September 18, 2020

To our partners in mission; the tireless employees and clients that make up our trusted grantees, and all friends of Sooch Foundation:

We support your integrity, intuition, initiative, and imagination.  In now the ninth month of 2020, the reach of the COVID-19 pandemic is enveloping us in a milieu of uncertainty.  And yet it was only a few months ago when we sensed the enormity of the pandemic with the cancellation of SXSW and the Men’s NCAA Basketball March Madness Tournament. When these uncertainties presented, we swung between hope for a more equitable environment for all and dealing with the details of protecting those around us experiencing the greatest distress. It was then that our non-profit partners were a beacon of inspiration and leadership for the Austin community. 

It was common then to hear the analogy: “We are all in the same storm; but all do not have the same boats.”    Our non-profit partners continually face this reality and apply integrity, intuition, initiative, and imagination to balance these inequities.  The new enthusiasm and energy was a surprise side effect of more people in the public sector and for-profit worlds seeing the inequities more clearly. Now after months of increasing uncertainty, capturing this energy is critical to remaining steadfast in pushing forward our shared ideals for equity, inclusion, social justice and strong opportunity for all. 

Our current circumstances will pass.  This window of opportunity to solidify these important changes will begin to close.   Please continue courageously pursuing your mission goals during these unprecedented times and sharing with us your visions, hopes, and dreams for rising to a new normal with a stronger framework for our shared ideals. We remain your partners in the work willing to collaborate and advocate for all of your community building endeavors.

Stay Strong,

Mary Ellen Pietruszynski
Executive Director