Each year I enjoy reflecting on what has happened in and through Nehemiah. It is good to look back, see what has happened, celebrate the good and learn from the rest. This year I am particularly grateful for so many things.
We have been able to expand our programming, especially in our K-12 and Reentry areas.
ACE now offers year round elements or programming. We have added a group mentoring program for middle school black boys that we call BROTHER. Nehemiah was able to purchase an additional property to use for giving ex-offenders a good and safe place to live.
The list goes on.
More important than just offering more options through Nehemiah, we celebrate seeing an impact in the lives of participants. Our participating kids and youth are making successful academic strides in school. They are also growing in areas of self-identity and leadership.
We are helping break the ugly prison to school pipeline that exists in our community.
We are seeing needs met and leaders developed through our neighborhood chaplaincy in the Allied Community. Youth are being inspired, challenged and affirmed in our gospel choir.
I loved hearing a staff from a partnering employment agency rave (and cry) about the excellent work being done by some of our ex-offenders.
This year, I am particularly grateful for the Nehemiah staff. We have added several new, talented and experienced, high capacity members to our team. My staff are our greatest asset. These people are what make our organization and programs what they are. We have been able to highlight several of our team members at breakfasts for the community. I like seeing the looks in the eyes of our guests as they hear from our staff. They are seeing what I see on a daily basis ~ agents of hope.
We have had the joy of adding new financial partners in 2015. A handful of foundations have come on board. We recently were awarded the largest grant we have ever received – for the purchase of two new buildings for the formerly incarcerated. We are grateful but are also aware that our vitality and longevity are dependent on having a strong foundation of partners like you, caring people, who give to the work on a regular basis. Foundations will often give for a year or two to new programs or innovation. However, we still need partners who will hold up the foundation and infrastructure of Nehemiah – salaries, staff training and development, supervision, support staff and the like.
I would like to invite you to partner with us – in prayer, as volunteers, or through your finances. In order to sustain and develop our work, we would like to raise $100,000 in new support in the next year. If just over 100 people gave, on average, $75 per month, we would meet that goal. You may be able to give less or more or might want to give a special year-end gift. Your tax-deductible gift can be given in the enclosed envelope. Thanks for considering continuing ~ or perhaps joining, in this important work.
I look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring.