Dear Cliff and Judy:
I sent you the standard “receipt letter” for your extraordinarily generous gift, but wanted to add these personal thoughts in an email so you and others who might read them can fully comprehend the significance of the contribution to the ongoing work of Breakthrough.
As you know, I have watched from the periphery as this organization was created in 1999 and has grown over the years. My personal relationship with two of the founders made me more aware than many of the crucial importance of their mission for the lives of both the individuals with the disability and their families. When asked to consider leading an effort to develop resources to move them to a new level of service for the ever-growing population of those on the spectrum, it didn’t take me long to agree.
I have been challenged on a number of fronts as I have moved through the learning curve at Breakthrough. While my position with the Foundation is removed from the day-to-day work of those on the “front lines” of providing services to the participants, I have many opportunities to observe and hear about the great work the staff does. The challenges they face in improving the lives of those in the program are vastly greater than any I have had; yet it would appear they all work very, very hard at doing a great job. I also know everyone goes through a standard regimen of training as they enter employment with the organization, but ongoing opportunities for training and development are usually not very high on any organization’s list of priorities as budgets and missional constraints are addressed every year.
Thus, your restricted gift for staff training is, in my mind, so critical in maintaining both wonderful employees and well-served participants. Exposure to new techniques in the work done by the staff is vitally important in maintaining a level of organizational quality and an environment and culture regularly infused with good morale building opportunities.
So thank you both for your thoughtfulness and foresight in making such a gift. I cannot help but believe it will truly make a significant difference in the short and long term future of Breakthrough.
Robert A. (Archie) Ellis, Jr., CEO
THE BREAKTHROUGH FOUNDATION