Dear Friends and Partners:
This update was supposed to be written and mailed out by mid-May and here we already are in June and I am just now finally able to sit down and write this. We have been busy, and it is only getting busier. That’s not just a good thing, but it is truly a great thing. Our being so busy means that lots of widows are getting helped and we are getting lots of volunteers to do it. Just look at our facebook page sometime and you will see what has we have been up to. You don’t have to have a facebook account to see it either. Just scroll down to the bottom of the home page of our website and there is a link to our facebook page. Just click on it and it will take you right to it.
Here is our schedule of upcoming groups and workdays to date. Almost everyday, though, we get a new request from a group that wants to volunteer. You can go to the calendar on our website to see scheduling updates or click here for a list of dates.
Summer Supply Needs
Thankfully, 3 of the weeks we have scheduled this summer are with Son Servants. They have been partnering with us, now, for over 10 years and are one of the most well run short-term mission organizations we have ever had the privilege to work with.
From their web site: “Son Servants joins local agencies, pastors, and missionaries in providing labor and funds for work projects. Specific tasks vary from year to year and from trip to trip, ranging from helping a widow in Tennessee with routine upkeep of her home to working on a church building in Jamaica. The majority of our trips also provide some sort of outreach to area children.”
The reason I mention this is because of the equitable regard and treatment that they have with those they partner with. Over the years we have been asked by a number of ministries and mission agencies (both local and national) to partner with them by providing home repair projects on widow’s homes. In most of these instances they are receiving between $200 & $400 per youth that comes on the trip, with total number of youth in a week ranging from 15-400. Most youth, when they go on short-term mission trips like this, believe that the fees that they pay for the week are going to cover the cost of feeding and housing them as well as the cost of the construction materials where they will be serving.
Quite tragically, numerous mission agencies and local ministry hosts, use short-term mission opportunities for youth, primarily, as a fundraising mechanism in order to meet other financial objectives. Those who do this well are able to literally raise millions of dollars through the provision of these opportunities. 50% to upwards of 75% or more of funds generated through the individual fees is all used to fund yearly operating budgets.
That is why I say that have the privilege of partnering with Son Servants has been such a blessing. They have always been extremely fair in providing us with the financial support that we need in order to organize for them the home repair projects that we do on widow’s homes.
This summer, as is the case in most of our summer construction activities, most of the volunteers we get is not through mission teams partnering with us like Son Servants, or mission teams that we host ourselves, are from local individuals and groups. Their help is invaluable to us and especially the widow’s they serve, but they seldom are able to help us pay for the
Here is the list of some of the construction projects and materials that we need for the summer and their cost:
Projects & Construction Material Costs Include:
4 Roofs Cost $4423.00
4 Exterior & 5 Interior House Painting Cost $2122.00
Deck Cleaning, Repair & Wheel Chair Ramp Cost $1568.00
Total Supplies and Materials Cost $8113.00
The arrival of May 1st of this year has proved to not be the exception when it comes to receiving donations. It is always like a water faucet that has been running wide open and is suddenly turned almost all the way off to the point where it is now just dripping intermittently. I don’t know of another way to describe it that could paint a clearer picture. It is not the first of the summer, though, where we typically find ourselves with financial shortfalls, it is usually around the middle of August when we begin to feel the effects of all of the increased construction and operating costs.
Any help, additional or otherwise, you might be able to give either now or in the fall will help us be able to continue to keep up with the continued demands for meeting the home repair needs of widows.
Just as a side note, beginning in 2012 a noticeable increase in the number of adult volunteers began to occur with us to the point where, now, in 2014, adult volunteer numbers are far exceeding that of teenage volunteers.
Funky Chicken Games***POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE***
On July 4th and 5th Scenic City Multisport will be hosting the first competition of it’s kind here in Chattanooga, a 2-day functional fitness (crossfit) competition in Chattanooga, to benefit Widows Harvest. If you are interested in competing, or you can serve as a volunteer (we have been asked to recruit 30 volunteers to help out each day) for part of it please go to their website, www.funkychickengames.org, and either register for the competition or sign up to volunteer for either a 4 hour or 8 hour shift.