Year in Review: The 5 Hopeful Moments of 2020
Recently, we asked our affiliates the one word they would use to describe this year, and some common ones we heard: Exhausting. Humbling. Overwhelming.
But even as our beloved city came to a standstill, the early months of COVID-19 was also a time when our network increased support across the city. As Laura Galt, Director of Safe Families for Children, shared: “You expect a lot of funders to pull back, but Hope for New York has only increased, so that’s helped us be sustainable and look into the future.” And this support became the foundation for other affiliate words: Strengthening. Community. Hope.
In this unprecedented year in which our network had to pivot constantly, we're encouraged by these hopeful moments that broadened our mercy and justice impact in NYC:
1. COVID-19 Relief Fund Provides $750,000
As more and more of affiliates became affected by COVID-19 (100% by the end of March), we activated our COVID-19 Relief Fund. Our goal was to provide emergency relief grants to our affiliates, to support them in covering immediate expenses that sustained programs that provided food pantries, health and hygiene items, online learning, career training, and more. Because of the generosity of the HFNY network, we were able to provide four rounds of Relief Fund grants—a total of $750,000—to 39 affiliates between April and June. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see our network's impact during COVID-19.)
2. Total Grantmaking Increases by 49%
Every year, we provide Direct grants for many affiliates, to support them in planning for a year of programs. During our 2020 fiscal year, we distributed over $2.1 million in Direct grants. This amount, in addition to our Relief Fund grants, meant we gave a total of $2.9 million grants to our affiliates—an incredible 49% increase from the previous fiscal year! (You can read our FY20 Annual Report for more incredible highlights.)
3. Three Affiliates and One Church Become New Partners
As part of 10 year vision to grow a movement of mercy and justice across New York City, our goal is to partner with 30 churches and 90 affiliates by 2027. During the 2020 fiscal year, we partnered with three new affiliates and one new church. These three affiliates allow us to continue serving more vulnerable and marginalized communities in the outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Exilic Church was also vital in providing $40,000 to our Relief Fund.
4. Our Network Adapts to Virtual Volunteering
Many affiliates modified their programs to continue serving in person (within health and safety guidelines) or virtually. Over 4000 volunteers served throughout the year, with over 1000 continue to serve during the early COVID months. Our network of volunteers retained their heart for serving, with many continuing to serve in person with New York City Relief, The Salvation Army, St. Paul's House and The Father's Heart, to name a few. But other volunteers adapted to serving virtually by sending letters and cards to immunocompromised residents, tutoring and mentoring students online, joining prayer groups for young moms, and teaching ESL online to recent immigrants. (Read the many Stories of Hope we heard from our affiliates.)
5. His Toy Store Gets Reimagined
Our annual Christmas outreach was reimagined this year to become His Toy Store Store Reimagined. Instead of filling pop-up stores across the city with toys for families, we created a holiday fund that would give grants directly to affiliates. By doing this, affiliates could provide their communities with what they needed during the holidays, whether they be toys, groceries and/or other basic necessities. In total, our network supported us in exceeding our goal of $155K to raise more than $158K, which was projected to provide for over 42K New Yorkers in need.
As always, we wouldn't be able to strengthen our 60 affiliates and our city without the support of the HFNY network. So for 2021, we are committed to deepening our relationships with both affiliate and church partners. And, we remain committed to providing ongoing relief, recovery and restoration to our affiliates, so that every New Yorker will flourish! Join us in continuing to pray, serve and give to New Yorkers in need!
Watch this special message from Elise Chong, CEO, as she reflects on 2020: