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Tomorrow, JusticeWorks turns 21!!  While the bars remain closed, I’m sure it will find a healthy way to celebrate!  I can’t think of a better way of celebrating than giving each of you birthday presents… on Monday, they will start arriving at offices.  Enjoy, and use them with pride and good health.

Many of you have heard my JusticeWorks’ birth story (Jeff Ralph is already groaning!) and it is true that I started the company with an idea and $300.

More than 50% of new companies fail within two years.  And, fewer than 10% of companies get to be the size we are today.  Of course, I’m proud of how far we’ve come, but more than that, I am grateful.  To each and everyone of you.  In our work, there is virtually no inertia… we have to reinvent ourselves every day.  Our work yesterday was important, it builds trust and respect, but that doesn’t carry our families forward unless we deliver excellence today.  Every day.  And, our amazing staff continues to do whatever it takes. Every day.

We are living through an extremely disturbed and scary time.  There has not been a pandemic with this much global devastation for more than 100 years.  Yesterday’s news of the country’s sharpest productivity decline in recorded history is more than a little unsettling.  Yet, like John Lewis, I remain optimistic.  The fundamental character of America, and Americans, is to prevail against adversity.  We have the tools and the science to do that.  We need to commit, agree that failure is not an option, and heed Churchill’s World War II wisdom: “the only thing to fear, is fear itself.

Some staff have asked candidly, ‘will JusticeWorks survive?’.  I appreciate the honest question.  While we can’t be sanguine and there is no doubt we have challenges, I absolutely believe we are well positioned not only to survive, but thrive.  As I wrote the other day, we have continued to add PA counties as our steadfast commitment and capability is recognized and appreciated.  I’m happy to report that yesterday, we added our 50th County, Forest! (ironically, Forest County is where I first lived in PA when I took a counselor job at a start-up residential program for delinquents with drug problems: Abraxas).  Our Ohio program has grown by 250% in past several months, and Colorado has more than tripled.  South Carolina is, sadly one of the virus epicenters, but JWBC remains the only state-wide Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Service provider and enjoys a stellar reputation and more referrals than we can handle.

We know that in bad economic times, the incidence of child neglect and abuse increases.  And, the crime rate increases.  We can only imagine how much horror is occurring, unseen by mandated reporters, in homes throughout the country.  There is no doubt that, as the pandemic subsides, and children return to schools there will be an explosion of child welfare cases and increased need for our proven services.

So, as we continue our journey, now as an ‘adult’ company, I am filled with appreciation for all that’s carried us here and confidence that there are many more accomplishments before us.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Every best wish and be healthy

Dan