Editor’s Note: Lynn Bishop, Executive Director of NAFI Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York, shared this end of the year holiday message with colleagues, and we would like to share it with you. Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and joyful holidays and a hopeful 2023!
As 2022 comes to a close, it is with an immense sense of pride that I reflect on our collective accomplishments and extend my heartfelt thanks for the overwhelming support and dedication you all have shown to the NAFI CT-NY-RI community over the last year.
This year has brought many changes to our agency and called to our attention the on-going challenges and needs facing our employees and those we serve. Through it all, you remained steadfast. At every program, in each meeting, NAFI colleagues listened, challenged themselves and one another to go above and beyond, and leaned into the work of living our mission each day.
The results speak for themselves. In 2022, NAFI concluded a multi-phase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) organizational assessment, the results of which have provided a strong foundation for sustainable action towards advancing the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our agency for years to come. We’ve expanded our reach, working with new funders and new populations, including the first-ever NAFI program specifically designed to provide care to unaccompanied children. We were named a Top Workplace for the 7th consecutive year, including an inaugural win for the Rhode Island region.
While I am beyond proud of these and our many other noteworthy accomplishments throughout the year, I remain most humbled by the daily impact our employees have on the children, adults, and families in our care. The therapist who sits with a young person and helps hold their grief and worries. The direct service professional who cooks a favorite dish to accompany a holiday meal. The case manager who works late to ensure that a child arriving in foster care is greeted by a warm and welcoming face. These seemingly small, but immeasurably powerful moments happen throughout our programs each and every day. I cannot fairly express the enormity of the impact you have made on the lives of so many, but know that it is deeply felt.
And it is with this gratitude that I encourage us all to move into the New Year reinvigorated and more committed than ever to (as Dr. Bakal reminds us), “embrace the opportunities that arise from all challenges” and build on our incredible successes.
I wish you all a happy holiday season and a bright 2023.