As you may have gathered by now, DVCCC is celebrating its 45th anniversary year as an organization in 2021.
I'm going to be honest: We were not prepared.
Maybe it's because approaching 45 didn't seem as urgent as approaching 50. Maybe it was the laser focus we've had on our mission as it has been threatened by the global pandemic, creating additional dangers and barriers for those we serve. Maybe it doesn't seem appropriate to joyfully celebrate something when so many are suffering.
Regardless, here we are. It's January 2021 and, this time 45 years ago, the idea of something bigger was on the minds of a small group of dedicated, passionate people working at the Women's Resource Center at the local YWCA. Since that time, it has not been easy keeping a nonprofit organization afloat, but DVCCC has not only remained...it has thrived.
So why is it so important, then, that we recognize this milestone year? Author and speaker John Stahl-Wert provides five reasons:
1. "As humans we are called to grow."
DVCCC has gone from a small, grassroots organization to one with locations spanning the entirety of Chester County, serving an average of 3,000 people a year. Not only has the organization grown, but the staff has grown with it. We currently have over thirty employees providing counseling, advocacy, education, and administration of our myriad of programs and services.
2. "Growth is nourished by encouragement."
Celebrating the small steps is what encourages movement towards the big ones. Our plans for 2020 and 2021 were largely derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so big changes had to be made. Despite this, we had small, unexpected victories, like the success of our Holiday Lights Tour and Holiday Virtual Vendor Marketplace. Our community has shown that they are willing to grow and change with us, and that is truly inspiring.
3. "Acknowledging milestones gives us the opportunity to reflect."
The story of DVCCC is truly remarkable. We are the only organization of our kind in Chester County, and we provide truly lifesaving services to victim survivors of domestic violence. It hasn't always been easy, but it's amazing what the passion of a small group of people can do.
4. "Nothing locks in learning like a party."
Celebration and recognition signifies that the accomplishment really matters. Forty-five years as a nonprofit organization is a big deal! It's important that the staff, board, volunteers, and community partners who have dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to us know how special this milestone really is and the part they've played in its achievement.
5. "Celebrating milestones reminds us to give thanks for everyday moments."
When we pause to celebrate, it invites us to notice everything else. As we celebrate these next twelve months, we do so with gratitude and humility, recognizing that we have much to be thankful for. We invite you to join with us in recognizing this milestone, and perhaps it may inspire you to celebrate your own.
Danielle Dougherty is the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at DVCCC. She holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from West Chester University. When she's not busy raising money for DVCCC, she's spending time with her three little rescue dogs. Danielle can be contacted at email@example.com.