Nonprofit leaders reflect on 2022 and share expectations for 2023

We asked the leaders of several nonprofit organizations to sum up 2022 and share their expectations for the new year. Their comments are insightful and hopeful.

Carolyn A. Watson, founder and executive director, Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure (H.O.M.E. Inc.)
“Like many nonprofits, Helping Oppressed Mothers Endure, Inc. (H.O.M.E.), has experienced successes and challenges throughout 2022.  While we haven’t fully bounced back from the harsh realities of a world-wide pandemic, we are still standing, and serving single mothers and children who need furniture more than ever before.  This year, God enlarged our territory to accommodate struggling families beyond Atlanta to include: Columbus and Macon.  We’re also thrilled that H.O.M.E. received truckloads of ‘brand new’ furniture from Macy’s and Maiden Homes, which kept our inventory at full capacity. And to finish strong, on Dec. 9 H.O.M.E. was honored to receive Congressman Hank Johnson’s 2022 Pinnacle Award. We are thankfully blessed for the village of supporters who consistently help us—help others.
Our vision for 2023 is simple, yet gracious:  We are trusting and believing doors will open for securing a permanently affordable warehouse space; a growth in financial donations; and fruitful partnerships with furniture companies willing to donate new furniture—because hardworking mothers deserve it.”   

Scott Lange, executive director, AWARE Wildlife Center
“Throughout 2022, we were continuing to rebuild after the challenges of the pandemic. Volunteer availability and fundraising had both been impacted and it wasn’t easy to build back. But it all culminated with a magical rescue in December. On the first Sunday of the month, we got a call from Panola Mountain State Park – visitors had come across a bald eagle with a broken wing! We sent two staffers out to organize volunteers from the public and capture the bird. When we got him back to AWARE, we learned the fracture was quite serious, requiring surgery and probably amputation right away. Fortunately, the surgery revealed that the fracture was relatively recent, and the wing had at least a chance of being saved. He still has a tough road ahead, but we’re hopeful we can save his life, save his wing, and save many more animals next year!”

Sharon Steele, executive director, Habitat for Humanity DeKalb
“Habitat for Humanity DeKalb is propelled by a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  We devote ourselves to creating that world because we believe everyone – every single one of us, regardless of who we are or where we come from – deserves a decent life and deserves the opportunity for a better future. Those in need of a hand up partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes and pay an affordable mortgage. Seniors and Veteran homeowners receive critical home repairs allowing them to safely age in place. We couldn’t and can’t do this work without the support of our donors and volunteers. Thank you! The past few years have been challenging navigating the pandemic and now dealing with the increased costs to build and provide our services, yet we persist. As 2023 and the MLK Jr holiday approaches, we are focused more than ever to build – to build houses, to build bridges between people, to build paths to connected communities, to build ways for people to come together and share in the vision of what Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Jr. Called “the beloved community. Learn how you can join us at www.dekalbhabitat.org.”

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