The second quarter of 2021 has seen a significantly different environment when compared to 2020. A year ago, our nation and the world were in the throes of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks, handwashing, sanitizing, social distancing and mandatory shut-downs were the order of the day. The TEAM Resale Shop was closed from March 19 to May 18. The Assistance Ministry and Food Pantry made adjustments to continue serving clients while social distancing. During Q2 2020, TEAM handled over 500 family visits which included 184 new families. Although many of the new families were from outside of our service area, our Panty was able to provide nutritious food for those families, too.
In 2021, our lives appear to be getting back to some sense of a pre-COVID “normal.” The Shop in Tomball, TEAM’s Resale Shop, has experienced tremendous growth since re-opening. Thanks to generous donors of household goods, committed volunteers, and strong management, The Shop is experiencing record levels of sales. Thank you, Tomball! In various ways, however, “normal” is not what it used to be. Many organizations, including our churches, are meeting in a “hybrid” model - both in-person and with a Zoom option. This may be life as we know it going forward. I do think that one thing has been made clear through all of this: a virtual alternative may be nice, but there is just something “human” about meeting in-person. That goes back to our nature, being created in God’s image, and designed for community.
In similar fashion, businesses have made long-lasting adjustments to how they carry out their business. This is no less true at TEAM. Although our Ministry will move back toward how we engaged with clients before COVID, we have developed some new processes that have made us more efficient and, we believe, more client-friendly. How we carry out our ministry will remain, to a certain degree, changed.
I previously shared how our client mix changed after the pandemic hit. The Hispanic proportion of our client base went from around 35% to 65%. This shift meant that many of our clients were Spanish-speakers. Only one of our Ministry team, long-time volunteer JoAnn, was able to communicate with these clients. We put the word out, and several responded. Within a month or so, we added José, Rose and Selina to our Ministry volunteers, and a few months later Emma and Alba joined us as well. Today, TEAM is still seeing 60+% Hispanic clients. Though José and Emma have had to move on to other responsibilities, JoAnn, Rose, Selina, and Alba continue to serve – focused on our Spanish-speaking clients. Thank you, dear friends!
God has been good to us throughout these difficulties, and TEAM is moving forward to grow our ministry in new ways so that we may increase our impact in the Tomball community. Please pray as our Executive Committee, and committees it’s commissioned, lay out a three-year strategic plan for TEAM’s growth. Thank you for your continued support!
J. Barry Hart, Jr.