Even though we're staying home in our pajamas this year...
In any other year, fall is one of our favorite times of the year at the Albany Fund for Education. Teachers are decorating classrooms, collaborating with colleagues, and preparing to welcome a new group of students. Leaves changing bring school supply lists and shiny new notebooks, soccer games, homecoming celebrations, and typically – the AFE Gala in late October. The Gala is AFE’s largest fundraiser of the year, raising more than $55,000 last year.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, AFE pivoted, developing new activities and programs to support our schools, and continuing essential programs like our Feed and Read weekend backpack partnership with HATAS and Grassroot Givers. We introduced new educator grants to support teachers as they retooled their curriculum for online and socially distanced learning and joined with the Albany Booster Club to produce lawn and window signs for the Albany High class of 2020 when their senior year was disrupted by COVID. Working with the Regional Foodbank and the City School District of Albany, we were able provide weekend food packages for 175 families in the district over the summer. And as budget cuts force our 7-12 grade students to learn online without all having computers to learn on – thanks to delays in the shipment of Chromebooks – we have turned our attention to the process of securing donated computers and distributing them to the families who need them.
None of this work would have been possible without the generosity of AFE’s supporters and the funds raised at last year’s Gala. And as we mourn the opportunity to toast and celebrate with friends and colleagues at the Gala, we also face the reality of continuing to fund our work without it. To make up for lost revenue from the Gala, we will be holding a special online silent auction from November 22 - December 6. Purchase holiday gifts for friends and family, and help AFE at the same time.
We are also requesting your support for a special "back to school" appeal. Your support for this special appeal will ensure that AFE is able to continue helping Albany's students to learn, grow, and succeed. Together, we will make a difference.