2020 was a year for the history books, wasn’t it? We sure are glad you stuck with us through it all. In the end, because of the commitment of our strong community, the good definitely overwhelmed the bad.
Here are some of the many GOOD things that happened around the Mission in 2020.
In March, our community rallied quickly to start producing masks en masse!
Not just masks. Our donors, volunteers and partners came around us in a time of chaos and created peace, security and comfort for the hundreds of concerned residents who were seeking shelter during the early days of the pandemic.
All summer, we did inner-city outreach in a whole new way!
Despite UGM Camps being closed down all summer due to gathering restrictions, UGM’s Youth Outreach team shared food, fun and faith with a grand total of 227 Spokane-area kids from low-income neighborhoods! Largely, this happened through phenomenal church partnerships, which had the dual impact of building a stronger network of local churches, and of connecting many previously unchurched children and their families to a church family.
In August, we had the largest phase promotion in years!
UGM Men’s LIFE Recovery celebrated their largest phase promotion since 2012, with all nine men who entered phase 4 in spring, successfully moving into phase 5 in summer!
Thrift donations were at an all-time high!
Literally! Piles of new product poured into our Thrift Stores, as people quarantined at home chose to make use of their time by sorting and purging their unneeded stuff. These gifts turned into financial support for our Recovery programs, meals and beds!
Online giving beat last year’s record! In a time when we expected fewer donations, because of job losses and widespread financial distress, one-time and monthly online giving actually increased! Many community members were drawn to give more instead of less, because their hearts went out to people on the streets who had no safe place to go when the world closed down.
We laid the foundation for further expansion!
LC Valley: Having been invited by the LC Valley community, we have established a Thrift Store in Lewiston that will open in February, and are evaluating community support for an eventual crisis shelter!
Hayden, ID: Our first Coeur d’Alene area Thrift Store is being built and will open in May! We are excited that this will be a place that many of our residents at the Center for Women and Children will receive job training as a first step toward rebuilding their work histories!
And so much more! A race was held at a gym with masks on, several events were livestreamed, World Homeless Day was hosted entirely online for the first time ever (AND garnered more proceeds for the homeless than any year prior), and despite all potential barriers, 108,414 nights of safe shelter were provided, 223,683 meals were served, 2,727 visits to UGM medical clinics were provided, and over 5,000 people were presented with the gospel. And that’s the bottom line.
See what Phil Altmeyer has to say about the weird and wonderful year that none of us will soon forget.
Through countless challenges and hurdles, innumerable planning and re-planning sessions, tons of creativity, and loads and loads of grace, our staff and our community made the very most of 2020. Thank you.
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