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On January 28, LMH Community Services San Diego, SW Navy, celebrated our vendors' and volunteers' dedication at our annual Vendor and Volunteer Appreciation Event. This year's event was incredibly significant as it served as an opportunity to commemorate and acknowledge the hard work our vendors and volunteers exhibited throughout 2020. As the pandemic unfolded, the San Diego vendor and volunteers quickly pivoted and adapted to the ever-changing conditions to help us meet our mission of serving military families. This year, the VVA was held virtually, and about 80 people attended.
In 2020, the SW Navy Community Services hosted 356 in-person, virtual, and drive-through events that served 17,997 military families throughout the San Diego area. That total doesn't include homecomings in January and February or events with partner organizations like the MCCS.
"The support is so critical to the success of military families, said Cindy Farless, Regional Community Services Director at Lincoln Military Housing.
Events are usually planned a year out, and amazingly, Cindy and her team were able to salvage almost all of their 2020 plans.
"All site events have turned to drive-thru events, ranging from breakfast drive-thrus to pizza pick-ups.
Farless said it's because of the unwavering commitment of volunteers and LMH's partners that she and her team can continue serving military families.
Because the event industry will be the last one to come back to pre-COVID conditions, Farless and her team are hard at work to make events festive and exciting. The annual Vendor and Volunteer Appreciation Event was no exception.
"We look at our vendors as partners," said Farless, "so this year, we acknowledge those who jumped in and became adaptable," as the world discovered how to react to COVID-19.
Farless said that usually, the event takes place in a large ballroom where everyone has a chance to get to know one another, have some fun, and relax. Since that couldn't happen this year, Cindy and her team had to get creative. So, they mailed a box to each person with small gifts - snacks, a mouse pad, paddles to be used instead of applause, and a certificate thanking the attendee for their hard work. During the event, the Community Services team personally acknowledged each volunteer and vendor for their hard work and dedication to LMH's mission.
The Vendor and Volunteer Appreciation Event reminds us that there are two constants - LMH team members and our partners-both of whom go above and beyond to serve our military families during uncertain times.