December 14, 2020
Dear Members of the ASB Community,
If you told me in March that we would all still be operating in December in a world so greatly impacted by COVID, I may not have believed you. However, if you told me then how the ASB community would come together to creatively continue our education and training sessions, enrichment experiences, and peer support groups, I wouldn’t have doubted you for a second. These past nine months have been a challenge for us all, but I am so proud of how ASB continues to operate through these difficult times to support those we serve.
Fully pivoting our programming to virtual platforms was quickly accomplished out of necessity at first. But what we have found is the great potential that this new virtual landscape can provide. Our remote programs have allowed us to reach more individuals, to work with new partners to expand our programming and to make our services more accessible, as individuals can join without leaving their homes. Even as we plan to resume in-person services in the future, remote programming will remain a key and permanent part of our service offerings going forward.
Unfortunately, COVID cases continue to be on the rise, and we must plan for our organization accordingly. Governor Wolf has implemented new restrictive measures to control the spread throughout Pennsylvania. And last month, the City of Philadelphia announced updates to its “Safer at Home” measures that require all businesses able to operate remotely to do so, with which we continue to comply.
As we’ve said since the beginning, the safety of our staff and participants has always been our highest priority and as we consider what the new year will bring, given the continued concern about virus spread and the uncertain timing for widespread vaccine availability, we have made the decision to continue our work virtually and to keep the Walnut Street Facility closed through June 30, 2021.
This long-range planning will allow all of us to focus on the continued strengthening of remote programming and the broadening of linkages and partnerships to provide a greater range of options for our participants, options that will include access to programs across the United States.
As we approach the holiday season and take the time to reflect on what we are thankful for, I would like to extend my appreciation for your flexibility and your enthusiasm to connect and participate with ASB in our remote format. Please continue to reach out to us through our contact number, 215-821-6151, register for classes and other experiences by connecting with Participant Navigator Lexi Jones, call-in to Lynn Heitz during her virtual office hours, and reference our At Home Resources & Support page for new activities to explore.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,
Karla S. McCaney, President & CEO