Following a year like 2020, and thinking about all that happened, I am thrilled that the words that come to mind as I think specifically about the WSA are: grateful, humbled, appreciative, and so importantly, proud and excited. To have only positive thoughts for the future following a year that seemed destined to provide only negatives is amazing.
Throughout the year, I was reminded many times of the importance of the work we do. Families had so many questions – about the virus, virtual education, anxiety, depression, social isolation… and I was tremendously grateful that we have forged significant and critical partnerships with experts on Williams syndrome who could, and were happy to, help us create and share the resources that our members needed.
We are a small non-profit, not supported by federal or state agencies. Our success is dependent on, and made greater by the efforts of so many families and friends in our community, and I was so often humbled by your notes of appreciation, and especially by your meaningful financial support. THANK YOU!
I have always taken great pride in our association, but never more than this year – from the ability of my staff to quickly adapt to working remotely, to the Board’s partnership, as we all worked to think creatively and re-imagine programming, finding ways to increase support and resources to help families and individuals with new challenges, while ensuring that our regular programming would continue. And it did – awareness month, the walks, camps, the national convention – each looked very different, but each program was held, and collectively they provided lessons to help us improve programming for 2021 and beyond. And that is exciting!
As we look to 2021, we are hopeful for in-person programming in the 2nd half of the year, and we plan to schedule walks and the camps within time frames that will give us the best possibility for this to happen. But we are prepared to switch to virtual as needed in 2021, and we are creating hybrid alternatives to extend our reach to families in every community for late 2021 and beyond.
The WSA mission remains solid and we are more prepared now than ever before to provide programming and resources, support research, and promote the partnerships and connections that will advance the interests of all individuals with Williams syndrome, in every community, throughout their lifespan.
Looking forward to a better and brighter year in 2021,