A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,


As the year 2020 nears its end, it is hard to reflect back on the many sad events that occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems everyone has been affected in some way. Here at The Avenue, the delivery of services was greatly impacted and adaptations were made to meet the needs of clients while adhering to the requirements of social distancing, the wearing of masks, sanitization of facilities, and so much more. Keeping our clients and team members safe was the top priority and still is a driving force as the future unfolds.


Thinking about The Avenue’s organizational history since 1891, the realization that several previous pandemics also occurred came to light. For example, the 1918 influenza pandemic affected 50+ million worldwide and the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic has so far affected 32+ million worldwide. Those are staggering statistics and it seems there are lessons to be learned from the history those numbers represent.


First, every pandemic eventually ends; some take years and some take a few months. Second, a collective response that addressed the common good helped speed relief. Think of the efforts to find a cure for polio; that collective response has resulted in nearly eradicating the disease from the planet. Third, some positive changes occurred in society behaviors from the experiences learned during the pandemic. For instance, the initial reactions to and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS have changed substantially in an affirmative manner over time. Right now, no one knows the lessons COVID-19 will provide, but history suggests that at least the above three things will occur.


Given the above, The Avenue recommits to fulfilling its mission of assisting individuals at risk – to Empower - to Advocate – to Support. No pandemic will stop those efforts. It hasn’t happened in 129+ years and with continued community support will remain in place for many years to come. While it is true that how the mission is fulfilled will change because of the pandemic, The Avenue team members are prepared to meet the challenges for the greater good. So, here’s a simple request – take actions and do what creates the greater good. That can only help end the current pandemic.

Stay safe and stay healthy.


Joseph K. Goepfrich, CFRE

Executive Director