What a year it’s been…and indeed what a lifetime it has been!
Last week, as I approached my 90th birthday, I couldn’t help but reflect on all that we together have accomplished to help many of the most impoverished of communities in America.
Since incorporating Americans Helping Americans® in 1990 we have helped thousands of children succeed in school by supporting after-school programs, helped senior citizens living on meager fixed incomes with repairs to their house enabling them to remain in the home they love, and provided tens of thousands with winter coats, blankets, and shoes.
I will never forget that day in the mid-1980s when I first visited hard-hit communities in West Virginia and observed the conditions our fellow Americans live in. One man, as I entered his house, told me to watch my step because his floor was rotted through.
For years, I have been honored to partner with grassroots organizations in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and elsewhere who work tirelessly filled with dedication and determination providing assistance to the most in need in their communities. The only thing these local groups lack is resources.
And that’s where you come in, and for which I am so very appreciative.
None of this would be possible without the compassion and generosity of fellow Americans like you, coast to coast. Without your support, tens of thousands of children over the years would’ve been standing in the frigid weather wearing threadbare outerwear waiting for their school bus to arrive. Without you, seniors unable to pay their utility would risk losing their home.
Thanks to you, 50 elementary school students at in Beattyville, Kentucky will have computers by Christmas Day as we initiated a pilot program to bridge the digital divide enabling not only the students themselves to have an all-in-one desktop at home to do their homework, conduct research and e-mail their teachers when school is closed for inclement weather but their siblings as well. In these modern times, a computer at home is not a luxury but a necessity to succeed in school and keep up with their classmates and not fall behind on assignments.
It fills my heart with pride and joy that over the past nearly three decades you have made my vision a reality. All I can offer is to express my deepfelt gratitude for everything we together have accomplished and a sincere thank you on behalf of thousands whose lives you have made better.