COVID and Elections Shaped 2020

mother helping her daughter put on a covid mask

YUGM continued serving through it all.

“I haven’t had my own place to live in years!” says Kevin.


This past year COVID has taken center stage and changed much of the way we do life.

But this year at the Mission we have had the opportunity to witness faithful staff and volunteers who have continued to relentlessly serve, give, and walk with people from the darkest of places into marvelous light. And because of that, we’ve seen lives transformed.

“I haven’t had my own place to live in years!” says Kevin Trapp. On Friday, Nov 2, Mission staff and volunteers helped Kevin and others graduate from YUGM programs and move into their own

When he first arrived, he was loaded with debt, out of work, and without a stable place to live. Now, Kevin has paid off his debt, bought a car, and still comes to serve here at the Mission! It’s just one of 37 such stories to come out of YUGM since the first COVID lockdowns started in the US.

“If we can keep up these outcomes without all our usual volunteers, I get really excited thinking about 2021!” says Chelsey Bell, Director of Adult Shelter. “When this vaccine gets out, and more people return…it’s going to be incredible.”

And while many faithful volunteers have made the understandable choice to pause or alter how they serve at the Mission, Dr. John Place felt called to continue providing medical care at YUGM’s free clinic.

The 79-year-old doctor shared his passion for serving during these times, explaining, “Now more than ever, it’s important to be there for people. These people are scared too. They have generally less protection than you do, with their living conditions and health conditions….you want to take care of all the precautions, but this is something where there’s great need.”

In the end, it’s love that spurs on Doctor Place-a love so deep for the people of Yakima that he would fight to stay no matter what comes.

So thank you, dear friends, for staying with us.

Letter From Mike

It’s a new year, and at the Mission we are filled with hope! We have been forged in fire since COVID hit, and I’ve been in awe of what our staff, volunteers, and community partners have accomplished through it all.

We can hardly put into words the anticipation we feel when we think about the bulk of our volunteers being able to return! We have missed so many faces and friends.

The truth is that YOU are the U in Union Gospel Mission! The Mission is nothing more than the shared efforts of thousands of supporters and servants, joining forces to share God’s faithful love with the poorest members of our community.

Yakima has had more than its share of this virus. I praise God that we also have more than our share of incredible people who have kept serving and supporting through it all!

Thank you for all you do. Your prayers, your giving… and your love.

yugm staff photo, mike johnson

In Him,
Mike Johnson, CEO

Article from the YUGM January 2021 Newsletter.

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