Wow! When I think back over this last year, that's about all I can say! We decided to go through the paperwork to become an official 501(C)3 corporation the beginning of last year. I started the paperwork in April, and we started having meetings almost every month. Between state paperwork and federal paperwork, we finally achieved our 501(C)3 status in November!
The first few meetings were held in my living room, and then we outgrew the living room, and Marticville United Methodist Church allowed us to use their facilities for our meetings and events. And from there out, we just continued to grow. We started with about 6-7 people in the living room, and the last meeting at the church had 13 members there!
We had sub sales, candy bar sales, bake sales, then in August, we had our first "big" fundraiser - an auction and chicken bar-b-q. We were a little disappointed by the turnout, although a lot of people drove through to pick up chicken. The auction was actually successful, and people got a lot of bargains....but it was fun for all, and we made about 1/2 of our planned budget from that one event. Of course, as we grew, our budget kept going up a little, and our goals became bigger! Oh, and not to mention that I was dealing with breast cancer during August - September. But that's in the past, and I hope and pray it stays there!!!
The other "big" fundraiser was the craft show. We had a very good response from vendors, although a few didn't show up the day of the actual event. We learned a lot about advertising from this event, and we did make some money, but we also learned some valuable lessons!
Then came November and shopping!!! That's always a lot of fun, but a lot of work! Then came December and wrapping. We wrapped gifts for the families, and we had lunch. It was a good time for everyone! There were approximately 30 people wrapping, women and their daughters, a lot of people from the church, a few people who just wanted to "volunteer", and even a couple men!!! It was so awesome to see so many people giving their time to give others a brighter Christmas!
There was a group of ladies at the Corporate Office of High Industries who took care of SIX families completely. There were a few families who offered to shop for another family. I'm so thrilled with how much help we received this year and how much we were able to do!!!
Thanks to everyone who helped in any way....and Happy New Year to our Holiday Hope families, our volunteers, and all of our friends and families!
Love & Hope to You,
Cheri <3 :-)