2020 is nearly over.

Looking back on this year, for the first time in our generation, we’ve experienced a real change in our daily lives, our busy lives. We learned that plans needed to be adjusted, or changed entirely. We had to rethink them constantly. We learned that freedom costs and staying home saves us and those around us.

We built and tested our resilience.

Some of us grieve the loss of loved ones; others of us experienced an illness they never knew existed. My thoughts are with you. It’s not over yet, please stay strong.

However hard or easy, challenging or productive, it has been for you, we are approaching the end of 2020, a year to go forever in history as a year apart.

As I write this final (very overdue) message of the year, I am not going to report statistics to you, nor the amazing achievements that we did manage to accomplish together. Those are itemized in the report below for you.

We have all experienced this year differently. We are in same storm, but in different boats. But what we share in common is the desire to be happy, to be useful, to bring smiles to others, to change and make a difference daily where it is most needed.

At the crossover of the years, we must embrace the change and adjust the best we can.

How could we do this in an unpredictable world?

Is there a way to harness this? How can each of us find a method for living gratefully. To find new vocation, a new way to work and stay connected.  How can we do it?

To get inspired, I recently listened to the wisdom of 94-year-old David Steindl-Rat, an American Catholic Benedictine monk, and he suggested a very simple method that I want to share with you. It’s so simple that it’s actually what we were told as children when we learned to cross the street.

Stop. Look. Go.

That’s all. But how often do we stop? We rush through life. We don’t stop. We miss the opportunity because we don’t stop. We have to stop. We have to get quiet. And we have to build stop signs into our lives.

I, for one, have been guilty of not stopping. Not until March 2020. For eight years in a row, I wanted to do more, achieve more, touch more lives, and I too rarely took enough time to appreciate “things we have done together” and “the lives we have touched.”

I now feel I too rarely stopped to show how deeply I appreciate the many good people in my life who have helped me in my MAD mission. My apologies for that. That you are reading this message means you are one of those good people without whom I could achieve little. I owe you a debt of gratitude. THANK YOU.

And guess what? Once we adapted to the new challenges, we achieved as much as ever, we made as much of a difference as ever. Do check out our 2020 report.

So now we look ahead. I agree with Michael Josephson when he says, “Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges. Whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities. The year is ours to make of it what we will.”

STOP! LOOK! GO! To a healthy and prosperous New Year 2021!

With love and appreciation,

Victoria xx

PS. If you are not already, we’d be thrilled if you joined our MADclub (monthly givers), but even a single donation will help MAD-Aid kick off a more prosperous 2021.

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