Thank You from The Key

Thank You from the Key

This piece was written and submitted by members of the youth board at The Key.

The Key has been through a lot this past year. With new staff, a new youth board, daily programming, keeping ourselves financially stable, and trying to serve as many youth as possible (just to name a few things), we have been so busy and so constantly moving forward with new ideas that we rarely take a chance to step back and appreciate how much has been given to us. Seeing that Thanksgiving has just come and gone, we would like to take a moment and thank everyone (well all the people we can think of at the moment) that has helped us this past year. Note that all the people/groups on here are not on in order of importance. We love you all equally.

We really want to thank all our granters that have helped us throughout the years and have given us the chance to provide great programming for so many youth every day. We would also like to thank the donors that have given money to the organization. All of your contributions, be it $1 or $1000, mean the world to us and its great to know how many people care for The Key and want to see it continue to grow.

We'd like to thank our neighbors who have been so great to us since we have moved into our new building. We owe a lot to them. We know its hard to deal with a bunch of rambunctious youth, but they've been so great and patient.

The adult board has been great to have around. Their efforts with things like the skatepark and the art sale at the Weitz Center have been so helpful that it would be hard to do things or to connect with the right people without them. TheKkey is youth-run, but it doesn't hurt to have some mentors around.

We'd also like to thank two special people in particular. First is all around handy-man Mark Madson, who has done so much for this organization for so many years. If we need help getting a hole in the wall fixed, or putting up a fence, or painting a room, he is always willing to help and teach us skills for later in life. Mark is the most humble person in the world, but he deserves so much credit and thanks. We don't know what we would do with out him. I think the walls would literally crumble without him.

This year, we no longer had a grant that pays for all of our staff and our director position. The youth board made a decision to reduce staffing and spending as soon as possible to save money, and to also get adjusted to a system of volunteer staffing that had to be set in place until we find a large enough grant that pays for our staff (which might not be for a while). That also meant we had to reduce the director position to part-time.

Our former director, Amy Merritt, had to make the difficult decision to leave her position because the part-time wage would simply not be enough for her to live on . Heck, her pay before we had to reduce it did not equal the amount of hours she put into The Key. Amy had been the director for almost 3 years but had been working for the organization long before that. She put in the extra time and effort because she believed in The Key. She believed in every youth that walked through the doors of The Key and wanted the best for them. Amy made sure each youth felt empowered and safe at The Key, be it through giving them responsibilities like handling an event, or just simply playing Bananagrams with them. She went far beyond her job of simply helping the board and managing funds or grants. She is such an amazing person and is missed greatly. We wish her luck on her next chapter in life.

I know we didn't talk about everyone and the list was kind of brief. There's still so many people we haven't mentioned like the staff, and the promise fellows, snack bringers, etc. The list would go on forever if we mentioned everyone individually. And we think that's awesome! There are so many people, not just in Northfield, but around the country (maybe even the world) that support us. We are so thankful for all of you who make this place what it was, is, and always will be. You guys are the best!

Love Always,

The Northfield Union of Youth/The Key