Loaves and Fishes Updates
When Loaves and Fishes began in 1982, no one knew how long we would exist as an organization, how significant our impact might be, and the miracles we would experience. Our first home was in the facilities of Westminster Presbyterian Church. We also enjoyed many years at Milner Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Mount Peace Baptist Church. All have been wonderful and the source of strength and great memories. While the COVID Pandemic has disrupted our physical location, we've been blessed to have temporary homes at The Wade Edwards Learning Lab and Southeast Raleigh Table. But now we have experienced yet another miracle: beginning September 13, we will welcome our students to our "new" home - back at Westminster Presbyterian Church! We'll be scheduling an Open House in the near future and invite you to come see us "back to the future!"
We are excited to be planning for our 40th anniversary in June 2022! Loaves and Fishes has enjoyed an outstanding history, touching the lives of hundreds of children, many of whom are now responsible adults in our commuity. The relationships we have built through the years are key to the success of the participants in our program, but our staff, volunteers, and supporters have grown thrrough those relationships, too! Over the next few months, we'll revisit our history and celebrate with each other - check on our website and social media pages to see event that you might attend and ways that you can support the journey on our Road to 40!
Our Board of Director consists of community members who are passionate about children and want to see all young people succeed both academically and as citizens. Serving staggered three year terms, we currently have 11 members on our Board. Click here to see the members of our Board and email our Board Chair, Vielka Gabriel, if you have interest in pursuing a role in the direction of our organization.
Our Board of Directors reviews our financial condition on a regular basis and is responsible for the approval of our operating budget. Loaves and Fishes' fiscal year ends on May 31 and the new budget year begins on June 1. This year, of course subject to the impact of the COVID pandemic and the success of our financial supporters, the board approved a budget of approximately $232,000, in line with the previous year. As a 401(c)(3) tax exempt organization, our annual financial information is available through Guidestar at www.guidestar.org/.
Our annual Chili Sale this year was very different - we took most of our orders online, offered two pickup locations and, for the first time, offered delivery! While our total orders were down slightly from a traditional year (isn't everything different under COVID!?!), we were delighted to sell more than 350 quarts of the delicious chili to more nearly 100 supporters! WooHoo - and if you missed out, we still have a FEW quarts of Veggie Chili awaiting your request in frozen animation. Just send an email to our Executive Director at jburmester@LAFChildren.org and we'll hook you up! Thanks to Gerry Rogers, Chief Cook, and his wonderful team of volunteers, as well as the team of church leaders who publicized the event and took orders - GREAT JOB!
Had a terrific Pride for Parents Christmas Store - served 128 families from Wake County, including the families of Loaves and Fishes kids. Thanks for the donations of beautiful presents to stock our store so that parents could shop for their kids, pay a much reduced price, receive gift wrapping and feel the pride of accomplishment! Our donors included St. Andrews Presbyterian, Southeast Raleigh Table, Cary Presbyterian, Cross Gate Neighbors, Harley Davidson Motor Cycle clubs, Kirk of Kildare Presbyterian, First Presbyterian, White Memorial Women, National Charity League, Edenton Street United Methodist, Wake Chapel, Wilson Temple, Ekklesia Church, Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Camp Gladiator, Wake County Public Schools, National Council of Negro Women, and many individuals! THANK YOU
We enjoyed an outdoor adventure through the gleaning program of the Society of St. Andrew. Early on a Saturday morning, eleven of us braved a rainy day to dig in sweet potato fields, discovering red gold and helping to glean over 6,000 pounds of sweet potatoes in 4 hours! Everyone was able to take some home and we have 30 bags to share with other families!
COVID-19 continues to disrupt all of us, including our program for under-resourced kids! The facility at Mount Peace is not currently available to us, so we have made arrangements with The Wade Edwards Learning Lab (https://www.wade.org/) for use of their space. While kids are engaged in "virtual" classes, we are providing assistance during the school hours, Monday through Thursday. This has been helpful to their families and is allowing us to build stronger relationships with school teachers - but it is EXHAUSTING as many of you know! Hopefully we will be able to return to after school activities when the world returns to "normal" - whatever that is!