Guest Post by Alison Westermann, Program Director of the BRC
The heart of the BRC, I believe, can be found in the programs and services we offer to our community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, although our physical doors are closed, our heart is still open and continues to serve the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. I was hired as the Program Director in late May 2020, in the middle of the worst pandemic the world has ever seen, and since then our team has kept growing.
How has the BRC managed to grow in the midst of such uncertainty? We have a firm foundation, built on our mission and values, and this foundation enables us to continue to secure partnerships with agencies as well as families and individuals that will further our mission.
In a time when some would caution us to “circle the wagons,” we consciously reach out to others in need. When some would advise keeping our resources for our own community alone, we freely give to all (for example, the 400+ households that regularly drive through our food pantry on Mondays). In the midst of chaos, we hold tight to each other and offer mutual support and aid. We are stronger together, because the only way through these unprecedented challenges is by reaching outwards.
I’ve watched monthly as families log in for Game Night, laughing their heads off for two hours straight in a little island of time and space where we can escape the stress and worry of *gestures wildly with hands* all of this. Programs like this one, along with our weekly support groups and individualized therapy sessions, strengthen and empower us to be resilient in the face of unprecedented challenges. We log in, carrying our worry and pain with us. We may not fully forget it while participating in these programs, but we can set it down for a time, and that is enough of a rest before we pick it up again.
We may not know what tomorrow, next week or next month will look like, but I am here to ensure that you can count on the BRC to be there for you now and well into the future.