Letter from the Executive Director

April is the Cruelest Month, but There is Hope

April is the cruelest month.

So wrote T.S. Eliot in his masterwork, The Waste Land. Those words have been haunting me the last several days, as our country’s stages of grief have begun advancing toward acceptance of the enormous toll the coronavirus will require of all of us in the next 30 days when Ohio’s diagnoses are expected to peak.

But we also know our state has taken many critical steps to mitigate the tragedy thanks to learned, measured, and bipartisan leadership. A month ago, community leaders decided to largely scuttle any fan attendance at The Arnold, an event that brings 200,000 people from across the country and the world to our city. There was pushback at the time, but how prudent that decision has proven to be, the first of numerous restrictive measures that have been rolled out since then.

Countless lives have been saved as a result.

Indeed, the character that this crisis has revealed in our community has been truly something to behold. And even as we stand on the precipice of what we know will be the cruelest month of this crisis thus far, leaders at our 81 member agencies and across so many other sectors are stepping up and coming together even as we are required to stay apart. 

(And if you’re looking to work for one of our members, we collaborated last weekend with our friends at The Wonder Jam to build a jobs board that now includes 130 openings and counting at our member agencies.)

But as much great work as our agencies are striving to do right now, they’re facing Herculean challenges as well–they need help, too. 

This week, several people and organizations stepped up to help those helpers. Please join me in thanking them.

  • The Columbus Foundation generously funded 12,000 bottles of hand sanitizer being manufactured by Middle West Spirits. Every single one of those bottles will now to go our member organizations.
  • LBrands donated 100,000 bottles of soap to our members, with instrumental support from The Columbus Foundation and the City of Columbus
  • Geben Communication, Paul Werth & Associates, Bricker & Eckler LLP and The Ohio State University have all made services available to support our members through this crisis, as well.

We are enormously grateful.

Let’s continue supporting and loving one another through this challenging time, and we’ll get through this together.

P.S. One month ago, I had intended for this email to be exclusively about the U.S. Census. It remains critically important. Please, take the time to complete it here, and please do all you can to ensure your friends and family and colleagues and clients have done the same.