We won! Thanks for your help in Walmart’s food pantry grant / giveaway!

For the past two weeks we’ve been involved Walmart’s holiday giving program. This year they designated $1.5 million to go to food pantries- in $20,000 increments to the 75 organizations across the U.S.

The 75 nonprofits were chosen from, well… by you!

Charities had friends and supporters vote for them online, and the top 75. Thanks to 1,626 voters, we placed 32!

We’ll have an open house in early 2015 to provide you with an opportunity to come see our place!

Two big things this week: Food pantry $20,000- and Christmas shuffle

This has been an exciting week. I decided to walk through the store- again- and shoot another video to tell you about the food challenge giveaway that Walmart is doing. We’ve got two days left in this contest which will  help us raise $20,000 to feed people in need.

Want to help? Click the link to their giving site: http://wm8.walmart.com/#/

Then, 1) Search “AL” for the State of Alabama in the green search bar, followed by

2) Select “The Village”

It takes about 20 seconds. Then, you can share it to Facebook if you’re up for it.

Here’s a video I shot that explains this a bit- and tosses an idea by you: this holiday season, as you put in your new stuff and clear out the old, give us a call and we’ll take the old and put it to good use. Or, as you chunk the old Christmas decorations, let us know… we’ll recycle them for next year!

Our office number is 205-868-3751 or 868-3753 to schedule a pick up!

Help us win $20,000 for a food pantry reno! It only cost you about 20 seconds!

We need your help!

The Village is in the running for a $20,000 food pantry upgrade… We are in the running against some MASSIVE organizations- but only need to crack the top 75 to win.

Can you help? Click this link… vote for us… and then pass this on to your friends.

Here’s how to vote in 20 seconds:

1. Click the link here and you’ll go to Walmart’s giving site: http://wm8.walmart.com/holidaymakeover/#/#fh-search-input

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and look for a green banner / search bar. There’s a red ball on the left that says, “Vote.”

3. Type in “AL” for Alabama- and it will pull up the organizations in our state that are eligible.

4. Click on “The Village.”

Note: you can do this every 24 hours until December 12th- So, will you do us a favor and a) do this every day, as well as b) encourage a few friends to do the same?

What will we do with this? The $20,000 grant is for a food pantry. This will allow us to expand our current freezer / storage capacity by about 10-fold. We’ll be able to receive donated foods in bulk, store them longer, and save about $6,000-$8,000 / month off our food budget. This means we can divert that money to helping more people in other ways, even as the food ministry expands!

Thanks!

2014 year-end Open House / fundraising

As 2014 winds down, we’re looking ahead to a great next year.

God has greatly blessed our efforts at The Village as we have seen tremendous growth- particularly this past year. Growth means even greater opportunity and responsibility. In order to maintain the high standards of ministry that we have established, we are seeking additional ministry partners- those who will invest financially and relationally.

I’m writing to tell you about two opportunities related to this.

1. The first opportunity is our Christmas Open House event we will hold on December 4th (a Thursday), at our property located at 507 Whitmore Drive (35221). The event will begin at 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (“come and go”, and will include a 7-minute presentation at 7:00 pm about who we are, what we do, and how it all happens. I’ll give a quick 7-minute presentation at 7:00 pm that provides everyone with an overview of the program.

We’ll serve appetizers and deserts at this casual event. We would love to see you there and show you our newly renovated facility.

If I have your address on file, I’ve already sent an invite in the mail- a friend has made some great invites for us! If you do not receive an invite in the next day or two, will you please send me your address?

2. The second opportunity is to partner with us. To help cover the ongoing operational / ministry expenses of The Village, we’re seeking financial and relational partners who will commit to working with us at least one time.

Specifically, I am asking you to make a one-time financial investment right now that will help cover the operating expenses of a particular area at our ministry center. You can even choose the ministry effort you’d like. Additionally, I am asking you to pray about becoming an ongoing supporter to help facilitate our future growth as well as meeting our day to day ministry needs.

For those who sponsor a ministry area:

1. We’ll create a frame near the door of the room you sponsor- with your name, your church’s name, your business logo, or the name of someone you’ve sponsored the room in honor of… It will be nice, but basic. We’ll spend the money on ministry- not plaques. Your name / the frame will stay there all year.

2. We will communicate with you monthly as to what goes on in throughout the ministry. You’ll get an email 12 times over the next year containing stories of life change- and prayer needs. The monthly emails will allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your investment.

3. We’ll invite you to our special events (i.e., Open House events, etc.), so you can come and see what’s happening. Of course, you’re welcome to drop by any time.

4. We won’t ask you to keep supporting us each month. We’ve made our appeal and believe that once you see and hear the incredible stories of life change you’ll want to continue this investment and walk with us on this journey.

So how do you give? You can give online through our secure server, you can mail a check, or you can speak to us at our Open House on December 4th.

How much are we asking for? It’s based on the area you choose. We’re asking for one-time gifts based on the area you sponsor. The “Sponsorship Opportunities” listed below give you a breakdown of areas ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 (of course, you can give as much as you’d like!). If you do not feel you are in a position to provide a full sponsorship, we would gladly welcome any contribution you are able to make at this time.

Our overall goal is to raise $150,000. That probably doesn’t sound like a lot when one considers all that we are doing through The Village. We can keep this need low because we are able to self-generate the bulk of our almost $1 million annual operating budget through our work programs and the relationships we have established with area charitable foundations. So, the remaining $10,000- $15,000 we must secure each month to complete the difference isn’t all that much when one considers everything that is happening from our center.

Thanks for your time- and for your past help. I’d love to come visit with you or speak with you on the phone if you have time or should you have any questions or need additional information.

The Open House event is a non-strings-attached, “come and see” what we do event. We’re inviting past donors and volunteers

We’d love to see you there on the 4th of December!

Sincerely

,

Andrew Jenkins

Executive Director, The Village

PS- I have attached more info below about the various areas we have available for sponsorship.

The Village Sponsorship Opportunities

The Village opens its doors to men, women and families who have been broken or beaten down by bad choices, bad circumstances, and bad relationships. We are a residential reentry and recovery facility, housing people for 6-9 months as they walk through their life transformation process.

We provide a structured environment in which the Holy Spirit ministers healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ to our residents. As they become healthy and whole they join us in serving the city. They become part of the solution, part of the body of Christ, an expression of Jesus’ hands and feet reaching out to love the people around us.

________________________

We have the following rooms available for sponsorship:

10 small men’s rooms (4 men each) ($1,000 sponsorship each)

5 large men’s rooms (8 men each) ($2,500 sponsorship each)

6 family rooms ($1,000 sponsorship each)

6 Phase women’s rooms ($1,500 sponsorship each)

6 Phase 3 rooms (space for those to stay who have completed the program) ($1,000 sponsorship each)

In addition, we have the following 8 areas available for sponsorship:

Computer lab (men’s) ($5,000)

Computer lab (women’s) ($5,000)

Dining hall / multi-purpose room ($5,000)

Men’s living room ($2,000)

Women’s living room ($2,000)

Phase 3 living room ($2,000)

Weight room ($3,000)

Outdoor basketball court ($5,000)

Again, you can give online through our secure server, you can mail a check, or you can come to our Open House.

Top 5 // Christmas open house, thrift update video, P-Dot, and more!

Hey, everyone, here’s the top 5 for the week ending 11/7/2014.

1. First up… Make plans now to attend the second annual Christmas Open House at The Village. We’ll start sending out invites in the next two weeks- as well as email blasts. Go ahead and mark the date, now. This is a “come and go” event, and is an awesome way to see our place firsthand.

2. This video. This quick video shows you the inside of our thrift store and explains the awesome fact that the one thing that funds 70% of it is actually the easiest thing for you to give. That’s right. It’s the easiest to give and it’s the biggest game changer. Watch, and think about doing it!

3. Staff shift… job development… and procurement. 

We have some awesome guys working here. Over the past few weeks, two of the guys have shifted from case management to other roles. Drew is now heading procurement- and is the guy you’ll talk to if you call to set up a pickup or donation for the thrift store. Philip is helping guys land jobs, and apparently hit a home run this week. Great work, guys!

4. $13K of freezer, roof other projects, etc. We have a few projects we need to do to keep the place humming. Here they are:

  • Re-roof the “new hall” (about $6K for metal roofing- it’s a huge hall!)
  • Re-do the sewer at the women’s property (about $2K)
  • Install a freezer at the commercial kitchen (about $2K). We have the freezer, we simply need to lay a slab- this is an outdoor, stand alone freezer which will massively cut down our grocery budget, since we’ll be able to store donated meats!
  • Install HVAC on men’s hall (about $3K). We’ve been given a 15-ton unit- it’s ready to go. We simply need the cash- or the crew- to install it!

If you want to help, give us a ring! 205-868-3751!

5. Alfonzo receives medical clearance. “P-Dot” (Alphonso Dotson) has been driving for us for about four years. A few months ago, he had a stroke. He’s worked hard- aggressively exercising and eating right, to get medical clearance.

As of today, he’s clear to work!

 

Top 5 // Thrift update (clean out your closets * bring it!), “new” kitchen, NPR, and more!

Hello. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve cranked out a “Top 5.” It seems that no matter how well-intended the intention to crank out an update is, it usually falls short to the other things going on at the actual ministry center itself.

That said, let me give you a few updates for the week ending 09/26.

1. Thrift store. The store is doing great. As we transition to a new season, remember us as you clean out the closets and drawers and start making the transition to long sleeves. If you didn’t wear it last year, you probably won’t wear it this year. Drop it in one of our yellow boxes around down, or give us a call (868-3751) and we’ll come pick it up.

Here’s a video I shot a few weeks ago walking through the back stock room, showing you how things get from you, to us, to the store, and then to the floor.

Everything given to the store funds the ministry at The Village, which runs 24/7, transitioning men, women, and kids, from homelessness, prison, and addictions to health and wholeness in Christ!

2. The Grace Church is back in swing. We took a summer sabbatical mid-July through August… and we’re back. Info about the church is on the church site.

3. Alabama Justice Ministries (AJMN) has held two Saturday training sessions since our last update on this site. On  July 19, they trained a crew of men and women to minister inside our city jails, as well as to provide mentoring. They did the same thing, again, over this past weekend.

AJMN offices in our facility and does an incredible job focusing on the mentoring aspects of reentry, as well as training people to minister inside prison / jail settings. We’ll post updates on training on the events page on this site.

4. NPR radio taped a story a few weeks ago, featuring Charles- from our kitchen. We’ll post a link as soon as its available. It was awesome to see this guy- who has come so far- featured on this platform.

5. Check out the updated kitchen next time you’re around our facility. We found a restaurant near Cullman that was closing. They and some amazing equipment which we were able to pick up very cheaply. In fact, we’re able to sell our old stuff at our store and cover the costs of the new!

 

Top 5 / week ending 07/19/2014- Early classes, donated heat pump and car, 13 investigates drop boxes, thrift update!

1. Early classes. Things are humming along with the new daily schedule. Currently, we run all residents through a 9 week job training program that includes life skills classes early in the morning, along with a healthy dose of grace and empowerment. The short video above (which I shot on my way to go teach class one morning) explains some of this transition, which our case managers have totally made happen in a smooth, smooth way.

2. Donated heat pump from original owner of building. One of the admin execs from the nursing home company (they own 13 facilities) that helped secure the transfer of the current MountainView property location to us popped in the other day with their director of operations. He asked if we needed an air unit (he noticed the air wasn’t working in the dining hall). After confirming that we did- and that we were looking to replace the one that had just gone out- he said he had an idea…

Turns out, he purchased an air unit for that same room a few years ago. Since they moved out of the facility, they never installed it. The thing had been sitting in storage.

“How about we send it back home?” he said.

What a grand idea! Thanks, Ball Healthcare- yet, again!

3. And a donated car. Ah… the reason the Director of Operations was there was because he was riding with his co-worker, a wonderful woman who came to donate a Volvo station sago to us.

We make about 200-250 trips / day. A new car… yep, that’s a great tool to add to the mix.

4. Channel 13 news visits to talk about drop boxes. Greg Privett, one of the staff reporters, called a few weeks ago about our drop boxes. ran the story on June 30th titled “Donation Bin Battle” (hit the link to watch the story). Apparently, our city is being flooded with drop boxes from area nonprofits and other for profit companies from out of town.

He asked what we thought about it.  I stated our position is this:

Support a local ministry. If the box is pink, orange… blue… yes, we like yellow, but at the end of the day, give your stuff to someone who is going to put those items directly to use by giving them to someone who needs them, or by selling them and using the cash to help someone in our city restore their life. There are some great nonprofits in our city- my encouragement is to help them love and bless and our city, as opposed to filling the wallets of someone in another place that we’ll never meet.

Just my thoughts. Our drop boxes are listed here.

5. Thrift store update- expanded hours and drop box locations. By the way, we’ve expanded our hours, too, and the thrift store. Thank you for your continued support. As always, you can make a donation by finding our boxes, bringing items to the store or ministry center (where we have a box) or by calling our offices for a pickup- 205-868-3751.