March 31, 2020 Dear Friends of Rock Point, As you undoubtedly know, the current pandemic has impacted lives all around the globe, and Rock Point is no exception. Over the last month, we have witnessed a dramatic loss of business as group after group cancelled their events at our Center and the ability to run our summer camp came into question. Faced with the prospect of an empty conference center for 3-6 months, we turned our attention to how this liability could be turned into an asset for community. We have dedicated our unused lodging space to The Howard Center – a community-based residential program that needed extra rooms for its residents. Starting this month, the Howard Center has full use of our Van Dyck building for their programs at a highly discounted rate. In addition, we are working with Anew Place - an organization that provides a spectrum of services to individuals in Burlington who are experiencing homelessness. Anew Place will be using our commercial kitchen to prepare food for their clients. We feel that these services align with our mission to be a “sanctuary in the heart of downtown Burlington,” and are an excellent use for space that would otherwise be unfilled. We are providing both of these services at free or highly discounted rates to our partners. In addition, we are continuing to pay our staff and do all of the work necessary to keep our facility in good shape. We must prepare our trails and grounds for summer use and continue to build programming such that we are ready when we emerge from this moment. In a show of support for our commitment to the community, many of our Rock Point staff members have pledged to donate the stimulus check that they anticipate receiving from the federal government to Rock Point. In addition, our Board of Directors is committing to be the first group to contribute toward Rock Point's sustainability. Seeing our internal constituents come to our aid is not only touching, but also inspirational. The realities of the current pandemic have clearly shown how interconnected we are as a human race. Something as small as a viral cell has turned the world upside down and has insisted that the phrase social distancing become part of our vocabulary and our actions. This moment has also reminded us that Rock Point is a special sanctuary in the hearts of so many and that our socially-minded mission is more important than ever. In order for us to continue serving as a “sanctuary in the heart of Burlington,” I ask you now to consider giving of yourselves to ensure that we can stay strong and resilient through these very difficult and challenging times. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and especially for your generosity.
Regards, Paul Habersang Executive Director Rock Point Commons