Whew, what a year, right? I woke up this morning, the first day of 2021, and took a huge sigh of relief. Not that I truly believe that one day can completely revert the black cloud of 2020 but for hope that maybe, just maybe, the worst is behind us. It’s hope we can all hang on to.
2020 brought a mixed bag of emotions to NSUJL with many highs and lows. Many of us suffered the losses of friends and family this year. Whether it is an accident on the job, a virus, suicide, and other unexplainable accidents many grieved and mostly in silence within their homes. If we learned anything in 2020, my prayer would be that we learned how much we truly need each other in good times and bad.
Closing 2020 was one of the most memorable times we had at NSUJL.
- Our Annual Giving Tree program helped over 30 children receive gifts for Christmas. We saw a few other groups, companies, and pages start similar giving opportunities and we are so grateful so many are involved. Great job everyone!
- Our Annual 12 Days of Christmas raised over $6,000!!! WOW. When you guys support, you really support. Thank you!
- Our Linemen’s Child program provided gifts to 17 children throughout the year.
- Our Scholarship program provided a gift to a child for college beginning in 2020.
- Our families received $100,000 in aid to help offset their bills and necessities needed to survive.
To this date, we remain 100% fulfilled in our mission with the expansion of programs and services. For that, we are forever grateful to each and every one of you.
NSUJL made many great advances in 2020 despite a nearly debilitating hit to our ability to fundraise this year. I truly believe it was fate locating the property in January. Long before we knew what was coming. If anything, it certainly gave us direction and focus when traveling and other means of spreading the word and fundraising throughout the year was not an option. Maybe that was the point. It was meant to happen this year. Our 2 main focuses for 2020 were certainly to families, as always, and then the memorial. I loved that most about 2020.
The Memorial reached and exceeded the goal I had for 2020 raising over $500,000 by the end of the year. WOW. When you embark upon a huge project one of the many concerns is always how it would be received and this memorial just proved once again the line-family and brotherhood will do whatever it takes to support one another. Beyond the face value of every donation received from individuals, locals and companies nationwide it is the support for something bigger than yourself. The memorial doesn’t bring closure. It doesn’t replace the loss and grief. It assures the families that their loved ones will be remembered forever. That is a small glimmer of peace in a devastating situation. It’s worth every ounce of our being to make that a reality.
So, here’s some fun updates. The official plans for the property are complete. The Land Development and Storm Water Management plans are well on their way. The HOP is submitted.
In the coming months, we will be announcing volunteer opportunities for those interested in helping with various small projects around the property. We will have volunteer forms for those once dates and times are available.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual 2020 rodeo last June despite rescheduling to August. We did however still hold our annual Climbing for Lost Linemen ceremony which was the first time it was held at the new property and just beautiful. We limited the audience to just family and climbers with a few volunteers. It worked out perfectly.
The CFLL ceremony and Annual Benefit rodeo are on the schedule for June 18th-19th 2021. We DO believe we will be able to hold both this year. They will be held on the new property located at 555 Foster Ave. Freeland, PA 18224. Keep a close eye on those announcements to come in the following weeks. We will release hotel/resort information soon. It’s going to be so cool to have everyone stay at a resort. I’m truly excited.
Looking forward, we are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get back to our conferences, events, and speaking engagements. We are also so very excited for all the milestones we anticipate will happen this year with the memorial and sharing those with you.
We have high hopes for 2021. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint. Onward and upward!