Peace Neighborhood Center
A Message from Bonnie
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that 2020 would be the year that it has been. A worldwide pandemic and unprecedented economic challenges. Renewed efforts for social and economic justice not seen since the civil rights movement of the 60’s, sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. A presidential election that drew the largest voter turnout in 100 years. And divisions in how our democracy is viewed through the lens of race, experiences, and where we live. Events this year have revealed disparities in health, access to economic opportunities, and justice—a continuing reality that some have just been awakened to.
Like you, I have spent more time reflecting this year, trying to figure out how we at Peace Neighborhood can do more to make our community, country, and world a better place. I’ve always believed our garden of humanity is diverse, growing, and beautiful. But it’s in need of work. And while I know that not all the seeds I plant will blossom, I do believe that if we all plant seeds, nurture them with mutual respect, and do the hard work of pulling weeds, others will see our garden and feel the beauty we’ve created. Something beautiful to harvest and share.
I work to change the world for my children, grandchildren, and yours. So that they will live in a world where justice, equality, and acceptance is the norm. I am honored to work side by side with you, doing what we can to leave a better world for our children.
Tilling the soil in our community and helping it blossom has always been part of Peace’s mission. For almost 50 years, we have been working to reduce and remove the disparities that 2020 has brought into sharp focus. Our programs and services are designed to make all of us better.
The broad wraparound net that Peace programs cast allows us to address a wide variety of unexpected needs for families when they arise, and to proactively pivot programs to best tackle emerging challenges.
This fall, we pivoted after-school programs and hosted 175 elementary, middle, and high school students in person each week to ensure they stayed engaged with their education. And as I write this, we are coordinating our annual holiday support for over 250 families, ensuring they will have enough food to eat and special gifts for their kids to open.
So while 2020 has been a year like no other, some traditions still continue here at Peace. And though we still have a lot of work to do, I remain as hopeful as ever. Because we still witness miracles here at Peace every day. All because of your continuing and generous support.
God Bless and Happy Holidays,
Bonnie Billups, Jr.
Pictured: Bonnie with two Peace kids at a pre-pandemic family night.
Our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis is focused on mitigating the effects this is having on our families in these four major areas:
- Academic support for students navigating a full virtual courseload
- Expanded food distribution opportunities to meet increased need
- Emergency assistance to support those facing lost wages
- Mental health support for overwhelmed community members
If you are inclined to help, donations made through the secure link below will assist the youth, families, and individuals we serve with virtual learning, putting food on the table, avoiding eviction or utility shutoff, and counseling. During these difficult times, you build bright futures for those we serve.
Children, Families, and Individuals
affected by social and economic problems
Our impact on
helped through Washtenaw County
in youth service
60 young adults
guided into college
The Peace Center is like a home away from home. It really is special, both in the summer and during after school programs. This place feels like it is our roots. Even as you grow, you still are with your roots.