Dear Friends and Supporters of Girls Inc.:
As a generous supporter of the programming and mentoring that Girls Inc. provides, you know better than most people that the girls who rely on these resources come from some of the most vulnerable demographics. Many are girls of color. Many face poverty and other forms of injustice.
Schools, out-of-school-time programs, and community centers are at the forefront of keeping these girls safe and helping them thrive. While the current closing of these key community gathering places is clearly very necessary in the face of the pandemic, it has also forced a near-halt to Girls Inc. programming in many locations. Without these partner sites, we have very little ability to be there for girls whose situation is already fragile.
This gap in support for young people is of great concern to us, and indeed to many leaders, and yet the urgent national need to lessen the impact of COVID-19 gives us few options. I am proud to be able to say that many of our local affiliates have found other ways to support the girls and communities they serve, including providing essentials such as food distribution and child care, checking in with girls via texting and calls, and creating opportunities to bring girls together virtually. A number of the affiliates are supporting each other as well, and Girls Inc. is also continuing to advocate with girls and communities for legislation that will help them right now.
In the middle of all this, we also realize that the economic downturn will have a significant impact on those friends and allies whose financial support allows Girls Inc. to deliver programming at no cost to the girls who participate. The net effect on the girls we serve could be devastating.
No one knows for sure what lies ahead, but I believe it’s possible that, at some point not too long from now, our community institutions will be able to get back to something that’s closer to normal. When that happens, Girls Inc. will be poised to pick up where we left off, offering the supports that girls need to become the leaders they were born to be.
Please continue to help us even as we struggle with the uncertainty that everyone is now facing. We need you now more than ever to ensure we can sustain our excellent staff and proven programming during what we hope is only a brief hiatus. Keeping these resources strong will position us, once the current crisis is over, to continue serving the girls who are our communities’ and nation’s future.
On behalf of everyone in our national organization, thank you. We are so grateful that you have joined us in making it a priority to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
Stephanie J. Hull, Ph.D.
President & CEO