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Dear Friends of NAMI Columbia County

We could not have predicted that the greatest global pandemic in a century would emerge in 2020, nor could we have predicted its impacts on our community as a whole and NAMI Columbia County as an organization.  Our signature activities – Family Support Group, Family to Family, Legislative Advocacy, Education Programs, etc. support the caregivers of those who suffer from mental health issues.  These had all been conducted as in-person activities.  When the shutdown began on March 15, we had to find new ways to serve our community which is disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

In April we received a small grant from the Berkshire-Taconic Foundation whose funds were specifically targeted to COVID-19 response. With this grant NAMI Columbia County engaged the services of a NAMI-dedicated marketing company to help us to reach out virtually. Our website was completely overhauled and is now a web presence that we are proud of. Our social media presence expanded to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We have reactivated our Email marketing and taken our programs online using Zoom video technology.  We have revised and revamped brochures and other collateral to promote new virtual programs.

Another exciting project that commenced in 2020 was the fiscal sponsorship agreement we entered into with the new Mental Health Awareness Gallery (MHAG) in Hudson, NY. The mission of MHAG is to feature art and creative work by individuals in recovery from serious mental health and/or substance abuse problems.  The brick and mortar gallery that MHAG will one day open will be a shared space with NAMI Columbia County, which we will use for administrative and program purposes. In August, the NAMI Columbia County website premiered the MHAG virtual gallery where artists’ work and living experiences are showcased. We are very excited by the interest that is being generated by this important and mutually beneficial endeavor.

These are but a few examples of the value your dollars provide in fulfilling the mission of our all volunteer organization. As you consider your year-end contributions, we hope that you will include NAMI Columbia County. Our member dues cannot begin to cover all that we do, and we depend upon contributions like yours for which we are very, very grateful.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and volunteers of NAMI Columbia County, NY, we wish to thank you again for being part of our community and enabling us to fulfill our mission. Your support helps so many who are suffering from the devastating effects of this mental health crisis that we find ourselves in.

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