What’s In a Year? A Message from Ginette Williams, Executive Director
The number of the year is 722. 722 hearts, some breaking, some racing, and some grateful. 722 sets of eyes, some red-brimmed with fear, some bright with determination, and some soft with hope. 722 sets of ears hearing words of encouragement, validation, and information. 722 voices asking for help, telling us about their scariest moments, and sharing moments of joy. 722 children and caregivers stepping on a welcome mat that says “Come As You Are” as they entered a comforting building with staff ready to welcome them. The Tree House was honored to meet and serve these 722 individuals during what may have been their darkest times.
This past fiscal year we were able to provide over 11,000 services to our clients. This is more services than we have ever provided previously, and occurred during a pandemic! Our superhero staff were able to take each family entrusted in our care and surround them with an array of services to help lead them toward healing. Ultimately though, it was up to each parent and child to do the most difficult work. Children came through our doors to talk about the sexual abuse that had been going on for years, talk about the sudden death of their loved one, talk about bad fights that led to their parent being hurt, and many other difficult situations in their lives. These children did what seems impossible for many…they chose to speak up no matter what their fears were. Children are best able to heal from trauma when they have a supportive and believing caregiver. These parents that we were honored to work with were ready to show up for their children. Some parents wanted to learn about how to help their child after they had been abused; some parents needed access to basic needs, such as food, clothing, and housing; some parents had the opportunity to learn how to be the best parent they can be, during in-home parenting visits; and some parents were simply thrilled to visit with their child once a week while they worked their DFCS case plan and their child was in foster care.
We have also had several successes as an agency this past year. With the pandemic still raging on, funding was a concern for every agency. We were not sure how our grants would be impacted and still do not know how they will be affected these coming years. Despite this challenge, individuals just like you, helped The Tree House raise over $60,000 in community donations AND over $100,000 at our 23rd annual Night of Hope for Children. We acknowledge that this was no small feat and applaud everyone that has donated monetarily; donated items such as snacks for children, cleaning supplies and art supplies for therapy; and even the donation of a minivan so we can provide more transportation to our services. All of these generous gifts allowed The Tree House to stay fully staffed and provide a full-range of services to every client referred to us.
Another success was our ability to remove barriers for our families by providing virtual services. Staff were quickly trained on how to ethically and legally provide virtual services and necessary technology was acquired. We will continue to offer virtual services when barriers such as transportation, illness, and parent work schedules occur. We have found that this leads to continued stability for families, reducing any additional trauma that may occur from disruption of services.
So, as you can see, there is a lot that can happen in a year. This past year, 722 children and parents in our community were able to be offered hope and healing. In return, our community will be stronger, healthier, and safer. These 722 smiles have touched every one of our hearts at The Tree House. They are the reason we come to work and help them fight against all odds. I want to thank each and every one of them for trusting us with their care. And thank you to our community, for wrapping us in your arms so that we can continue to carry out the mission of The Tree House.
Click our link below to see our complete FY 2020-2021 Annual Report At A Glance.