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  • SAFE Alamance

Year End Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

As I reflect on my first year as Executive Director of SAFE I think about the many challenges we have faced this year and will continue to face, challenges familiar to many of you – too much need and not enough resources – but it’s not those challenges I want to share with you. I want to share the abundance of blessings that this past year brought.

I came out of 2022 with a somewhat negative perspective of the world, especially about how we treat one another. During my work with SAFE this past year, I met volunteers, neighbors, and business men and women whose generosity and compassion overwhelmed me. Getting to know this community of servant leaders and to witness what they do each day, often without recognition, was completely reparative and restored my faith in the goodness of people.  

In July of 2023, SAFE in partnership with Trailhead Church, opened The Bridge at Trailhead in Graham to better serve our urban neighbors. The need was far greater than we thought, as evidenced by the fact that by the end of the year we were serving more people at The Bridge than at our Highway 87 location. In 2023 we served over 11,000 individuals at our two locations, and with your help we were able to meet this increased need for services. If that sounds a bit miraculous, I assure you that’s the way it felt.

We have been blessed by our local community. Eggs, bread and milk are three staples we provide to every family coming to SAFE. Early in the year we experienced soaring egg prices and shortages. Local farms, like Little Way Farm, Dinner Bell Farm, and Reverence Farm to name a few, stepped up and partnered with us in a variety of ways such that we were able to meet the need.  

We strive to provide healthy food choices at SAFE, but there were times when we feared we wouldn’t have enough fresh vegetables. SaxPatch Community Garden, Garden of Concord, Faithful Farms, and many individual farmers and gardeners shared their bounty again and again. We were even able to partner with Transplanting Traditions Community Farm to provide boxes of produce for our new refugee neighbors from Burma and Myanmar, boxes full of vegetables grown here, but in varieties similar to those in their homeland. What a gift to be able to offer someone food that makes their new community feel more like home. 

We were blessed by community-minded retail partners. Publix donates an abundance of vegetables each week which helps us meet our goal of providing healthy choices. Providing consistent sources of protein has always been a struggle because meat is so expensive, but we now partner with Mountaire Farms, and they donate hundreds of pounds of chicken weekly (in addition to the amazing Thanksgiving meal boxes they provided). 

We’ve been blessed by the abundance of community resources and agencies we’ve been able to partner with to better serve our neighbors. We strengthened our longstanding partnership with Second Harvest. By August we had done the work necessary to achieve the Gold Award from Nourishing Pantries. As a result of this, we’ve been able to operate The Bridge as a grocery style pantry offering food choices. We’ve also begun offering cooking and gardening classes at SAFE and including easy, economical recipes developed by a nutritionist to accompany the food we provide.

This summer we had a weekly children’s feeding program that provided not only food, but a variety of other resources such as a dental bus, bookmobile, and crafts. We also started a partnership with Alamance Community College and began offering courses, like Social Media Marketing, to the community at large. We are looking forward to more of these opportunities and will share them with you soon.

We are extremely thankful for all the blessings that have resulted from our partnership with Cone Health. In 2023 SAFE was able to start two Congregational and Community Nurse Program Clinics. These Clinics provide individualized education sessions, connection to other medical resources, medication management, dental referral, vision examinations, health assessments, community education sessions and much more. These programs are open to the entire community.  

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that I had times of fear this year, fear that we wouldn’t have the money required to pay our bills, or the food to fill the bags or the volunteers necessary to hand them out, but somehow each week there was just enough.  

Our data is below, and I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our finances, but the numbers don’t paint the complete picture. It is your hands and hearts – our supporters, partners, donors, and volunteers that make all of this possible and all of us at SAFE thank you.  

With your support, we will continue to serve our community in 2024 and the years to come and will do our best to help each person coming through our doors to become the person they want to be.

With a grateful heart,


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