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End of The Year Reflections: Rising to the Occasion

December has arrived and, as we often do at this time of year, we are reflecting back on all we’ve accomplished in partnership with our cherished clients, community-based organizational leaders who placed their trust in Lydia Sierra Consulting (LSC) in 2021. Though COVID-19 didn’t go away and we all faced another challenging year, we are proud to say that with hard work, the LSC team helped our client organizations to not only survive - but to thrive!

We were able to rise to the occasion because we are a nimble and adaptable team, with the necessary capacity to deliver fund and organizational development services remotely. As a result, we supported our clients as they restructured programming to safely meet their communities’ needs and deliver direct aid to those hardest hit by the effects of COVID. We also shifted our focus to identify and secure significant COVID relief funding for our client organizations, helping to ensure that their doors remained open during a time when their constituencies needed them most. Yes, we had to buckle down and work more hours, but we continued to do what we always have done: meet our clients where they are (sometimes literally!) to give them vital support for times like these.  

Throughout the year, we worked closely with our clients’ staff, leadership, and sometimes Board, gaining deep knowledge of their programs, systems, needs, goals, and funding gaps, allowing us to become a collaborative partner in visioning the most effective and efficient path to mission-driven growth in the wake of COVID. We also took on new roles with our clients during this unique year, helping to expand their internal capacity and fill gaps in strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, budget forecasting, and more. And we were ready. 

Since January 2021 the LSC team has grown from 5 to 14 members. Located all over the United States and throughout the world, they bring expertise in grant management, prospect research, proposal development, budget planning, digital media, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, Salesforce customization, marketing, and Board development and activation, capital campaigns, and individual donor campaigns. Our remote-based business model allows us to tap talent and provide high quality client service without geographic boundaries. 

Because of our amazing client organizations, we will continue to grow in 2022. LSC’s mission is to support community-led organizations that address the lasting impacts of social, economic, and racial inequities. We embrace the mindset of faithful stewards of the community, and we are asking you, our readers, to consider donating to the groups we support with a year-end gift this holiday season. Each of these organizations is doing high impact work in marginalized, underserved communities. Your dollars will directly support their important work supporting individuals and families that suffer disproportionately from poverty, violence, and disease, with limited access to resources and opportunities to improve their quality of life. I hope you can help!

Accompany Capital:  Accompany Capital creates a pathway to self-sufficiency for immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in New York City by providing access to affordable credit, empowering with financial education, and offering training in best business practices and technology.

To donate visit: www.accompanycapital.org/get-involved/#donate

Battle Tested Kids: Battle Tested Kids guides disadvantaged at-risk youth to become positive, well rounded, educated, compassionate, leaders of tomorrow. Through participation in organized sports training and competition we focus on self discipline, leadership, accountability, healthy living, teamwork and responsibility. 

To donate visit:  www.battletestedinc.com/donate

Justice for Families: J4F is a national alliance of local organizations committed to ending the youth incarceration epidemic. We are founded and run by parents and families who have experienced the juvenile justice system with their children.

To donate visit: www.justice4families.org/home/donate-2

Living Redemption:  Living Redemption works to "Save Lives and Heal Communities One Relationship at a Time" by providing Harlem’s most vulnerable youth and families with intensive Credible Messenger-led mentoring, family engagement and advocacy, and 24-hour crisis intervention and mediation.  

To donate visit: www.livingredemption.org/donate

Music on the Inside:  Music on the Inside (MOTI) is dedicated to reducing recidivism, and lowering the social and financial costs of the current criminal justice system through music and mentorships with musicians.

To donate visit: www.musicontheinside.org/donate

Paving Great Futures:  Paving Great Futures empowers youth and adults to be self-sufficient through education programs intended to expose individuals to different economic and business opportunities. Our intent is to create a path to financial sustainability while stimulating social change through community involvement.

To donate visit: .https://secure.givelively.org/donate/paving-great-futures/giving-through-us-not-to-us

WE STAY/Nos Quedamos: WE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc. is a South Bronx-based CDC committed to our collective self-determination. Our sustainable development work creates the conditions that maintain our health and culture. Our work engages, empowers, and transforms marginalized communities to remain and thrive. 

To donate visit: www.nosquedamos.org

Youth Empowerment: Youth Empowerment works to heal and transform historically oppressed and marginalized individuals and communities in San Diego. They inspire leadership through community mentorship, resilience building, advocacy, and system transformation for high-need individuals and families. 

To donate visit: youthempowermentsd.com

Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice:  YMPJ  works to rebuild the neighborhoods of Bronx River and Soundview/Bruckner Boulevard in the South Bronx by preparing community members to become prophetic voices for peace and justice.  

To donate visit: www.ympj.org/donate

Young Urban Christians & Artists: YUCA works to ensure that all teenagers fulfill their creative potential and have the opportunity to address community issues that matter to them. YUCA programs provide students an essential creative outlet and new technical skills, as well as, opportunities to explore social justice issues through the creative production process.

To donate visit: www.yucaarts.org/donate