It is three months into this new covid-19 world. Is it still possible to be optimistic? A pandemic of biblical proportions? An economic crisis that harkens back to the Great Depression 90 years ago? A political crisis that leaves my head spinning?
There is a type of behavior called “catastrophic thinking.” You know, in the old days when you were stuck in traffic, and you had very little gas in the car, and the movie was starting in 30 minutes? The person in the car who kept on saying, “We are going to run out of gas, we’ll never make it to the show, we won’t find parking, this traffic jam is awful and we can’t get off the highway!”; that one is the catastrophic thinker–the one with cascading thoughts of all the things that they were sure would go wrong. I am not sure I know how to be optimistic now, but the alternative will make me crazy. If I can’t be cheerful and sunny, maybe I can be hopeful.
So, let’s talk about hope, and forgive the rhyme, for COPE. We wrote grants and received a Small Business Administration Loan; we were awarded a Federal loan from the Payroll Protection Program to help pay our staff and our rent; we have another half dozen or so funders that we are still waiting to hear from. We cancelled our live fundraising and have moved to virtual events like #GivingTuesday and our recent Bingo events. And we are continuing to work hard to develop new ways of raising funds. While we have not yet met our goals, we are not giving up.
But I was talking with Adam Rabinovitch (our executive director) the other day about how to move forward in these challenging times and we reminded ourselves that raising money wasn’t the only way we had to keep COPE strong. We also needed to make sure we were still having an impact: through our groups and our healing workshops; our newsletter where we connect, get tips on how to take care of ourselves and remember our loved ones; our training and support to families and professionals in our communities. Making sure that we can continue to help families, and to do so kindly, compassionately, safely, professionally, is incredibly important. We need to not just pay our staff and our bills, but to continue to pay attention to you……each and every family connected to COPE. Our strength is that we have always tried, and hopefully succeeded, in having a healing impact on the lives of our families. We are working to continue to have a positive impact on your lives. I hope we are succeeding. Let me know.