Photo credit: Fidelity.com
To say that 2020 was difficult would certainly be an understatement. For some of us, it was difficult. However, for some team members it was not only a year of uncertainty and fear, but one that brought new barriers to communication, and for some, loss.
For HSDC, 2020 brought unprecedented financial challenges. We lost approximately 37% of our annual service revenue. In addition, we received less grant funding, and contributions for 2020 appear to be less than in 2019 (we will not know the full extent of annual contributions until all 2020 donations have been received).
In Ohio, 1,711 businesses closed permanently and 1,397 others experienced temporary closings. Experts predict that the long term effect of the pandemic will result in financial instability for nonprofits and small businesses.
As difficult as it has been, our team has risen to the challenge and we are in a good position as 2021 begins. We all know that we have several difficult months ahead of us but our team is ready to meet that challenge. The Helen Keller quote that I shared with our team in December will be our mantra for 2021:
“The true test of a character is to face hard conditions with the determination to make them better.”
While we are in a good position at this time to face the challenges of 2021, we must continue to move forward with an urgency to achieve our goals and continue to expand our mission throughout Greater Cincinnati.
2020 made us stronger. It also tested our ability to be nimble. We rose to that challenge by making a quick shift to telehealth services thanks to the efforts of our Clinical Services Director. We received much needed stimulus funding and government loans to help us remain open throughout the year. We also received incredible exposure for our window mask initiative, thanks to the efforts of our Community Services for the Deaf and Marketing teams. And, finally, this challenge reminded us that for almost 100 years, this agency has been meeting an essential need in this community and we have no intentions of letting our light dim or our mission diminish.
Thanks to everyone for your support, guidance, and encouragement last year. Let’s make 2021 the best year possible as we continue to remove obstacles to communication!
J.B. Boothe, CEO John Sinclair, Board Chair