By Tamra Ryan, CEO
I think it’s important to start this post with gratitude:
I am endlessly grateful for all of our customers and supporters, new and long-time, who are helping us stay and feel essential. I feel fortunate that we have not had to furlough any employees. In fact, if ever there was a good time to be in the dried bean business, now is it. We are fervently making our products and shipping them daily to homes and stores across the country. We hope receiving Women’s Bean Project products brings a little comfort to your home.
I am grateful to our Staff team for being nimble, willing to adapt each time the situation changes and for remembering why we do our work in the first place. The production, shipping and accounting (bean counters!) teams are all extremely busy on-site, while the back office staff are being asked to work remotely. As a team we are adapting to how this changes the group dynamics and we are trying new technology to keep us connected.
I am grateful to the program participants for their adaptability, showing up every day with excitement about being busy and feeling essential to our customers. We are finding new ways to deliver program services, including virtual case management calls with our social work interns. And we are currently exploring how we might offer other program classes virtually. Their ability to roll with each change has been inspiring.
Of course, we’ve had to make other adjustments. Though our facility has always been clean – industry experts who visit always comment on how clean our facility is – we have added a number of steps to our daily cleaning schedule, including washing our hands upon entering the building, plus numerous times throughout the day and placing hand sanitizer in key locations; wiping down workstations, light switches and door handles and conducting extra cleaning procedures in common spaces at the end of every day; and wearing masks while in our building.
Continuing operations has allowed us to keep everyone employed. Extra cleaning and new procedures are aimed at keeping everyone safe. And sending products to our grateful customers makes us feel needed and a part of your lives. We have also had the opportunity to recommit to why Women’s Bean Project exists: support the program participants so they can transform their lives through employment.
I’d like to end with a call to action:
In addition to stocking your pantry (and consuming our products), we need your help. Our biggest fundraiser, Ready, Set, Grow, is coming up on April 22nd. This fundraising goal for the event is $250,000. While it is still scheduled for April 22nd, we will now offer it virtually. This presents a great opportunity because you don’t have to be located in Denver to participate! Please plan to join us on April 22nd at 12:00 p.m. (MDT) for a 30 minute, moving program that will help you see why Women’s Bean Project is so important in the community and in the lives of the women we serve. Click here to register for the event. Or, if you’d like to support us sooner, please click here to make a donation now.