We want to share the message distributed to the Five Acres team from CEO Chanel Boutakidis with our 5A family and supporters.

On July 1st, we begin a new fiscal year and the steps toward our new five year Strategic Plan. It feels like decades ago when we met together as a team in February at the Huntington Library. Together. We were inspired to develop what we as a team wanted Five Acres to strive for over the next five years. Who expected the Pandemic to hit shortly after, followed by a series of extraordinary events that will forever change our lives?

As a team, we quickly adjusted, learned, and adjusted again when presented with challenges and opportunities. We prepared for every possibility to minimize anxiety and reactivity. Together we have accomplished so much and I believe what we have achieved thus far is the combined effort of every team member. We all have our parts to play. We are not a team because we work together. We are a GREAT team because we respect, trust, and treat each other with kindness. After 100 days, what we have accomplished belongs to our entire team:

  • Developed Pandemic protocols and secured supplies across all sites to keep our teams and the children who live with us safe.
  • Prevented an outbreak and reduced spread in the past 100 days with over 400 team members.
  • In 5 days, we moved over 100 team members remotely and began communication platforms and video conferencing to ensure we are together while apart. 
  • Three months ago, we did not serve clients via telemedicine. We adapted and clients are being served through telemedicine with new systems, training, and support to monitor quality. During the Pandemic, we have helped and provided mental health services to over 800 clients via telehealth.
  • Week after week, our programs played with, piloted, and developed more creative ways to deliver service in this new norm, allowing us to find fiscal stability and recover our business.
  • We started the HOPE line to help the county improve child abuse safety and to increase access to service for those in need.
  • Due to the movement of Black Lives Matter, we are starting a new agency BIPOC committee to improve social justice and equity within our organization systematically.
  • Today, we will end this current fiscal year without a layoff, with all programs serving clients in need, and with all departments intact and supporting programs.

The Pandemic triggered a recession that occurred in just three months and has surpassed what the Great Depression took 18 months to accomplish. The obstacles have been rapid and significant, so all that this team has accomplished is a whole lot to be proud of, and I am #fiveacresproud!

Starting on July 1st, our new vision is Growing Together to Create a Stronger Tomorrow, which I think is very fitting as we move forward. Our initial plan to meet that vision is the initiative bubbles in the vision tree. I cannot predict what may come our way in the coming weeks, months, and years.

If it was like the last 100 days, I say we continue to be a GREAT team that we are. If we adjust, learn, and adjust when needed…If we prepare for the possibilities…If we each play our part…If we commit to working together with respect, trust, and kindness…We will continue to grow together to create a stronger tomorrow so we can continue to serve the mission of Five Acres and ensure that every child has safety, well-being, and permanency.