Dear WRC Community,
As we come to the end of an unprecedented year, I find myself reflecting upon what I have learned about this organization in the brief time I have been on board as the new Executive Director. What I have come to recognize is that this community possesses greater strength and resilience than I could have possibly anticipated. Despite the unparalleled adversity introduced by the COVID crisis, Westside Regional Center has continued to provide services and supports.
As we all know, the events of this last year have forced Westside to operate primarily as a remote organization like so many other companies and organizations around the world. Similarly, Westside has had to adapt to a virtual world overnight. Regardless of this monumental challenge, Westside has remained true to its mission of ‘empowering individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to choose and access community services that facilitate a quality of life comparable to persons without disabilities’. This is something I have come to recognize may be the secret to Westside’s success and resilience. One community. One shared commitment to its principle mission. A mission that is unwavering regardless of the challenges and adverse circumstances presented by the greater world in which we live.
I want to acknowledge the strength and determination of the individuals that we support and their families who have demonstrated this commitment. They have endured this ongoing crisis with much resolve. The shared stories of those we support overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges have been truly heartening and inspiring.
I also would like to recognize our providers that have demonstrated a tremendous level of creativity in adapting to the challenges of this current crisis. From Zoom yoga to telehealth services, their innovations have been remarkable. I applaud the providers for their ability to reimagine the delivery of services and supports during these unprecedented times.
Like our providers, Westside Regional Center staff have been able to navigate a myriad of previously unimagined challenges this year. Many have had to balance the needs of their own families while keeping a mental endurance level strong enough to help hundreds of other families. Successful efforts have been made in upgrading our technology, increasing contacts with families, and more creatively addressing the unique needs of the individuals we support.
I want to extend my personal thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers who have given their time and energy towards organizing, moving, and distributing millions of pieces of personal protective equipment, food supplies, and other needed equipment to the community.
As we conclude this year of transformation and prepare for a new year, Westside stands prepared to support our community with greater focus and strength. The year 2021 will be a year where we will use our community’s input to develop our strategic plan and build our capacity to better support the evolving needs of our families and the individuals we support.
In closing, I would like to wish everyone in our community a warm, safe, and joyful holiday season and a very Happy New Year!