The Alliance of Southwest Missouri’s End-of-Year Letter

Dear friends and family,

Recently I’ve been binge-watching The Umbrella Academy. It is a story of seven superheroes who were instantly born on October 1, 1989. These babies were then adopted by a very disciplined scientist who recognized they had superpowers. He raised and helped them hone their skills, although he was not a nurturing man, and often referred to them as the number of their birth order as their name.

In one of the final episodes of season three, a character named Five was talking to his sister, Allison, about her recent bitterness and rogue behavior. He said something that stood out to me, “You know what they call a superhero who works alone? A villain.”

I am still wrestling with this statement, but it has got me thinking… Over the last two years, we have worked hard on our strategic plan and our upcoming rebrand. This work has helped us recognize that The Alliance of Southwest Missouri is highly collaborative within the communities we serve, so this quote from Five resonated with me in a profound way. The Alliance name in and of itself speaks to the crucial collaborative work we do. We can’t do this work alone, nor do we want to!

This quote also makes me think of many of our programs that help people establish healthy connections, like Building Bridges. Building Bridges is a program that moved to the Alliance this year. It equips fellow community members with skills and relationships to improve their lives, resolve poverty, and thrive.

When I consider Building Bridges, I think of Laura, one of the participants. When Laura and her husband joined Building Bridges, they had a baby girl and had recently overcome addiction and homelessness. When the program’s lesson on dreaming and goal setting came around, Laura realized she didn’t have any dreams. In fact, she realized she couldn’t dream. Something in her past had stolen the ability to hope and dream.

After further encouragement and careful planning, she developed a business concept that is now fully operational, incredibly successful, and provides for her family! Laura invested in relationships, created a network of accountability, and risked investing in her new dream.

On November 22, 2022, the Alliance was presented with another opportunity for collaboration. A donor called me and said, “I want to help the Alliance be successful with year-end fundraising. I will match all end-of-year donations up to $10,000.” Talk about a superhero. That was the best phone call of the day!

So now we are calling all superheroes to unite and help us secure all $10,000 of the matching donation. Will you please consider partnering with us by giving to one of the following three areas?

  • Supporting programs that encourage and facilitate relationship-building.
  • Help us finish our capital campaign, 1601 At The Core of Community.
  • Invest in the future of the Alliance by donating to our endowment fund.

We couldn’t do this important work without our agency partners, volunteers, donors, legislators, or program participants. We are truly honored and humbled to serve alongside each of you!

From one superhero to another,

Jen Black, Executive Director of the Alliance
1601 S. Wall
Joplin, MO 64804

P.S. One more thing you should know about The Umbrella Academy — the music and dance scenes are, by far, the best part of the show!

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