Letter from the Executive Director
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04/08/2020

Our 10th Anniversary in a Time of COVID-19

Ten years ago today, the Human Service Chamber was officially born.

Under the leadership of our inaugural Board of Directors and our first executive director, Qiana Williams, the agency’s purpose was to represent one voice on behalf of the health and human services sector in Franklin County.

That remains central to why we exist, though our mission has evolved just as our membership has over the years.

We now represent a diverse array of 81 organizations, some of which have been operating for over a century, and some for less than a decade. The needs our community has asked of our members, and the challenges that stand in the way of delivering those services, have changed as well. 

So when our Board of Directors led us through a strategic planning process a year ago that coincided with a new logo, a new website, and a larger membership, we embraced a new mission: to unleash the power of human potential with every act of human service. 

Neither that mission nor that voice have ever been more important, as we all navigate this coronavirus crisis of excruciating and exponentially growing need here and across the world.

Accordingly, our birthday wish is simple: We hope you will join us in helping the helpers in our community by supporting our 81 members. Please go to our Facebook page and read through the comments for direct links to The Columbus Foundation’s giving pages for each of our members. And if you can’t give, please consider volunteering. And if you can’t volunteer, please consider donating: Our agencies need not only items like diapers and clothing for their clients, they need technological hardware so they can do their work and deliver their services in new ways. And if all you can do is stay home and be safe, please, that is as critical as anything else right now.

Lastly, please stay tuned as we prepare to launch an advocacy effort to urge Congress to allocate stimulus dollars exclusively for the health and human services sector in its next stimulus bill. Our sector was underfunded before this crisis began, as our agencies provided considerable healthcare, food, housing, educational, child care, legal, workforce, reentry, and myriad other services. If our agencies are not supported now, with hundreds of thousands newly in need of our agencies’ services, many will cease to exist, jeopardizing the very safety net that is needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your help and partnership in this perilous time. Please be safe and take care of one another, and we’ll get through this together.