Dear Friends of JCCA,
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and with it the start of a truly meaningful time of year. While decorations, eating too much, and heart-warming traditions often get the spotlight, generosity, gratitude, and connection are what make the holiday season so important. Given the turbulent times we live in, leaning into these values is essential.
JCCA’s mission is to bring life-changing care and support to children and families facing steep challenges and sometimes long odds. It’s not easy work, but it’s filled with purpose, hope, and––when a client makes progress––profound joy.
From my perspective as JCCA’s CEO, there is so much to be thankful for. The past two weeks have seen cheerful and warm “Friendsgiving” events in the Bronx and in our brand-new Brooklyn office––a chance to welcome our clients into a bright, modern space that conveys dignity and respect, as well as JCCA’s commitment to exceptional care.
I’m thankful for an inspiring and record-setting Tree benefit––our first in three years, and heartened by the expansion of crucial programming, like Arches and Fair Futures, that meets pressing community and client needs head on. I’m so excited to see our Capital Campaign to reimagine the Pleasantville Campus take flight. I’m impressed by the supportive work JCCA’s staff is doing with asylum-seeking families in Brooklyn. And perhaps most of all, I’m thankful for our incredible community of support––staff, donors, Trustees––whom we count on to ensure our success. I think of people like Liticia McKnight, a legend on our residential campus, who retired this year after 12 years of amazing service to our kids.
What spoke to me about this work was the ability to help someone change their course and gain a new perspective. It takes patience and time. These kids have been through a lot, and because of that they can be guarded, more focused on masking their pain than growing. It’s our job to meet them where they are. I hear from former residents all the time. They call to let me know they’re doing something they’re proud of. They’re getting a job, they’re going to college, they’ve found their way. It makes me feel so good.
Over the next few weeks we’ll share more stories of commitment, inspiration, and change. We’ll invite you to be a part of the JCCA story, too.
Stay tuned and have a relaxing and restorative Thanksgiving weekend.
Ronald E. Richter
Chief Executive Officer