Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. It is a time of transitions as the days get shorter, the weather cools, the trees start to show their amazing colors, and the new school year begins. I love seeing the many buses lined up at Martin Luther School and hearing the children’s excited voices filling our school buildings once again.
This fall represents a huge transition for Silver Springs too. As we shared in June, this fall Silver Springs will merge with theVillage, a nonprofit organization based primarily in Rosemont that provides many of the same services we do for children, youth, and families in our shared community. We expect the merger to be finalized in November. We are excited to join forces with theVillage because we believe that together we will be a better, stronger organization.
On the eve of our merger and in the year of our 160th anniversary, we believe it is important to remember our past even as we keep watch over the present and envision our future. Our founder, Elizabeth Schafer, had a core vision over 160 years ago that all children matter and deserve to feel safe and have hope, and it was her vision that laid the groundwork for the work we do today. We look back humbly and gratefully on all we have been able to accomplish with the help of many talented, dedicated employees and partners, and we look ahead with excitement and steadfast commitment to improving the lives of the children and families we serve.
Work to finalize the merger continues, and we will provide updates along the way. When we combine our legacies, our services, and most importantly, the expertise and dedication of the people at theVillage with those at Silver Springs, we will be more resilient, more creative, and better positioned to help the children and families who need us most and entrust us daily with their well-being. In our most recent newsletter, we introduce Michael Kellerman, the President and CEO of theVillage who after the merger will serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of the combined organization. After the merger is finalized, all programs will continue to operate at all locations. We look forward to introducing theVillage’s programs to our Silver Springs community.
Elizabeth, our founder, was called to serve the destitute and needy children she saw on the streets of Philadelphia, and so an orphanage was born, which has grown into the thriving multi-program organization that Silver Springs is today. Like Elizabeth, we continue to be called to serve and work to improve the lives of children and their families and to help them reach for their brightest futures. And so, in this anniversary year and in this time of transition, we honor our past, celebrate our present, and remain steadfast as we move into our future. We are grateful to the countless caring partners who have and continue to sustain our mission. We could not do this important work without you.
Kristen E.M. Gay, Ph.D.