Volunteers of America's 2017 New Year's Goals

As 2016 came to a close, there was much venting in the popular discourse about how awful a year it had been. Most of this focused on the volume of high-profile celebrity deaths combined with thoughts on the presidential campaign and subsequent election. In the New Year, consternation over the new administration and what the future may hold has become an almost constant point of conversation, especially on social media and cable news.

But rather than dwell on the negative as we head into 2017, I'd rather focus on the positive and look at current events as part of a broader context. Since our founding in 1896, Volunteers of America has provided services through 21 presidential administrations. We have persevered through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and an ever-evolving cultural and political landscape. Through all this, our mission has remained unwavering … to serve America's most vulnerable.

Certainly, as in any time of transition, we face a great deal of uncertainty and concern about how changes in policy will affect our ability to serve those who need us. We worry that changes to tax policy like eliminating the charitable deduction may hinder our ability, and that of our peer organizations, to raise much-needed revenue to fund programs. We worry that affordable housing or services for low-income children may not be as high a priority as they have been in the past. We worry that changes to programs like Medicare may hurt seniors who already live on very limited resources.

Whatever happens, Volunteers of America will continue on as we always have, helping those who need us live successful, productive, dignified lives. We've faced challenges and an uncertain future before. With faith in our work and commitment to our mission, we'll continue to follow the lead of our founder Maud Booth to "go wherever we are needed, and do whatever work comes to hand."

Learn more about our work and the many ways you can support Volunteers of America's mission.

Thank you,

Mike King