Hopes for the New Year, from the Staff at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center

2021 children

Hopes for the New Year, from the Staff at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center

They say that hindsight is 20/20 vision, but a look back at the past year conjures up a blur of mostly unpleasant images. From COVID-19 to economic insecurity to political divisions to natural disasters to social and racial unrest, 2020 has challenged all of us profoundly and led to a crisis in mental health for children, families and adults alike.

Thankfully, we head into 2021 with a vaccine that brings hope of finally marking an end to the devastating effects of the pandemic. We can also hope that, perhaps, our country will grow stronger as we make strides toward a more socially and environmentally just world. 

With 2021 just around the corner, we asked the staff at North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center to reflect on their hopes for the year to come. Following are some of their thoughts:


In this time of uncertainty and devastating loss, we are, perhaps, more divided as a nation than at any other time since the Civil War. Sadly, even common sense measures, affirmed by science, such as protecting our loved ones and neighbors by wearing masks and social distancing, have become politicized.

Despite the hopelessness and despair many have been feeling, there is a steady ray of sunshine in the selfless and heroic efforts of health care workers across America, as well as all others who have performed essential work, putting their own health at risk for the good of the many during this perilous time.

Once again, our staff, board and community supporters have demonstrated their commitment to our mission in the face of disaster. Each challenge makes us stronger and so, looking ahead, I have every confidence that we will continue to be a major force for healing, which will be needed more than ever as we move into 2021. —Andrew Malekoff, Executive Director


As we enter this New Year, I reflect on this past one with gratitude and appreciation for the health of my family and loved ones. I also feel heaviness and empathy for those who are unable to say the same for theirs. I move forward with hope for a world where COVID is a thing of the past. — Brooke H.


I really wish resilience and health to all our clients, their families and clinical staff providing services during this stressful time in the pandemic. — Erika P.


My hope for 2021 is that we can return to some of the simple pleasures that we took for granted. We’ve come to realize the value of things like family gatherings, play dates, meeting a friend for coffee and sending our kids off to school.  I hope that we can come together again in a way that is safe and comforting, remembering the importance of family, friendship, kindness and health. I’m sending wishes to all for a peaceful New Year and good things in 2021. —Vanessa M.


For world peace. That everyone comes to the saving knowledge of the higher power of their choice.  That humankind comes to a better understanding of how to care for themselves and others. That my health be restored to what it was before 7/14/20.That 2021 is the best year of my life thus far. — Ruthellen T.


My hope for 2021 is that we all come through this pandemic with a greater understanding and appreciation for our own strengths and resilience. —Lauren M.


My hopes and dreams for 2021 are a world without COVID-19!! — Pascale N.


I want to take a moment to reflex on the fantastic work The Leeds Place outreach staff continue to do during this pandemic.  No person is whole until their physical, social and emotional needs are met.  I am so grateful for the caring and compassionate work they have exhibited week after week—leaving the comfort of their home where they are authorized to do virtual work via zoom and phone contact, but instead they are out in the Westbury community picking up and delivering food and personal care items to seniors, young mothers and families that have a tremendous need. The staff has still been working collaboratively with the Westbury School District, providing prevention counseling and support to numerous students that are struggling with academic, social and emotional concerns. I salute them and send them my greatest blessings for the New Year as we continue to work together for the betterment of the community that we are committed to serve. —Nellie T.


Rumor has it that there will be a “new normal” coming in 2021. My hope is that this new one will be a lot better than the one that existed even before COVID descended upon us.” —Jolie P.


My hope for the New Year and beyond is that the stigma that is still too often associated with mental illness becomes a thing of the past. With so many people of all ages experiencing depression, anxiety and even suicidal feelings, perhaps our society will finally begin to truly that there is no shame in having mental health challenges and that getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness. —Jenna K.


I am in awe of the strength, resiliency and adaptability that our clients have already demonstrated thus far. Parents have adapted to working from home, and children have mastered online learning with no preparation. I am inspired by people’s fortitude to continue onward and make adjustments to their daily lives. I know it has not been easy! So, with that being said, my hope for the New Year is that our clients recognize the progress that they have made so far and that they continue to find strength within themselves and within the supports they have. We are all in this together, so together we will persevere in 2021! —Kerry E.


New Year’s has always been a time of hope for the many people. It’s a time where people take on New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s almost like a reset button, where many set goals for themselves and their families. For some, it’s a major financial goal, a vacation they want to take, a piece of jewelry they want to get, a cruise they want to go on…

This year feels very different. Obviously, no one could have predicted the collective trauma that the entire world has experienced this year from this global pandemic. No one could have foreseen that our lives would be turned completely upside down and things we once took for granted were now out of our reach. Simple things like spending time with friends and family, visiting people in the hospital, traveling, going to church/temple, visiting parents/grandparents, going to school, working from the office, having indoor parties/get togethers, weddings—all were no longer an option this year. It left people feeling isolated, lonely, confused, terrified and extremely unsettled.

While it’s easy to get lost in all of the fear and focus on how much the year stunk (which it did!), it also gives me a very different perspective going into the New Year. I’m not thinking about my dream vacation, my next big purchase or how much money I want to make. All I truly want is for things to “go back to normal” and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that I will undoubtedly not be taking for granted this year.

Life is often like that: We don’t truly appreciate what we have until it is gone. When I asked my clients (young kids) what they hoped for this year, they all had the same answer: for corona to be over so things can go back to normal.

I will not be making a long list of hopes, goals and dreams this year. I will simply be hoping and wishing along with my clients that we can eradicate this terrible virus and go back to truly enjoying the simple things in life. — Jennifer P.