Submitted by Marc E. Jaffe, CEO, Children’s Learning Center of Fairfield County
If you can’t do what you do, do what you can
Last week, Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) announced that, in light of the rapidly developing Covid-19 situation, we reluctantly canceled our Annual Benefit scheduled for April 24. The event is our most important fundraiser, and this year’s event was to feature the amazing Gloria Gaynor. Along with everyone in the world, we are disappointed that this pandemic has so drastically altered our way of life. But difficult times sometimes bring out the best in people.
And, in our case, as we, along with other non-profits, struggle with funding shortfalls, Ms. Gaynor stepped up and leaned in. She returned 100% of our deposit. She didn’t have to. And I’m sure she wasn’t thrilled with a canceled tour. But Gloria demonstrated her angel-like qualities. She walked the walk. So, we would like to publicly thank the exemplary generosity of Ms. Gaynor, who is always gracious but continues to demonstrate the best in us.
I often look at the world in $5 increments, what it costs us to serve a child two meals and snack a day, something we do hundreds of thousands of times a year. The return of these funds will have a significant impact on the families we serve, allowing us to serve many thousands of meals to our families.
Within a matter of days, we have all watched our calendars clear as Coronavirus has forced the cancelation of events like ours and public gatherings everywhere. With music as the ultimate global connector, we want to further praise Ms. Gaynor for starting her inspiring #IWillSurviveChallenge on TikTok featuring her hit anthem “I Will Survive.” With so many challenges and unknowns around us, we all need feelings of empowerment and hope. I read that Gloria likes songs that “are meaningful, have good lyrics, and touch people’s hearts.” I believe both her recently released Grammy-winning Gospel album and her decades-old Grammy-award winning signature song does just that, truly making people feel encouraged and upbeat, decades after its release.
The words of Maya Angelou are so appropriate right now: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Gloria Gaynor, thank you for lifting us up and making us feel a little more positive about the world around us.
Marc E. Jaffe
CEO, Children’s Learning Center of Fairfield County