At Love146, typical of many non-profits, we operate on a fiscal year instead of a January to December calendar year. Our “year” goes from July to June, and today is New Year’s Eve. Ever have one of those tough years where the moment that the New Year’s Eve countdown arrives is overwhelming in all that it represents?
I started at Love146 one month after the Round Home opened its doors, a little over 6 years ago. This past year has been the hardest year I’ve spent here. The stories seemed darker, the need seemed greater, and the resources seemed fewer. There were days that felt like drowning and where hope got real real.
As the end of the year (today) loomed closer and closer the past few months, a deadline and funding needs were staring at us in the face.
One need was the budget of our Round Home for girls in the Philippines. It had been fully operating, but on a significant deficit and we needed to close its budget. The need felt huge: $250,000. On April 1st, we shared this need with you.
I pass a kitschy fundraising thermometer poster on the wall as I make my way towards my desk. A few months ago, it stung to see the level of the red marker filling. But slowly – as I’ve seen YOU responding with generosity towards our need at the Round Home, that thermometer has been a reminder that we’re in this together.
In April, I saw the thermometer rise after one supporter gave up gifts on her 21st birthday to raise funds for children instead. In May, I saw the thermometer get a huge boost when attendees of our Red Gala in New York gave over $140,000. Later that month, I saw the thermometer rise after the Lakes Region, NH Task Force hosted a community hike fundraiser. Just last week, I saw the thermometer rise after the Freedom Cafe in Durham donated $5000 of their coffee sales.
There are many moments at the Love146 office when the professional surroundings are viewed through eyes that feel like they’re floating upon tears. When good posture and a laptop under my fingers seem to be all that hold back the floodgate. Tears of shock, tears of grief – and today, tears of joy.
Writing this is one those moments: we did it. You did it.
The Round Home, that weirdly beautiful place, saw its 2014/15 budget totally closed and finished in the black. We enter next year confident that this home will again be able to bring in all it needs. The work happening here is truly stunning and beautiful. The girls living here are profoundly strong, wise, and resilient. Thank you for investing in them. You, our supporters, are freaking amazing. In the words of one Round Home girl, 9 year old Jasmine,