Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

CEO Anne Starr's Email to Employees

CEO Anne Starr's Email Message

Dear All, 

Worldwide, COVID is having its way with us. We push back with containment measures and throw science at it, and still, it keeps coming. It is threatening our loved ones, our physical and mental health, and our livelihoods. We can't escape it. It is trauma on a scale we have never experienced before. In this abnormal situation, we are having abnormal stress and reactions that are normal for what we face. We being humans responding to trauma, turn to the things we are used to doing in times of stress.  

A word of caution before you read on. I'm going to self-disclose, and you may want to stop here if you don't want to hear about my flaws.  


I look to science. I always have. I know the best and brightest in the WORLD are working on this pandemic. Yet, it does not relieve my stress.  


I look to learning. I educate myself about the pandemic. I listen to every news show and to what others are doing to combat the epidemic. It doesn't make a dent in my stress. 


I tune into what the economists are saying and look to understand business cycles and economic stressors and how these typically recover. It doesn't relieve my stress. 


I look to the community. I believe I am part of a caring and purpose-filled community. I believe it even when the anxiety and stress make it hard to feel it. My stress is relieved some. 


I act like I am part of a caring community and go after this as though acting in this way may be the most important thing I've ever done. My stress is changing into a different energy.  


I am determined to explore what keeps me from acting with kindness and love. My re-enactments, taking on others' anxieties, ego, self-doubt, and many more. I remove these barriers as I am able. I am in no way perfect or even good at this. I keep at it. I am learning. I am a bit freer of the stress and anxiety that plagues me. I am less worried about all of us and more energized to move forward into the unknown. 


Sometimes I feel embarrassed it is hard for me to do what is important. It was easier before COIVD. I keep trying.  


In this community, we accept where we are at today, and we will act on that acceptance. We are grateful for this community with such a wonderful purpose.     


Sanctuary on! Anne