We ask you to grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit down and take a few moments as we share The Cottage reflections of 2017 and cast vision for 2018...
Many of you know our personal history, professional background and heart for The Cottage – we love to share our “why” and welcome you into The Cottage family having a passion for women in need while they are pregnant. We provided housing, resources, education, referrals and support for our clients and making impact for life change through your generosity, giving and time. The Cottage is a powerful community resource and pregnancy help organization. We get right in the middle of these lives and push for big impact changes. We tackle the jail time, legal issues, drug and alcohol rehabilitation needs, financial devastation, poverty and homelessness. It is all inter-related and we are willing to “get our hands and feet dirty”. We love this life!!!
In 2017....big task items completed included:
New community partnerships with Samaritan Counseling for trauma and abuse our clients have experienced, Oklahoma Wesleyan University to operate the second mobile medical unit and Building Bridges to address generational poverty, homelessness, and set our clients on a new course for their lives and The Delaware Early Childhood Team to offer early childhood education to our moms and babies.
We were a United Way Venture Grant recipient - now, that is HUGE!!! BIG, BIG, BIG!!
We hired Janette Miller as our Operations Manager this fall to coordinate our operations and manage the responsibilities of administration and coordination of our ministry. She is one organized woman and compliments our team in areas of responsibility we needed to improve and grow.
We SOLD OUT our first fundraising event and hosted special guest Pam Tebow.
We welcomed new houseparents Chris and Michelle Ruhl - local and loved by our residents. Come for dinner one night!! Michelle is a culinary trained chef and mom to boys...
Our biggest endeavor of 2017 was to step out to grow the organization and purchase the existing Ray of Hope building. Oh how we NEED it. This building allows us to have our own brick and mortar offices, ultrasound room, Earn While You Learn boutique, training area, board room, phone number and volunteer space. The maternity home will stay in its existing location and continue to serve our residents. We plan to move in May, 2018.
Your generosity and the contribution by a private family, the Lyon Foundation, the Mike Deneen Family Foundation, the Knights of Columbus, numerous individuals, businesses, and countless others have made this possible! (THANK YOU)
Isn’t that soooooooooo exciting – can you tell we are jumping up and down??!!! Stay tuned, we will need to furnish and decorate this new place, and you will get to see it first. It will be modern and FUN!
Friends, we consider you The Cottage Family…..you have prayed, loved, served and given so generously. You supported the newbie organization and took your own chances on us. We can not thank you enough as we close this year out. And, once you are part of the family, you are always part of the family!
Our vision for 2018 will focus on developing top operations (best practice, partnerships, efficiency and funding) – our new headquarters, starting to pay salaries to our directors as they have volunteered their time to start and run this organization the last two years, and keeping the lights on and paying our bills. This is where the true need is for almost every non-profit. The day to day work in the trenches and providing for expenses. And, we will be continuing to develop our Board of Directors, look for best practices, efficiency and partnerships to serve our clients as a leader for pregnancy help organizations. Our clients needs will ALWAYS be our heart and soul and we want to give our very best!
2018 OPERATING BUDGET = $163,000
A Frappuccino at Starbucks weekly = $286 donation = weeks worth of groceries and home supplies for the maternity home.
$50 a month = $600 donation = 6 months of Internet for the training center.
$100 a month = $1,200 donation = lights on and utilities for a month!! Yes, please.
$5,000 = operates our mobile units and insurance for them annually! Oh wow!
$13,600 = one month of ALL expenses!! We can breathe and feel at ease!
What piece will you own?
Our challenge phrase for 2018 is: "GENERATIONAL IMPACT" - we have the responsibility and opportunity to provide the environment for change. Our opportunity is not just one life…..but, two or more generations at a time! This is a big calling and we are up for the challenge. We want to be intentional in making an impact with every decision, move or action we take in 2018.
What do we ask of you in 2018?
1. CONNECT WITH US – we say “this work is not for wimps”. We ask you to stay informed with us and how our clients our clients are being served. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to speak out for those we serve, fill out your information on the Be Involved page to ensure we communicate back to you.
2. VOLUNTEER – we now have the ability to electronically track, follow up and get you plugged in to serve. Where you are gifted…that is where you can serve. We are loading the new operations management system to track our past interest and will be calling on you in 2018, so be ready to step in!!!
3. GIVE FINANCIALLY – remember we said our main focus is best practice in our operations and funding? As an employer or individual you can give. Yes, we ask you to consider being a regular monthly donor to The Cottage. And, you can give in memory or honor someone and we will recognize them and you. DO NOT FORGET to MATCH your employer giving if you can!! It all adds up and YOU can be part of this.
You can give your gift online and set up your 2018 monthly giving at: DONATE NOW
We stand in the gap and have for so many women and their babies. And, the need is still there. We will continue to love and give hope to them – GENERATIONAL IMPACT!!!
All our love and kind regards,
Juli Merciez, Executive Director & Co-Founder
Becky Le, Program Director & Co-Founder
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM!
You can give your year-end gift online and set up your 2018 monthly giving at: DONATE NOW