In addition to donations to the Good Neighbors Fund, RAM also received the stamps, paper, the commercial coffeepot and the new copier/printer that were on its wish list this year. The agency is still looking for assistance with repairs to a commercial freezer and its aging van, but “Santa was good to us,” Woodson said.
As with many other organizations, the COVID-19 crisis has caused permanent changes in the way the charity operates, Woodson said. RAM also offers a day shelter for the homeless and a kitchen that provides a hot, free meal at noon every day of the year. Improvements to all of the charity’s programs have increased efficiency.
“We’ve changed our business model,” she said, “and it’s paid off. We’re doing our own administrative work in the day shelter and the financial aid office. It shows the strengths of this team.”
As much as they are missed, the volunteers will not return “until the health department gives us the all clear,” she added.
The other big change on the horizon is RAM’s search for a new building, which was announced Tuesday at a news conference. The charity has been renting a former church since 1987, but with the backing of a major donor, it will eventually have its own facility, which will allow it to offer an even wider variety of services.
“It’s very hard to find real estate that meets our needs,” Woodson observed, and while there are currently no firm plans, “we do have something in mind.”