Pictured above: Kate Keller, President of The Harvest Foundation
2020 has been a challenging year, one that brought added hardships and hard conversations. Like many of you, the Harvest Foundation had plans for 2020, many of ours focused on effecting long-term change for our community. We had goals we believed would support our vision of a thriving Martinsville/Henry County.
But in the face of a worldwide pandemic and racial tensions, we pivoted quickly to respond to the needs of our community. Our Harvest team joined our community, working together to respond to the crisis affecting so many of our family, friends and neighbors. A testing site was established, daycare for emergencies workers opened, funding for small businesses and nonprofits awarded, and encouragement to “Mask-up MHC” are just a few of the examples of the extraordinary efforts of a united community.
Racial inequities and disparities are old problems that need new solutions. Spotlighted by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others, MHC responded with peaceful protests and support. Coalitions were formed and this issue is now a community priority. We are starting that work at home as Harvest began its own equity journey, teaching our board and staff and taking a deeper look at our own organizational culture.
It has been a year that none of us will forget. Good news is on the horizon, there is a vaccine on its way and a myriad of lessons we have learned along the way. We enter 2021 with a broader lens and renewed focus on developing a new strategic plan. In the coming months we will be reaching out to hear from everyone in our community as we develop strategies that have the best opportunity towards progress.
In the meantime, we wish all of you the Happiest (and safest) of Holiday Seasons and know as we enter the New Year our team is ready– ready to get to work building a robust Martinsville/Henry County where EVERYONE has an opportunity to thrive.