2020 Year in Review

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What a year for SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals! We welcomed 1,779 guests, and together, with our dedicated volunteers, we learned so much about our strength to adapt when we are met with adversity.  We enter 2021 a stronger organization. One of the integral aspects of our house is YOU, our valued supporter.  We thank you for your unwavering support of Family House, which was key to our ability to deliver our mission for our guests in 2020.January and February gifted us with an inspiring start to the year with some of our youngest supporters participating in our Kids Give Back: MLK Day of Service. Children helped us fulfill our Wish List, baked delicious treats and made heartwarming cards for our guests, and more to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day of giving back. 

Then, in March of 2020, like the rest of the world, COVID-19 became the almost sole focus of our organization. We worked with UNC Health, the Orange County Health Department, and our own Medical Advisory Committee to determine the best steps for Family House. To prevent viral transmission and actively safeguard the health of our guests, staff, and volunteers, Family House temporarily closed from April 1, 2020 - May 31, 2020.

During the two months our doors were closed, expansion construction continued and our kitchen renovation began.  We held a very successful Virtual Happy Hour, replacing our Family House Classic, raising 3/4 of the expected revenue at this new event. In late May our Board of Directors voted to approve a negative budget for the first time ever, planning for a deficit of $245,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, recognizing the difficulty of the economy due to COVID-19. 

On June 1, 2020, our doors reopened to a limited number of guests, volunteers and staff, kicking off the start to a busy month! Later that month, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals was honored to be awarded with Certified Hospitality House status by the Healthcare Hospitality Network.  Finally, we wrapped up the month celebrating over $1 million raised through our Bridging the Gap annual campaign. Your support and belief in the mission of Family House helped us Bridge the Gap during these unprecedented times, and for that we are grateful.  

In July we rang in our new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 by welcoming new members to our Board of Directors and honoring members who had concluded their service, and August brought Family House a bit of recognition and publicity, as SECU Family House was highlighted in a story on ABC 11 WTVD.

As we rolled into September, we excitedly hosted a drive-through kick-off party for our 2020-2021 Making a House a Home Annual Campaign. Our community came together from the safety of their vehicles to celebrate Family House with ice cream, a visit from Rameses, fun giveaways and great music.  It was great to see so many familiar faces we had been missing.

During October, our Development team was busy meeting grant deadlines for many of the generous foundations who support Family House.  We are grateful these wonderful individuals and organizations who pour back into the community and include Family House in their giving.

In November, our meal donation program shined with a Thanksgiving feast for our guests over the holiday.  We are grateful to the many wonderful meal groups and individuals who make it possible for our guests to have hot, nutritious meals when they need them most, as well as baked goods and quick "grab 'n go" breakfast bags. 

On December 1, 2020, our hearts were warmed with the generosity of our supporters on Giving Tuesday.  We wrapped up this day with our second drive-through event of the year, this time with the chance for a holly-jolly drive-by visit with Santa! Live musicians brought some holiday joy to the house, while visitors were able to enjoy socially distanced pictures with Santa and drop off donations for our overwhelmingly successful Toys for Tots campaign.  On December 3, we came together (from the comfort of our homes) for The Gala | Home Edition, where we were once again touched by the dedicated support of our community, raising a net total of nearly $120,000 during this virtual celebration. Our dedicated supporters opened their hearts to make for a successful season of year-end giving, and we enter the second half of our fiscal year having raised over $600,000 toward our $1.1 million annual campaign goal.

Through it all, we saw the construction of our 36-room expansion near completion. Check out this time-lapse video to see the evolution of construction progress. 

We would be remiss if we did not recognize we are also entering the year with heavy hearts, and know we are not alone in grieving the loss of three of our long-time, most treasured volunteers.  Our hearts are with the families of Pat, Peg, and Sue, each of who became familiar, warm faces at the front desk, welcoming guests over the years they generously gave their time to Family House.

As we enter 2021 and reflect on the past year, we see a story of strength and resilience, and have a great deal of gratitude for this community of supporters who have made it possible. We are excited for what the year ahead will bring, as we anticipate serving more guests than ever before, doubling our room count.

Thank you for all you've done to make this year at Family House happen. We are honored to count YOU as one of our supporters.


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