Rev. Donna Elia, TAUM's Executive Director
There are many highlights of 2010, despite the still-struggling economy. I think of the people served through our programs, neighbors in need who found help as they came into our building, staff people who moved on to full time employment. The highlight was Cisco’s move from homelessness to receiving furniture from TAUM, to employment in our furniture program, to fulltime employment with benefits at a new restaurant! His two children also benefit greatly by this move, and TAUM helped make this happen, therefore so did you!
I think of our many partnerships: The regional Coalition to End Homelessness, the AIDS Walk through the Community AIDS Partnership- Capital Region, the many congregations who are part of our work. I am grateful.
2010 Spring Assembly featured Paul Stewart, a scholar on the Underground Railroad in this area. His work built upon our work through the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Events and Scholarship Program.
We also welcomed new staff people: Janice Wieczorek, Damien Center Director, Jim Netzer, Office Administrator and Paul Hayes, Damien Center Cook. And in February 2011, the Rev. Beth Illingworth and Michael Barrett will have been here for 10 years. Thank you- it’s a joy to work with you both.
Looking toward TAUM’s 25th Anniversary in 2011, I am mindful of the dedication and commitment to social justice that so many people embodied over the years. It was an inspired moment when UUM (United Urban Ministries) and TACC (Troy Area Council of Churches) decided to strengthen their efforts by merging. What started out as one desk in a church has become a building that serves as a community center and a wide array of programs that fill gaps in service or in some way contribute to well being.
In 2010, we served nearly 5,000 meals, gave away $250,000’s worth of good used furniture, awarded our 60th scholarship, came within striking range of raising at total of $300,000 for CROP Hunger Walk, ran Computers for Kids despite enormous obstacles, provided emergency and holiday support, and in a host of other ways sought to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.
Thank you for your willingness to be mindful of those in need and to reach out. Thank you for your work to build a more just community.
With Gratitude and Hope,
Donna M. Elia