From the Desk of the Chairperson
FROM THE DESK OF THE BOARD CHAIRPERSON
ANDREA L. STITH, PH.D.
In times like these ...
For more than 20 years, the Foundation has sought to improve the lives of Chesterfield County youths by supporting their education and by providing them with opportunities and support. By many measures, we've achieved a lot by providing scholarships, care packages, school supplies, books and other items as requested by teachers. Given the extraordinary times, it is fair to ask, do we need to do anything different? What can we do to extend the platform that we have built in order to better advocate for our community? The words of Toni Morrison, the inspirational author and first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, provides much needed guidance. She says,
"if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."
Events this year have challenged the health and well-being of so many in this nation—including members of our community. I am proud to see the ways that our Foundation has responded to these challenges and found ways to meet these new and immediate needs. In spite of fundraising challenges, we, as a small private family foundation, have been able to shift our limited resources to where they are needed most.
How are we working to achieve this? We are maintaining regular communications with local schools, learning about the specific needs that the sudden turn to online learning has created. We have responded by providing essential supplies, resources, and food. Surely, we will need to do more moving forward to meet the evolving needs of our community.
While we cannot, for the foreseeable future, continue holding the events that have helped up build community and support for our cause, we will find new ways to reach out and carry out our mission. Our namesake, Martha Mason Hill would certainly have responded with urgency, generosity, and thoughtfulness under these current circumstances, and I am proud that our Foundation strives to do the same.