This is the season in which many of us reflect on the events of the past year. For most of us, it is safe to say we have never experienced a year quite like 2020. There has been much to be concerned about with the COVID virus and other important milestones. On more days than most of us can count, one wakes up wondering if somehow, we have been dreaming only to come to the realization that the events of this year are all too real. Our worries and fears reignite a sense of dread regarding the future. Fortunately for me, I have had the honor of being associated for many years with an incredible non-profit organization, Progressive Lifestyles, Inc., which never fails to leave me with a sense of hope for the future. This feeling has never been stronger than in the past year. There are two specific reasons for this feeling, first the incredible staff, and second the talented new leadership team.
To describe the staff as essential workers does not come close to understanding the value of the gifts that they bring each day, around the clock, to individuals that have no time to waste waiting for the dreaded COVID to be banished. Providing quality care is never easy or assured under normal circumstances. That is what makes the accomplishments of this dedicated team so remarkable. From volunteering to staff homes under quarantine, to working incredibly long hours, to accepting personal risk to themselves and their own family, the team has striven to ensure everyone receives the care they depend on daily. Progressive staff have always provided care under a Culture of Gentleness, placing relationships at the very top of an ever-expanding priority list. This being said, I must confess that I wondered if the Culture of Gentleness would hold fast under the unprecedented stresses the staff have had to cope with this year. I have been impressed beyond words each time I speak with any of the Progressive staff. The attitude, commitment to the mission, and warmth that is so evident when we discuss the individuals receiving services is quite simply something to behold. I am lucky and honored to know so many fine people. May the new year be kind to you all!
The second reason I find hope each day is the new leadership team. Jennifer and Deirdre are without question two of the best things that have ever happened to Progressive. To take the reins of a complex organization during a global pandemic, the likes of which have not been seen in over a hundred years, would give anyone an extreme case of panic. However, far from panicking, these two professionals have not only carried on the mission but have strengthen the operations of the organization in numerous ways. They have accomplished all of this while at the same time ensuring that proper COVID protocols, reporting, and more than ample supplies of personal protection equipment are in place to keep everyone at Progressive safe. And in case anyone is under the impression that the bureaucracy or the financial pressures have eased in the face of this relentless adversary COVID, well I assure you the issues are more challenging than any period in the history of Progressive. If you wonder what grace under pressure looks like, it can be found in the leadership of Jennifer and Deirdre.
So, I hope you will join me in supporting Progressive in any way you can and wishing all the Progressive team members the best New Year ever!