Spring 2022 Newsletter: Ethiopian Community Los Angeles, ECLA
Spring is here and we are in full bloom!
Our website is now live, and we are eagerly awaiting your visit. Thank you for your patience as it did take longer than expected to build. The work was completed through the generosity of a Taproot Foundation volunteer, Anthony Mengesha, and through the contracted services of a web design company, Sitetobeseen. We have a variety of ECLA documents posted for your reading pleasure including our Bylaws and Annual Reports, and we are in the process of migrating our educational videos to our site.
Membership Renewal: We would like everyone to visit our website. The membership process has changed and if you were previously a paid member in 2021, we would like to invite you to log in through “Forgot My Password” to create a new password and to verify your email. This will give you access to renew your 2022 membership or find your membership expiration date. If you are a new member, we would like you to select your membership level, Regular or Retired, create a new profile, and pay your membership dues. Please click the newsletter subscribe button so we can activate your subscription as well. With the new website you will be managing your own membership account.
What Do We Do? We get asked this question frequently. We are currently a virtual nonprofit looking to transition to a hybrid model in the coming months. We have spent the last two years putting out educational livestreams in many different topics, as well as bridging the gap to accessing our city, county, and state resources. We respond to calls from the community asking for assistance related to mental health, homelessness, domestic abuse, and immigration issues. We currently work in collaboration with other nonprofits in the Los Angeles area, until such time we are ready to offer services from our own brick and mortar building.
Fundraising Campaigns: We are pleased to share that in 2021 we raised 17 thousand dollars of which over half came from membership dues and the rest from the different fundraising campaigns we implemented. For 2022 each board member has individually pledged to raise one thousand dollars each, and this campaign, “Anniversary Give or Get”, will end next month on May 21,2022. We are hoping to be better placed post pandemic to raise even more funds to drive our mission centric services.
Ethiopian Community Organizations’ Panel: On April 9, 2022, we hosted fellow Ethiopian Community nonprofit leadership teams from major cities for a virtual zoom panel. This was the first of its kind gathering and it was very productive. Our teams wanted to hear about the successes and struggles of the other ECs, and a panel was born. Our first panelists were invited from the EC organizations from Seattle and Chicago and both leadership teams very generously answered all the audience questions. The Q&A sessions were most informative. We wrapped up with the understanding that we would find ways to sustain these meetings in the future. The next gathering in the works will be hosted in August by EC Kansas City, and they will invite EC Atlanta and Dallas as panelists, and the other cities as guests. Some of these organizations have put in 30 plus years in community service and we will learn a lot from them.
Succession Planning: As many of our founding board members, advisory board, auditors, and volunteers begin to wind down their elected terms and services, we are intensely looking for volunteers to staff the next two years. We are recruiting for new board members for the election in September 2022. We are pleased to share that at our last recruitment event we have added a handful of new volunteers, and two subcommittee members, Yonas Assefa and Yekuno Woldeyesus, have stepped up to continue to help us deliver our important services as interim board members. They will both officially run in the September election along with other nominated candidates and any other founding members seeking re-election. On May 14,2022 we will be holding an outdoor gathering, “Spring Fest 2022”, to get to know our community members in a relaxed and fun environment. We hope you will all join us and allow us to hear from you and help us get to know you better. We will make time that day to vote in and convene a new election committee for the September election. Succession planning is important because it will ensure that our organization has the right people with the right skills, capabilities, and experiences in the right place at the right time. Please help us by paying your membership dues and by showing up to vote for the election committee.
Monthly Buna Time: One of the things shared by the Seattle leadership team was their monthly zoom Q&A Kurse coffee time with the community. We are borrowing that idea and are excited to share that we will be implementing this starting the first Saturday of each month beginning on May 7th at 10am. We hope you will join us to share your thoughts and ask questions. Be on the look-out for the zoom invite.
Member Spotlight: We would like to put the spotlight on Martha Negash, one of our staunchest supporters. She believes in our mission and shares our vision for a strong Ethiopian community in Los Angeles. Martha is a due paying member and what we call a “recurring donor”. What makes her stand out is her zeal in recruiting new ECLA members. She has so far brought in 18 new members and at the same time generously participated in our different fundraising campaigns. ECLA salutes her!
Thank you all, as always, for being with us!