The Exchange Family Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. It is difficult to put into words exactly what this means for me as a person who has worked here for almost 18 years let alone for the center, the board, the staff, the volunteers, the donors, the families, and the whole community. But the only word we really need is THANKS!!!
As we take a look back over the past quarter of a century, we have so much to celebrate. Because of the concerted efforts of so many on our behalf, we’ve been able to provide support, strengthen families, and prevent child trauma. We can look back and count the successes: programs launched, workshops led, donations pledged, services provided, families supported, and peanuts sold.
This milestone for us means:
- We made it! 25 years ago our local Exchange clubs collaborated to open our doors. The founders started with a first year budget of $64,759. Today, EFC has an annual budget of over a million and our foundation (started in 1998) provides approximately $17,000 in interest off an untouched principal annually. Our financial stability is a beautiful tribute to the hard work of so many!
- The long term commitment is awesome! Our amazing board members help keep those doors open by setting goals and making sure we remain sustainable even as we grow. Two current board members, Jim Barringer and Alan Jessup, were founding members of the center. Jim has amazing stamina--he and our treasurer Gerald Dodd have both served on the board all 25 years we’ve been open in one capacity or another. And we continue to welcome new board members whose commitment and enthusiasm is equally evident.
- The time and resources of our namesake, the Exchange Club, have made a difference! Over half of our current board are members of the Exchange Club and EFC counts on the Club for annual donations as well as their talent on our board. Some of the same donors have been giving for years at the annual golf tournament and other events.
- YOU are part of history! Stop and take a breath. This is no longer a two- or three-year project or a center in its infancy, but the first 25 years of what will continue to grow into an even greater organization. Let’s keep the momentum going!
- Your trust and commitment is overwhelming! When words simply fail to capture the emotion and gratitude we feel, we can point to the actual changes in the lives we touch. Families, parents, teachers, and professionals have trusted us enough to invite us into their homes, offices and classrooms. Seeing sustained changes in the relationships between children and the people who care for them is what makes these 25 years shine so brightly. It is an honor to support you in your life’s journey.
Have we had a chance to thank all those who planted the seeds and watched EFC grow over the years? Can we ever say ‘thank you’ enough? Again, words fail us here. So, we’re coming together to celebrate and continue to support the organization that has brought all of us together.
On June 23rd, we will recognize the efforts that have gone into building EFC and allowing us to make a difference in the lives of Durham families at our 25th Anniversary Gala, EXcelerating CHANGE. We’ll gather at Croasdaile Country Club and enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live music by Tea Cup Gin, and a silent auction. All proceeds will go toward moving families on our waitlist into services.
Here’s to the next 25 years making a difference and EXcelerating CHANGE in Durham and beyond!