Like many of us, I like to consciously take some time during this season to reflect on the past 12 months and think about what’s in store for the next calendar year. As I reflect on 2018, I’m most grateful for our community that desires to live generously. My vision for 2019 involves expanding this reach – we want to keep encouraging people towards generosity, partner with more groups that are making an impact in their communities, and of course, feed more hungry people!
Together, we’ve helped a lot of people in 2018. Here are some of my favorite giving highlights from this year:
We kicked off 2018 by partnering with Serenity’s Steps, an Atlanta-based organization that walks with sex workers and the sexually exploited as they pursue hope, dignity and self-sufficiency. We plugged into one of their key outreach programs, “Hot Dogs and Prayer” which is an opportunity for the Serenity’s Steps team to connect with and encourage the neighborhood around Fulton Industrial Boulevard. I attended one of these outreach events this spring and was deeply impacted by the stories I heard from the community there about some of the violence and unrest that occurs every day in that area. I was also encouraged by how appreciative they were of the simple opportunity to have a meal provided and a few listening ears. We loved supporting this ministry!
This past fall, we helped open doors for mentoring relationships between pregnant teen moms and older women by supporting the Atlanta Young Lives program. We provided much-appreciated food for the events that these young moms attend with their children and paved the way for the special bonds formed with these busy and brave young ladies! Just this afternoon I received a text message from one of their volunteers thanking us for our support. Included was a picture of these moms and their babies – such joy. They had their largest ever meeting yesterday and we got to be part of that!
Our reach extended internationally by carrying hope to an orphanage housing Haiti’s special needs children. These children were abandoned by their families because of the way they looked and acted. Then, the landlord of the orphanage house decided not to allow the orphanage to remain there due to the fact that its inhabitants were special needs children. However, the generosity of our donors ensured that these children
remained fed and supported during their transition to a new and more stable orphanage property.
Finally, we wrapped up the year with our annual Thanksgiving meal drive. We gave Thanksgiving meals to former inmates working to build a life after prison, to the homeless still living on the street and to those not sure how they would even pay rent that month. Our reach extended across many geographic, cultural and socioeconomic lines as we fed families from Detroit to Sacramento to St. Petersburg, Florida. In total, we fed 22,182 people!
One of the things I am committed to with Hungry For a Day is an operating model where we give 100% of all project donations directly to the charity partner or organization. We are volunteer led and no giving goes toward salaries, processing fees or similar costs. To make this possible, we rely on a December giving drive to fund our operational expenses for the following year. In 2019, we are introducing a new giving opportunity to help us fund these expenses throughout the year.
Our proposed 2019 Operating Budget, overseen by our Board of Directors, is $19,500. Starting this month, we are inviting donors to join us at The Table, which is a group of people that give each month to fund our operating expenses. I think the name is self-explanatory for a non-profit focused on addressing hunger, but I love this concept of a table as the foundational funding for our branch of generosity. Think about a table; it’s not just where meals occur and hunger is sated, but it’s also where community-building and sometimes even life-changing conversations take place. And most importantly, it’s somewhere people are invited.
We’d like to invite you to join us at The Table. We need 16 people to commit to a recurring gift of $100 a month. Some of you can give more and some can commit less. Any gift is very appreciated.
To give, you can go to H4AD.com/give.
Let’s all live a little more generously,
P.S. If you’d like to give a one-time gift, anything given in December will be allocated to our 2019 Operational Expenses.