On Tuesday, April 13th, close to 100 supporters of REACH joined staff and Board members over Zoom for our Annual Meeting. This virtual event was an opportunity for volunteers, activists, donors, survivors, community leaders, and service providers to come together to share the successes and challenges of the past fiscal year. This year’s Annual Meeting was also the kickoff of our 40th Anniversary celebration and marked the exact date 40 years ago on which REACH was incorporated as a nonprofit organization.
The program for the evening included remarks from Executive Director, Laura Van Zandt and Board Chair, Stephen Reed. They gave an update on the organization, including REACH’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our commitment to racial equity work. We also welcomed new members of our Board of Directors and said goodbye to those stepping down.
Following the annual update, the founders of REACH, Robin Braverman and Paula Screnci-Vacaro, joined Laura for a fireside chat where they reflected on the early days and chatted about all things REACH – from where we began to where we are today. When talking about the services that they offered during the first few years, Robin stated:
“Since we didn’t have a shelter at the time, we would often be placing people in other shelter programs. And then, we had our first safe house, which was my home.”
The conversation truly reflected the growth of REACH – from a shelter that was operated out of someone’s personal home to a program that now serves over 7,000 people a year. The conversation ended with Robin and Paula sharing their hopes and wishes for REACH over the next forty years.
After the fire side chat, Laura presented Robin and Paula with this year’s Founders Awards. A LifeMap was created for Robin and Paula that shows the important milestones and progress that REACH has made along with what has happened in the domestic violence movement.
Laura closed the meeting with extreme gratitude and high hopes that we can meet in person next year. A preview of our new logo was also revealed and we announced the launch of our “75 NEW Monthly Donors in 75 Days” campaign. Last year at our 2020 Annual Meeting, we launched our Sustainer Society, a monthly giving program that allows donors to effortlessly support REACH on a regular basis. In turn, REACH is able to build financial sustainability for the organization and support even more survivors in the communities we serve. Since then, more than 25 people have become monthly donors. As we begin our 40th Anniversary Celebration, we want to increase that number so we are launching an ambitious campaign to engage 75 new monthly donors in 75 days. We are looking for those who are ready to go ALL IN by making a commitment to donate monthly to support our work with survivors, community partners, schools, individuals, and so many others. If you are interested in making a monthly gift, you can do so here.
If you were unable to attend or just want to tune in again, you can access a video recording of the Annual Meeting here.