SAFETY EXIT

From the Desk of John Van Cleef, CEO | February 2021

One Kind Deed

“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” – Henrik Ibsen

It’s February and last weekend was Valentine’s Day. Whether you think it’s a greeting card holiday or find inspiration from its patron saint namesake, February evokes expressions of our conversations about love.

Pause.

It’s February, and it’s Black History Month. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the journey of black people in American history. We need to take time to acknowledge the historic pain of slavery and the present reality of systemic racism. We also need to celebrate the advance of civil rights, the contributions black men and women have made to our history, and continue advancing racial justice today.

Pause.

It’s February, and it’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. During a recent peer leadership prevention training class at a local high school, 100% of the student leaders indicated they experienced or knew someone who experienced violence on a date. This is an issue that impacts everyone – not just the teen survivors – but their parents, teachers, friends and communities as well.

Pause.

CRC’s mission and values acknowledge that people experience life on the margins where everything is not as it should be. Black, indigenous and other people of color are disproportionately represented among the people we serve who are hungry, homeless and hurting. Teens learn bad relationship behaviors through what they observe at home, among their peers and other social influences. What’s more, the economic and social impact of 2020 amplified and increased the needs that exist.

And this is where CRC’s mission impels us to stand in the gap to help our neighbors on their paths to healthy food, stable homes and safe relationships. This is where CRC’s values of compassion, acceptance, resilience, equity and success express themselves in practical action.

We will always have neighbors who fall to the experience of hardship. While an ideal world is one in which this does not happen, we live in a world where everything is not as it should be. CRC is here to serve as a safety net to help people who experience hunger, homelessness and hurt.

We are here to leave so deep an impression through one kind deed that people will know the compassion of their community, and in it find the resilient strength they need to rise and walk their path of love, justice and safety.