A MESSAGE FROM
MARJORIE VANESKAHIAN BURR, ACO CEO
Looking back on the first 3 quarters of 2020, I have seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
We began the year with such promise for a strong vision (2020 Vision!) of the year ahead. We started the year on strong financial footing, able to serve families in need of support. We had a refreshed staff and amazing teams of volunteers ready to take ACO to our next level of programs and services this year, while expanding our reach throughout the county. We hit the ground running that first quarter…
Then COVID-19 hit our communities, our country and our world, and we had to learn how to navigate through the challenges. But- this was GOOD because ACO was prepared to handle the crisis with the solid leadership of our Board of Directors and the resilience and commitment of our staff to revamp the way to serve our community. It was good that our food pantry was capable of quickly switching gears to provide more food each month through a safe distancing process as the number of families needing food tripled. It was good that our team cross-trained in the temporary absence of volunteers. It was amazing that our community was so supportive with donations in a time that we had to close our resale operations, which limited our operating income. ACO was positioned to serve, without missing a step!
The BAD is that COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, nor has the impact it has had on families. It is bad that we don’t know when things will return to “normal” or what that new normal will be. Our children are facing challenges with school and learning at home. With the holidays just ahead of us, we don’t know what additional struggles our neighbors will face. It is bad that there are more families now who need assistance to remain in their homes, keep their utilities turned on, and feed their children.
You know, when I think about 2020 this year, it’s really ALL GOOD! It is good that ACO is prepared to help families through whatever challenges come their way. It is good that we have a kind and caring community to support our organization. It is good that we have volunteers who give lovingly of their time and resources to maintain our mission. ACO is joining hands with families all across Collin County to prevent hunger and homelessness. It is good that we are ALL COMMUNITY OUTREACH! Thank you for continuing to make financial gifts, donations of food and household items! We couldn’t do it without you!!
Now, for the UGLY! Our Main Street Admin Offices and Resale Shop have served us well, but are showing years of wear and tear. The building is old and ugly. BUT NOT FOR LONG! Thanks to a huge effort by the Allen Chapter of Young Men’s Service League, a service organization of local teen boys and their moms, ACO is getting a makeover! This Fall the organization is awarding their annual “Ultimate Gift” project to ACO, with hundreds of hours of time and resources to paint and update inside and out, replace fixtures and cabinets, update signage and give our agency a fresh, new look! Our staff and Board of Directors are honored to be the recipients of this enormous undertaking. Our resale store will be renewed and ready to open for 2021, and our offices will be fresh and welcoming to families in need of our services.
I am excited for ACO. We have grown this year in so many ways, as a service organization able to meet the immediate needs of Collin County families, as a staff in the way we have worked together through these 2020 challenges, and as a community who continues to believe in our mission and support what we do. Thank you!
ONE MORE THING…
Well, really there are lots more things! It’s time for holiday planning, and in spite of COVID-19 we are going to make sure that families are fed, warm in their homes, and their children have gifts this giving season. Let’s make this the BEST HOLIDAY EVER for 2020!
We’ve got 3 times as many families to feed this year, and our toy distribution area has expanded into McKinney and beyond. Please check our website and social media pages for updates on our holiday needs. There is a current list of holiday food items for the ACO Food Pantry on our website at www.acocares.org, and another BIG HOLIDAY FOOD DROP OFF DAY planned for Saturday, November 2nd from 10am-2pm at the ACO Processing Center, 2 Butler Drive in Allen.
Again this year, ACO is partnering with Collin County Toys For Tots as a distributor to provide toys and gifts to children across the county. Drop off new, wrapped toys at a Toys For Tots location and ACO will handle getting those toys to children this Christmas! For toy drop off locations visit TOYS FOR TOTS COLLIN COUNTY. For more information how you can be involved, contact Rhonda Ptak at firstname.lastname@example.org