Over the next couple of weeks please check back often for updates on All Things New (assuming our Internet does ok in Haiti). We plan on reviewing the past year, vision casting for the future, and just saying thank you for all of the ways that you have helped All Things New over the past year. It really has been an incredible year for our ministry, for our family on a personal level, and for our kids in Haiti and we want to wrap it up by thanking GOD for all of the ways He has blessed us! Today we are going to start by talking about the 2 big annual fundraisers that we do in Jacksonville in the early Spring and LaGrange in late Fall each year. If you were an organizer, a donor, a volunteer, someone who prayed for us, or in any other way involved with one of these fundraisers…THANK YOU! Had it not been for these 2 events I do not know where All Things New would be right now.
The Jacksonville fundraiser came at a time (April) when we had spent a lot of our reserves on solar panels, furniture, rent, and other supplies to make 2 houses livable…1 for us and 1 for our kids. As you know, prior to 2016 these were costs that we did not have to worry about. For the first 2 years of our existence our kids lived in the old orphanage and Jess and I lived at Christianville where everything was covered. After that, we moved into Hope Rising where, again, everything was provided. In February of 2016 all of that changed (click here to learn more). On top of moving costs we also had to hire new 24/7 security for both homes (a total of 8 security guards) while trying to maintain the large number of employees we already had. Needless to say, this was a pretty big financial strain on an organization like ours that had only been around for a couple of years. At that fundraiser in Jacksonville, you guys stepped up in a huge way! We were able to keep almost all of our employees, a lot of the costs associated with the move were covered, and we more than doubled the fundraiser from the previous year’s revenue. It was such a blessing to see GOD provide for His children through you. Every single person who contributed to that day was a huge part in the story of All Things New. You will never fully understand the encouragement, the love, and the total support and trust that we felt from you that day because I cannot verbalize how much it meant to us and our ministry. Thank you, and we cannot wait for our 2017 fundraiser with you guys.
I could almost copy and paste the previous paragraph and it would describe a lot of what happened at our LaGrange fundraiser this past October. The personnel needed to run an orphanage well are pretty intense, and for ATN to employ 30 people (including 8 security guards and 12 house moms) is quite an undertaking. When September and October came around we really thought that we were going to have to cut some of our employees because our costs just seemed too great. We decided we would wait until the LaGrange fundraiser just to see what would happen because we truly felt that we needed each of these employees (and truthfully we would like to hire 4 additional house moms ASAP) to care for our kids in the most effective way possible. Besides that, a part of our ministry has always been and will always be to provide jobs to the people of Gressier, a community with over 75% un/underemployment. We were not being irresponsible with our finances, we were just praying that GOD would provide…And He did! We raised enough money at that fundraiser (combined with the Spirit Night at Jim Bob’s, the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving in LaGrange, and the basketball fundraiser in LaGrange) for us to keep each of our current employees and to begin getting ready to pay rent for the next year on March 1. GOD provided again in His perfect timing. He challenged our faith and then showed Himself to be an incredible provider. Thank you for being His hands and feet through this process and for helping ATN to continue to move forward. If you played any part in this fundraiser, we cannot say thank you enough and we cannot wait to see what GOD does next Fall in LaGrange!