It’s always been a difficult feat to be a small organization in Carroll County. More than that, being a youth-serving one. Together We Own It is a local grassroots organization; often referred to as the “boots on the ground” because of our drive to meet the needs of our neighbors right where they are and our ability to build relationships with those who are often left out of critical decisions. Together We Own It has always been the voice for those marginalized; despite the challenges we face to be recognized as a viable resource.
During a time in our lives when the future of small organizations is bleak because of a national pandemic, you can believe that Together We Own It has had to make difficult decisions to stay afloat. Our organization has restructured to focus on survival and the continuation of our mission. The current demand for our services is outpacing revenue. Together We Own It has already served over 3.5 times the number of clients in 6 months of 2020 than we did in the entirety of 2019.
We’ve stepped up to provide necessary services to our neighbors such as delivering over 4,600 bags of groceries right to their front doors while schools were closed, providing mentoring services for over 30 youth battling mental health, and offering alternative education solutions for over 90 identified at-risk students for the return to school in the fall. Despite this work, we continue to be overlooked by many in our community.
It is not enough that we have demonstrated positive outcomes for those we serve. It is not enough that we have staff and volunteers who are emotionally committed to this work. It is not enough that we’ve worked tirelessly to serve our children who are, more often than not, left to fall through the cracks without us. We’ve often stopped in our tracks to consider why we continue to march on. The only answer we are left with is, if we don’t than who will? If we don’t stand up against adversity and fight until the voices of our marginalized neighbors are heard, then what do we stand for? If we don’t continue to work towards our mission, our children will suffer.
Fortunately, Together We Own It is resilient. Our staff and volunteers are resilient. Our children and families are resilient. Together, we will make waves in this community. Together, we will fight to create change where it matters most.
I appreciate those who have gone against the norm to support our cause. I am grateful for those who have recognized us for who we are and how we’re different and necessary in this community. Thank you for seeing what we bring to the table and making that delivery possible.
It’s easy to support large organizations with deep pockets, but small, grassroots organizations make up 92% of the nation’s nonprofits and often are community-based and focused on local need. Support for Together We Own It is support for your community. All dollars raised here, stay here. We focus on serving our neighbors so they may break the cycle of generational poverty, trauma and mental health. With community-based programs we are able to be flexible and innovative and adapt to change quickly. Together We Own It is exactly what this community needs to thrive and we will work every single day to prove that to be true.
Urge your neighbors and our leadership to recognize the need that is right in front of our eyes, and the ability for Together We Own It to be a viable organization inside our county to meet that need right where it is today.