Guest Blog by Dan Day, outgoing Board President and long-time EFAA volunteer
In my early days volunteering with EFAA, a young family reached out to me to ask if EFAA might be able to help them. They were devastated by the loss of their child to cancer, daunted by extreme medical bills, and had no idea how they were going to pay rent. One of our case managers reviewed their situation and EFAA was able to assist with some short-term rent assistance to keep them in their home. This small amount of help provided them with the peace of mind that they would not be evicted from their apartment as they worked through the death of their child and arranged for a long-term medical bill repayment strategy with the hospital. The family was so relieved and grateful that EFAA was there for them in their time of need.
As I look back on the past year as EFAA’s Board President, and my many years volunteering with EFAA, both as a member of the Board of Directors and the Development Committee, I am struck by how many inspiring stories like this one continue to run through my head.
Now more than ever, I believe EFAA is in a position to make an even greater impact on families working through moments of insecurity, and as a result, strengthen our whole community. With new and enhanced programs, partnerships and capabilities, EFAA is empowering families in need to establish financial stability and work toward creating greater self-sufficiency. Programs like Bringing School Home, Keep Families Housed, Internships to Careers for Motivated Parents, the new Mountain Resources Liaison, and EFAA’s expanded Children’s Program are all aimed at ending generational poverty, preventing family homelessness and empowering families to thrive. This is what our community needs.
With the skyrocketing cost of housing combined with stagnant low-wage pay, more and more families are having a difficult time meeting their most basic needs, like housing and food. However, these issues often go unseen in a community with great affluence. EFAA’s Strategic Education Committee, which was formed this past year, is taking a lead role in educating the community about the causes of and solutions to issues like family homelessness and food insecurity in Boulder County.
It is my honor to work with such an efficient and effective organization. Today, 84 cents of every dollar donated, goes directly to programs that help families, seniors and people with disabilities. EFAA has an amazing and efficient staff and EFAA’s core mission and work to achieve our strategic plan goals are amplified by hundreds of volunteers. These volunteers participate in many ways: stocking shelves in our food pantry, working with participants seeking assistance, organizing fundraising activities, creating awareness of EFAA and its services through outreach in the faith and business communities, doing administrative work and much more. These combined efforts of so many that care so much result in EFAA being a tremendous steward of good works to the community’s most vulnerable citizens.
It has been my honor to serve as EFAA’s Board President for the second time in a decade, and I look forward to continuing my volunteer work with Boulder’s oldest and most well-respected human service organization.