Here it is, the blog post that everyone has been waiting for..
Okay. So maybe you haven’t really been waiting for this blog post per say, but I've been waiting to write it for you. This blog post is centered around some of Second Mile's biggest and most crucial needs AT THIS very moment (some of my favorite topics) and I'm posting it now since I didn't manage to get out a quarterly needs update. Mainly, I was extremely swamped by the UN grant and whew, thank goodness it’s over. It's definitely time for a break. Now that it's over, I'm feeling as if my life is in a stage of de-stressing. Who knew that stress can play such a big role in so many medical issues? Well, now I know! In addition to de-stressing, I'm also back on the fundraising train once again.
Many of you may think that fundraising sounds quite stressful, and yes it can be. But I happen to love fundraising. I love to see if I can get someone to become as passionate about the organization as I am. It’s exciting to see needs met and used at the facility everyday. It’s encouraging to see people step up and decide “hey, this is an important cause" and then ask what they can do to help.
I’m not a doctor, but I do feel on call 24/7. I recently traveled to the States for said medical issues. The first week was supposed to be a week of rest. It was restful, but I found myself talking about our organization every single day in some way or another. Ah yes, the famous question..."so what do you do?" People aren't usually satisfied at the answer “I run a non-profit in Haiti.” You get them hooked and they want more. And of course, I don't mind at all. I'm happy to tell them about Second Mile, because I'm just so dang passionate about our organization.
With each trip I take outside of Haiti, I find myself talking a lot about the organization. And with each trip I end up coming up with a slogan statement. This trip I just so happened to be working on the organizations's taxes, reviewing the 2016 budget, and looking over some of the numbers from past years.
I found myself googling the average price of a 4 bedroom house in the USA. The answer: $363,401. And thus my slogan statement became, "Second Mile's operating costs for one year are less than the cost of the average house in the United States. Can you believe it?!"
Last year expenses were roughly $260,000 and in 2016 we will keep a steady budget around $300,000 since we are finally at maximum capacity! I mean that’s crazy, right?
Second Mile employs 27 people and will employ 30 by the end of the year.
We will have approximately 280 direct beneficiaries (caregivers and children) this year. During the 6-8 weeks they spend at the center, all of their needs are met including food, stay, medical, & transportation.
Second Mile will have 120 business graduates by the end of the year. These are the mothers and grandmothers that complete the business course during their child's recovery and receive an income-generating business package after graduation to help sustain their families.
We also help support a micro-finance program in the village that directly impacts 209 local men and women. And, we continue to see caregivers and children after graduating the program. It's the cherry on top. Our nurses will see the graduate children and caregivers from the last 3 years in an estimated 1,248 follow-up visits in 2016.
All of this for the purchase of a medium size home in the USA, and I bet ya wouldn't even get a backyard like ours! Our backyard is roughly 3 acres and is currently home to gardens, cows, goats, and bees. And hey maybe $363,401 doesn't even get you a full four rooms. Maybe it's only 3 bedrooms with 1.5 bathrooms...? Google was not that specific.
Isn’t this mind blowing? This is why fundraising is fun. This why I absolutely love Second Mile, not that I’m biased or anything. We really use every single penny. We pride ourselves on being logistically savvy in every possible way.
Hopefully, you’re still following me.
Point is.. your pennies matter.
So our current needs aren’t necessarily the super “fun” needs. Maybe your finger doesn’t do a happy dance over the donate button, but these are important. I’m sitting at home writing this blog post and I haven't actually been to the facility in 2 1/2 weeks. The needs listed below our things that empower our staff members to advance the program. It gives them the tools and technology to not need “Amy and Jenn" everyday. Also, it gives Amy and Jenn time to fundraise and start planning the organization’s next steps. It allows us to dream about a new location and get serious!
Okay the need part.. I know I must sound so “needy."
- Two new motorcycles. The cost is $1000 per motorcycle. This covers insurance and registration paperwork. Currently, we use motorcycles for all the mothers' transportation to/from hospital visits, errands throughout day, supply runs, etc. In the 2015 Holiday Catalog we received a gift of a motorcycle cart which holds up to 10 people. We will be purchasing that next week! We have 22 women at our site right now. If we didn’t use motorcycles then we would be forced to use our Ford Ranger Truck and if you have ever been down here then you understand that that’s a very, very bad idea. It breaks down every 10 seconds and doesn’t get you from point A to B in a timely fashion on the village roads. Plus, I really do not want to pay $500 per month on maintenance for the thing.
- Two printers. One for the land and one for the office. Our last printer was damaged because we carried it from the office to the land on a motorcycle 3 times a week. Well that just doesn’t cut it. It turns out everyone needs to print at all times. We will buy one color and one B&W. The total cost will be $550 as the printers can be purchased locally.
- 1 part-time nurse that will eventually become full-time. Did you see the part where I wrote about the 1248 follow-up visits our nurses will complete this year. Yep, our nurses need help. The time for a 3rd nurse is now. We need a part timer so for now we are looking for $150/month towards this need. Total= $1800.00
- Enfamil. This is a formula specifically used with children under 6 months of age that are not breastfeeding. I am stocked on all other formulas thanks to funds from the UN grant and Holiday Catalog. But we do need $900 to stock up on Enfamil for the next few months. This happens to be more expensive than other formulas and is one of our biggest needs at the moment.
- iPads. Our staff is growing which means more people are inputting data in our database system. Pretty cool huh? Two years ago, most of our staff members didn't even use email and now they are completely running our program through mac minis, iPads, etc. This is a huge reason why Amy and I do not have to be frequent visitors on-site because we can just analyze the data submitted. We need 2 ipads at $750/each. Total= $1500
- Good heavens, we need another moto driver. I've mentioned our increase in capacity and you can see that I'm asking for two motos so obviously, we need someone to drive them. To hire a moto driver we need $200/month. $2400 in total.
Okay, this is all I have for now. These are the items that are on my brain every night before bed and as soon I get up. I am not asking you to contribute the whole thing or even a quarter of it. Did you see where I said, “your pennies matter?" Just remember when your finger does do a happy dance over the donate button, let us know towards which need you would like your donation designated. And most importantly, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this incredibly long blog post. It means you support us somehow in some shape or fashion, so thank you.
Lastly, I invite you down here. No, seriously. You really need to see our logistically savvy organization and all of these items being used on a daily basis. Mainly, you need to see why we have so much passion. So what are you waiting for?