As we start the year 2020, we have many issues to face, ideas to weigh, and people to meet. In 2019, we started our housing and student incentive programs. We saw increased traffic at both our food pantries. Additionally, some of our involved volunteers are cutting back. All of these have made us realize, once again, “the poor will be with us always.”
Once again, when I opened the doors at 5:00 A.M. on October 5, 2019 there were 4 mothers waiting for us. When events like this happen it always brings me back to a talk I gave at a church concerning the Urban Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope. Someone asked, “What’s it like to work in your ministry?” Without any hesitation at all I said, “I am like a sand castle maker at the seashore. Every morning I go out to the seashore and build sand castles and when evening comes, I go home. The next morning when I go out to build more sand castles, all the ones I made yesterday were gone, washed away by the tide, so I start all over building a new set of sand castles.”
When I look forward, I see the need for volunteers who can take on some program responsibilities, not many maybe two or three at the most, because of the growth we have been experiencing. All of a sudden we need a volunteer to handle the administrative tasks of the ministry. We are chasing the city trying to get tax exemptions for our refugee property, the DOT is now on us and we can’t get a straight answer whether we are exempt or not, or find an accountant that can help us reduce our $7,000 in accounting firm fees just to do our taxes. All of this activity takes Kathy and I away from the running of the day-to-day operations of our ten programs.
We also have to face the formidable task of finding new donors. As life goes on, donors reduce their contributions or die off leaving a drop in our donations. All the while our everyday costs, like electricity, taxes, gas, and just about everything else go up. I would ask that you once again look into becoming a sustainer. We are only asking for $5.00 per month. It is secure, easy to set up, and carefree. All you need to do is to go to our webpage and click on sustainer, or on the appeal section on the last page of our newsletter and you are in.
We are already collecting items for the Flea market which will be starting, Saturday, May 2, 2020 and, yes, we are looking for volunteers to help set up, starting at 6:00 A.M. for 2 hours and closing down, starting at 1:30 P.M., for 2 hours every week until September 26, 2020.
Finally, I can’t let you go without reminding you of our Lenten fund raiser, the Fast of Hermas! Get ready to make your pledge. You really did a great job last year with over $1,800 in pledges.