Today I am doing a lot of thinking and a lot of praying. I probably need to pray even more. The Haven has reached the age where many non-profits fail. Statistically most new non-profit organizations fail as they near the 2 year mark. The statistics show the odds are not good for one to survive past the first year and that by the time the second year comes around it’s done, over, everybody has gone home.
The Haven is getting close to those marks. I have to admit I wonder which side of the statistics The Haven is going to come down on. I am a fairly positive person in general and it is very clear Dallas County families need what The Haven offers. Clients are a constant. Diaper Need is still there. Parents are still coming to parenting classes. So why am I even wondering what The Haven’s status will be?
Because financial donations have slowed down. Because instead of adding new monthly giving partners we are losing them. I have been positive about our financial outlook in the past because every time I got nervous the money showed up. I still have to believe that God is in control and that He has a plan for The Haven. The way He brought me back to Buffalo and everything fell into place tell me He wants The Haven to be here. The clients served by the variety of services offered tell me it is desperately needed.
So I guess the time has come to ask the people of Dallas County, do you want The Haven to continue? Right now 95% of our monthly financial support comes from Monthly Giving Partners who do not live in Dallas County. Some, actually most, do not even live in Missouri! Last year we did have a great number of unexpected donations from groups or people living in the community but when it comes down to it, the financial gifts were from a tiny handful of dedicated people. Calvary Chapel and their Young Adult Sunday School Class were a huge help last year. Buffalo Prairie Middle School kids were amazing! The Lydia Circle from Buffalo Methodist Church were awesome as well. But the truth of the matter is, it may not be enough.
If you live in Dallas County I want to ask you to think about this and pray about it. The Haven gave out over 1900 diapers last year, not counting the cloth diapers we gave out as well. Over 25 families participated in parenting classes in 2016. A handful of families attended Baby Day Survival course and received breastfeeding assistance. Over 10 families received Newborn Kits just since September alone. Do you want this to continue? The numbers were growing quickly in the last part of 2016, the last three months were our busiest of the entire year. I don’t see that changing any time soon. If you want The Haven to continue then you will have to make a choice. Are you willing to put your money on the line?
If enough people would join together to give small amounts on a regular basis the burden would not be a hardship on anyone. Remember, none of the funds received go to pay salaries. It all goes to paying for basics like rent, utilities and educational materials. I urge you to consider during our diaper drive to step it up past just the package of diapers and wipes. Bring a small financial gift to go with it. One which will join with others to cover our operating costs. Purchase a T-shirt here. Donate to our Crowdrise here. Become a part of The Haven in a big way, not just a cheerleader from the sidelines.
I hope you will consider this today and pray about it. With your help The Haven will make it past the two year mark. It can be different than the statistics.