written by Michael St. Louis, Hope House of Central Illinois Board President
I remember walking in the winter woods as a youth. The bright shining sun reflecting off of the snow covered boughs and ground, not a breath of air moving, all created a surreal atmosphere. One could say it was a “wonderland.” Time stood still; distance and direction seemed to float away. Your progress was only traceable by looking backwards to see the footprints in the snow. There may be a straight path or maybe meandering, but you know where you have been. Or maybe you tracked you child’s growth on a door or wall in your home. Either way, you are marking progress by looking back.
Much is the same with Hope House. We have been very focused on growing and now it is time to look back to see how far we have come.
As a completely new, unestablished non-profit, I believe we have made great progress in the past 6 months.
- presented our vision to over 400 people
- presented to 10 different community organizations
- collected 80% of our down payment for land
- received support from over 100 wonderful donors
- received committed support for 2018 from 2 organizations
- spoken with and comforted 3 families after their loss
So what is next? That is a great question I hope to answer. There is more to the wall or door to continue to mark growth, just as there is always more forest to explore.
We are presently:
- forming a capital committee
- negotiating the purchase price of land
- applying for local grants
- scheduling presentations to more area churches and organizations
- working toward more long-term funding for sustainability
Of all the great things Hope House has already accomplished, it has only been possible by the generosity and support of so many private individuals and businesses. The hard work of everybody involved has led to extraordinary results. We are not there yet. However, I am confident that as we continue down this road, we will exceed our goals. The many families experiencing loss will be able to find refuge with us because of your support.
Thank you all,
Hope House of Central Illinois