Officer's Letter

This past year, while many Americans enjoyed sitting in the comfort of their own homes—warm and safe—eating their meals, listening to the latest news updates on health care reform or the economy, millions of people across America were searching for something to eat or a place to lay their heads. Thousands of returning veterans were struggling to find the America they so proudly fought for, only to find themselves homeless and searching for a place to call home. Thousands of seniors struggled with the difficult decision of whether to pay for their prescription drugs, or pay for heat, water or electricity. Thousands of young people aged out of foster programs; thousands of people battled addictions and feelings of hopelessness, believing that no one cared. Yet, more than 2 million people in need found their way to Volunteers of America programs and services, and their lives began to change for the better—not just for one day, but also for the days to come.

This is what Volunteers of America is all about. Taking each day in someone’s life and making it better, making it matter. Our donors, partners and affiliates across the nation all understand that if we can provide the basic needs we all share as a people, then we have the foundation laid for educating and training those with challenges to become the best they can be as they transition back into the communities where they live.

Last year, with help from The Home Depot® Foundation and its generous pledge of more than $5 million over a three-year period for repairing and renovating properties for veterans, more than 1,000 veterans and their families were able to find and remain in safe places they call home. The Major League Baseball Players Trust continued to support Volunteers of America and, to date, an astounding $9.4 million in monetary funds and in-kind donations has been made by the Players Trust to enhance visibility for Volunteers of America and provide sustainability for programming at the local level. Major Leaguers have inspired more than 64,000 high school students to help more than 204,000 people in need through their signature Action Team program. Through our 14-year partnership with Scholastic, Volunteers of America has provided more than 6 million wonderful new books and materials to children in our programs and throughout our communities, helping bring the joy of reading to more families by helping them create their own home libraries. Our new partnership with CBS EcoMedia is helping us fund important environmental, wellness and education projects at our programs, further improving the quality of life in our communities nationwide. Many recent projects have supported programs for veterans and their families.

We truly value these corporate partnerships—and our partnership with you!

Without your gift of time, talent or monetary donations—large or small—much of what we accomplished this past year in support of others would not have happened. Just like the people we serve, finding new ways to connect to those who may be able to help us is at the heart of our success. We know that we are empowered and strengthened by the support we receive from others. And we are eternally grateful for these relationships.

Thank you. Thank you for all that you did to help us improve the lives of others. Thank you for placing your faith and trust in us to get the job done. Thank you for continuing to reach and uplift the lives of those living on the margins of society. Together, we can make each day for those we serve meaningful, better and long lasting. This is why we do what we do, and this is why you continue to support Volunteers of America.

God bless you,