Dear Friends and Supporters,
On September 11, we started our first day of classes for Head Start, Early Head Start and GED programs. It was heartwarming to see all our staff back in action welcoming the parents and children into our centers. As you know, these last couple of weeks have been difficult for our community due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. I want to thank you for reaching out to AVANCE either by contacting me directly or through other staff members to express your thoughts, concerns or to offer your support throughout these unprecedented times.
My infinite gratitude also goes to first responders, volunteers, organizations, foundations, and all individuals who rolled up their sleeves during the preparation period and recovery stage of Hurricane Harvey. While we still have a journey ahead of us, I am certain that we will continue to join forces as a community to rebuild and rise stronger together.
As we continue our path to recovery I would like to share with you a brief update reflecting some actions taken by AVANCE to get back to our regular operations:
- Assessed and Repaired All Locations:
All AVANCE locations were assessed and repaired to meet safety standards for our staff and students.
- Identified Impact on Staff and Provided Assistance:
We assessed the impact Harvey caused on staff and their families and identified internal financial assistance and counseling services to assist those affected. We also offered flexible work schedules.
- Identified Impact on Participants and Provided Assistance:
Communicated with students enrolled in our programs and connected them to resources based on their needs. They were also updated on new start dates for all programs.
- Collected Donations to Aid Staff and Families:
We set up a donation site and received many donations from the community. These donations were distributed to our staff and families who were affected by the storm.
- Provided Links to Other Resources:
Continuously sought resources providing assistance and shared information with staff and families
We will continue to work with staff and families to identify ongoing needs that aid in the recovery of our community.
I once again thank you for all your support throughout this period. I am excited to share more updates and smiling photos of our parents and children in our classrooms soon.
We are #AVANCEHoustonStrong !