There are times and seasons for everything, even good things."
This year our Executive Director and the Executive Team, including myself (Operations Manager) and Anna Jennings (Program Manager), made the difficult decision to discontinue the THRIVE program.
We had hoped that after the makeover of Tuesday Club to THRIVE that we would be able to run the program full steam ahead for two or three years before seeing if we could revitalize what was once considered the flagship program of SouthSide Youth Outreach. Tuesday Club had seen a steady decline since about the time I joined the staff in 2013. Now, after six months of running as THRIVE, everything came to a grinding halt with the lockdown and safety measures to combat COVID-19.
Discontinuing THRIVE programming was among the many challenging decisions that the Executive Team had to make during the weeks following the complete shutdown of our programming in March. We tried to predict what the future might hold, what Fall 2020 could look like for programming. But deeper than what we could see with our modern eyes we waited and prayed to “see” what our next steps were to be. In faith, we pivoted in June, discontinued THRIVE internally, and set our sights and our staff to work on emergency child care, RISE Summer School, and the Fall 2020 program plan.
Another difficult casualty of this pandemic is the TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) training. With in-person training impossible during Spring Break, the training was delayed. And then changed. The new training scenario is unfeasible for us as we plan to host full-time child care that fits around the Corvallis School District’s plans. We don’t know what the next avenue for increasing our child development skills will be but there are already some promising new opportunities. We will wait and “see”.
“...unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” - John 12:24b
Jesus furthers the wisdom of Ecclesiastes with another level of insight. Sometimes things must die to be reborn. That, paradoxically, life can come after death.
The heart of THRIVE will continue to beat inside of us. THRIVE may be canceled but our commitment to doing everything we can to see children in our community thrive will never be canceled.
What new things will transpire in this next season? We don’t fully know yet. But we invite you to come and “see” with us.
THRIVE may be canceled but our commitment to doing everything we can to see children in our community thrive will never be canceled."
To the many, many volunteers and donors who helped carry out this outreach through THRIVE, and Tuesday Club before it, we want to say thank you. Just as you helped make something good where there was once nothing, we believe that it can happen again.
That it will happen again.
If we have the eyes to “see” it.
The future is ridiculously bright for SSYO. We’re excited to have you join us in making that future a reality for the youth of our community.