepping in and stepping up to help with your donations. We’ve seen 3 times as many families in 2020, and many of those had never been to a social service agency or needed assistance before. I have the gratitude on my shoulders of all of those moms, dads and children who were supported and cared for by our staff because of YOU.
We had many first-time donors to our organization this year. You felt the need to give and offered your support. How do I show you just how grateful I am for your gifts when I’ve never met you? You can’t imagine the impact that your donations made to these families in need.
We also had many long-time donors support our mission, as you have done year after year. You’ll never know the love and appreciation that I have for you in my heart, and how you made it possible for our staff to care for these neighbors.
And our Main Street building! What a Christmas gift we received from the Allen Chapter of YMSL with a remodel/makeover/refresh of our facilities both inside and out! We have never looked so good, so professional and so clean! We can’t wait to reopen our Resale Store and have the community back into our building to enjoy their hard work. The investment they made in ACO was amazing and we thank all of the volunteers and businesses who made it possible.
We all tend to turn to those people in our circle that we can count on when we need help. In my circle there are business owners and community leaders who I can call their cell phone or email them and their immediate response is “what do you need?” or ‘how can I help?” They are leaders in their churches, the civic organizations and groups throughout Collin County! Without naming names, you know who you are and I can’t begin to tell you how much you mean to me, to this community, and to ACO. I’d try, but I’d cry! Thank you for taking my calls, and being so willing to help. I am forever grateful to you!
Our Board of Directors and Development Council, our hundreds of volunteers, and our staff are the most amazing people I know. Their commitment and compassion for our organization are over the top! Our ACO Staff Family goes beyond our payroll. I’ve watched for years as our own kids and spouses and extended family members have donated their time, their resources and have been so mission-minded. To you all, I could never properly express what you mean to me.
Every day someone tells me, emails me or calls to say “thank you for what you do for this community.” I don’t deserve the thanks, YOU DO! I’m here to orchestrate the programs and services to provide for families in crisis, but YOU make it all possible.
So in my whole-hearted, teary-eyed attempt, I want to tell you THANK YOU. There is a child tonight sleeping with a new teddy bear because of you, in a house that is warm and safe because of you, with a full tummy because of you. Actually, it isn’t one child- it is many. And their grateful parents are breathing a little easier because of the local agency that was able to provide support and guidance.
I told you just a few weeks ago that my Christmas wish was a huge pile of toys for all of the kids whose parents registered through ACO in need of gifts for their family this holiday season. You did it! Our community came through with some wonderful gifts for these children and a little something extra for their parents in the form of grocery gift cards. WOW! What do I say to you?
Whether you’ve donated $25 this year, or thousands of dollars more, your valuable volunteer time, extra food to the pantry, your household donations to our resale operations, or even just told a friend about our organization or said a prayer on our behalf, all I know to say is “THANK YOU.” Two simple words that have never meant more than they do this year.
From a most grateful heart, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and New Year!
ONE MORE THING…
PLEASE Don’t stop! Don’t stop caring and supporting ACO. We don’t know what 2021 will bring, but the struggles will not magically end on midnight at the end of 2020. That we do know.
ACO is your year-end tax deduction! Mail checks dated no later than December 31, 2020 or donate online before the end of the 31st and you will receive a letter thanking you for your tax deductible donation! ACO’s lobby even has a mail slot in the door. While our main offices will close for a short break at the end of December, our staff will be rotating through the office to process your donations.