2020 in Review: Stories of Lasting Change

2020 in the foreground with white twinkle lights behind it

No one could have predicted at the beginning of last year that this is where we would be at the start of 2021. Through it all, we’ve been inspired by our partners, donors and community participants who have adapted and grown to meet the changing needs of the year. Here’s a look back at some of our most popular stories from 2020.

Lessons from my Three-Year-Old
February 2020

“Ash Wednesday is a reminder that we are fashioned from dust, and to dust we will return. However, children are a reminder that a whole lot happens between those dusty bookends, and while we are on this Earth, we have work to do – and we can’t always do it alone,“ wrote Chad Brinkman, Director, Campaigns.

Under the Mango Tree
March 2020

Since 2016, we’ve partnered with the Anglican Diocesan Disaster and Relief Organization (ADDRO), the relief and development arm of the Diocese of Tamale, to assist in the formation of 142 savings groups in Ghana with 3,249 members, of whom 2,971 are women. Together these groups have saved $86,673! Mike Smith, Major Gifts Officer, wrote about the formation of one of these groups in Northern Ghana called “Asongtaaba,” which means “we help each other.”

Meet our Gender Initiatives Director: Chiseche Mibenge
March 2020

Dr. Chiseche Mibenge, Director, Gender Initiatives joined Episcopal Relief & Development in 2019. In this Q&A, she shares how a chance meeting with a bishop drew her away from a twenty-year career in academia to a staff role at Episcopal Relief & Development. 

Palm Sunday: Our Hope Is For Nothing Less Than Life Itself
April 2020

In what we now look back on as the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Sean McConnell, Senior Director of Engagement, reflected on how Easter reminds us that Jesus made his ultimate sacrifice out of love for others and that it is our love and sacrifices that will get us through this time.

Volunteer Week
April 2020

For National Volunteer Week, Kat Milligan, Program Officer for Engagement, wrote about how her work with volunteers allows her to see the best in humanity.

Laying Bare The Suffering In Our Midst
June 2020

What is the role of a faith leader amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Inspired by Saint Basil the Great, an early fourth-century Christian leader known for his love of the poor and underprivileged, Miguel Escobar, Executive Director of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and board member of Episcopal Relief & Development, offered his insight on the moral role faith leaders have today.

Building Relationships, Justice and Hope During Disasters
September 2020

“If we are people that believe and aspire to be a just and loving society, we have a role to play in creating and building it.” – Lura Steele, Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development. In September, we sat down with our U.S. Disaster Program Officers to discuss how disasters are changing and who is most affected.

10 Tips for Going Green at Home
October 2020

As all of our staff adjusted to working remotely in 2020, many looked to make small environmental adjustments in their personal lives just as we do in our programs. We collected 10 simple tips for how to go green at home. 

Basket with pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, and other seasonal vegetables Thankful in 2020? Absolutely!
November 2020

For Thanksgiving, Josephine Hicks, Vice President of Episcopal Church Programs, took time to reflect on all we have to be grateful for this year especially for all essential workers, our program partners and those whose financial support makes this work possible.

My 2021 New Year’s Resolution: Hope
December 2020

“As we bid farewell to 2020, there cannot be many of us who look back on the year with unalloyed joy,” wrote Rob Radtke, President & CEO at Episcopal Relief & Development in his New Year reflection. “But…despair is not an option.”