By Mary Jo Viero
BAPA Executive Director
The BAPA staff spent the month of January making plans for our 75th anniversary year. It was exciting and daunting at the same time.
We have a full line up of events as well as new programs and collaborations – that’s the exciting part.
The daunting part is figuring out how to bring all of this to you with a staff of just five people (four of whom are part time) and with the limited funds we have available.
BAPA is a unique organization: 100% of our work is focused right here in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Nearly 25% of our annual revenue comes from residential membership donations, and those donations are invested in the programs, events and services you count on to keep our community strong. Obviously, BAPA’s work depends on the generosity of our neighbors.
But only about 5% of the approximately 15,000 neighborhood households support BAPA financially.
That’s right: 100% of our neighbors benefit from BAPA’s work, but only 5% contribute.
When I think about that, it saddens me and makes me wonder, if you love your community why don’t you support it?
If you have ever competed in the Ridge Run, or attended the Home Tour, Garden Walk, or a free Porch Concert, you have enjoyed BAPA’s work.
If you drive around in the summer and see volunteers weeding and cleaning up public areas, you are seeing BAPA at work.
If you’ve had a tree planted in your parkway by Openlands, your property has been improved through BAPA’s work.
If you find out about a what is happening in the community by reading The Villager, or discover a new business through the 12 Weeks of Christmas or Sip and Shop, you’re benefiting from BAPA’s outreach.
If you get connected to a school, organization or resource you’ve been needing, you know that help from BAPA is only a phone call away.
If you love where you live, you are enjoying the fruits of BAPA’s labor.
BAPA is not the only organization that works for a better community, but day in and day out, everything we do is focused on strengthening our neighborhood. We’ve been doing it for 75 years, and we are continuing our commitment.
But I have to be honest with you, in order for BAPA to do everything you want us to do, we need your help.
Every dollar of your donation to BAPA is a dollar well spent.
My goal is to welcome a lot more households as BAPA members in 2022. If that happens, we can focus a lot more on bringing you what’s exciting and a lot less on worrying about how we’re going to do it.