We are heading back to Haiti this coming Monday, and we are very excited. The a/c has been wonderful, the food even better, and getting to see friends and family has been awesome, but we are really ready to be back. We cannot wait to see our kids and begin the process of enrolling them all in school. If you have children, think about the first day of school multiplied by 34 with the added pressure of buying books, getting uniforms made, not speaking the same language as everyone else, and not being sure what day school actually starts (as of now it is either September 1 or October 1). All of that to say we are really excited to get back to it. I just wanted to let you know we are on our way back and to let you know some of what we did while we were here this past month.
While we were here this time, we had 3 main goals including spend time with family, take care of All Things New business issues (including a board meeting and an advisory team meeting), and rest. All of these things were accomplished. We were able to spend a week with my (Matt) family in Daytona and a week with Jessica’s family in St. Augustine. They were both excellent times to both get away and to be with our biggest supporters. We spent a lot of time in meetings and thinking through some of the business issues for ATN. We have a great team around us of people that we trust, respect, and who love our kids. We also spent some time relaxing. We have a big next few months coming up for ATN and we knew we needed to be ready for these things.
With that said, here is what we have coming up:
- SPONSORSHIP CELEBRATION: Sept. 27 we will be having our second annual sponsorship celebration in Jacksonville, FL. If you live in Jacksonville or are willing to travel, we would love to see you there!
- BEGINNING OF SCHOOL: I mentioned this earlier, but we have a lot of work to do, and we have to make sure that our kids are studying and prepared to do well this year.
- FUNDRAISING: We really need your help from Thanksgiving to Christmas this year. We are planning on spending that time in the states with the specific purpose of fundraising. It is a lot of time to be home and especially during the school year, but we have to make sure that we are doing well in this area of our organization. We need your help to make sure we do not waste this time here. Here is how you can help:
- Get us in front of your church, missions team, small group, etc.
- Give us information about foundations that you know about or give our names to the person in your company in charge of charitable giving.
- Get us exposure in other ways (if you have connections with local televisions or newspapers who are looking to do stories for the holidays).
- Host a fundraising dessert/fellowship at your home and invite friends who are not yet sponsors or supporters of our ministry. This has been our most successful fundraising technique to date, and it is the easiest and most personal way to help us extend our fundraising base.
- If you have ideas that we have not thought of, tell us and we will see if it is something we can do.
We are so thankful for all of you, and I hope you enjoy the update. We are doing well with our fundraising attempts to date, but we never want to be complacent, and we need to be down with our children on a permanent basis as soon as possible. We also do not want to be here for that entire month without having a chance to be proactive in fundraising, so please help us if you can!