It has been awhile since we have updated everyone on our status. We are waiting on a few things to happen. A possible brick and mortar opportunity and a 4 week challenge for a grant with bonuses to win every week. Yes, it is as it sounds...we are competing for a grant with a community thrives USA TODAY. A link is provided in this post in case that anyone wishes to join us in our challenge to raise at least $3,000 to be in the running for a grant. This grant will allow us to move forward with our plans to get into a temporary location and begin helping people sooner. Right now, to meet up with the people who we have been helping has been challenging, but we have worked with a few restaurants in the local area that have hosted out meetings. When we meet, we are simply eating together and get to have an opportunity to for a little community to give each other support.
The big topic of this post though is this challenge we are in right now. This is the first opportunity we have had to even have a go at a grant but we will need all the help we can get. Even $10 donations are helpful at this point. This weeks challenge is to be the top 5 fundraisers in the tier 1. I will keep everyone updated probably on Mondays to let you all know what the challenge for the week is. If we are going to have any chance at all for this, we are going to need the ED community to help us. Parents, Grandparents, and those that have wanted support while they were going through recovery but didn't have something like this to help them.
Here is the link to the page for us.
Thank you in advance to all who are planning to help us get through the next 4 weeks!
This is a two week blog update. Sorry to have missed last week but we have been busy. We have been accepted by a group called USA TODAY for a grant contest. Yes, that's what is said, a contest. A little unusual, I know, but we are in this contest to win a grant. The more we raise the closer we get to getting the grant. So for now we are shutting down the Go Fund Me page because we would like to funnel all donations through this one site. As soon as the contest starts we will let you all know and if you feel led to help us, that would def be the time to do so.
We are getting involved in the NEDA campaign for COME AS YOU ARE by setting up a table at this event. We hope to let as many people as we can know about us and what we are trying to do here in Greenville county. Between this even and the NEDA walk that will happen on MAY 11, we are hoping to bring much awareness to our kitchen. If you are in Greenville and are inclined to walk, join the TEAM HOPE at the NEDA walk because that's our team. I hope to have t-shirts that will be for our team! You can follow this link to join me. neda.nationaleatingdisorders.org/site/TR/NEDAWalk/General?team_id=41100&pg=team&fr_id=4583 All donations here on this link go to NEDA. This is also the first time Greenville has ever done a NEDA walk, which is pretty exciting!
As for our progress...we are still going after as many grants as we can but have been turned down by several organizations now. We believe we were turned down because of our lack of a non-profit status, which we are still waiting on. We have been in many many meetings in the last two weeks, and every time people hear about what we are doing they think it is a really great idea. That is always encouraging.
The kitchen has temporarily closed doors do to not having a place to meet but we knew we would come to this final week eventually. We have been in Airbnbs long enough and we have been looking for a new place to put down our roots. There are several options up in the air right now, so we are waiting and seeing how the Lord leads. We are sad that we do not have a current kitchen to offer people right now, but we are still going to offer a possible once a week meeting in a restaurant and Donata is offering one on one eating with people who may need help while we are not in a location yet. Even with closed doors the work goes on. We still have people to meet, possible programs to start....we have a few things up in the air right now, which I will share on another post should they come to fruition.
My next post will be to share our contest with you and let you know what is going to happen there! (Because we are still learning the rules ourselves...lol)
Or afternoon or evening, depending on when you are reading this. Thank you for taking time and interests in what we are doing by reading this.
This week we have not had the kitchen open but for two meals. On Monday we went to The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and met our client for breakfast. Thank you SRC for the wonderful breakfast! If you have not been there, yet I def suggest you check it out because it is the most unique place in all of Greenville to eat breakfast or lunch or just grabbing a yummy treat with your friend. swamprabbitcafe.com/
Thanks to Rachel with her Airbnb we were able to meet our client for a lunch there this week as well.
We are pleased with how the Lord has been leading our efforts along each day. We have spent a lot of days this week meeting with more people. The Lord has been good to bring along just the right people, at just the right time. So many professionals are willing to help us as we navigate this world of non-profit. We can not be thankful enough to them! Shout out to Rich with FAVOR of Greenville and Mary Harris also with FAVOR. favorgreenville.org/
We met with Jenny Fetterolf, and new friend to Hope Recovery Kitchen, who helped answer all kinds of questions we have about fundraising.
Something very big and exciting happening this Saturday at 8am is a Love Greenville Charity Run sponsored by Fleet Feet. www.fleetfeetgreenville.com/events/love-greenville-charity-run-2 If you would like to run a 5k this weekend for free and just bring donations, check out this link to read all about it. I really hope there is a good turn out for this because this is a run for charities in Greenville. We will be there rain or shine and have a table set up. If you are in town, come by and say hello!
This week was a bit slower than past weeks...but it did start off with a board meeting and thanks to the board, we are glad to announce we have a new board member joining us. Dr. Dan Dahlhausen is going to be a very good addition to our group, and we are thankful and grateful to him for saying yes.
We have started the search for a more permanent location for the next few month and do believe we have a place, but I will share more on that when things are confirmed. I will tell you all now, that we are very likely going to move into it for the next 3 months and will not have any cost other than gathering together things like an oven, refrigerator, table and chairs, and couches. So please keep us in your prayers about this.
Next week we do not have a place to be, but then will re-open for the last two weeks in February, in our current Airbnb location.
In the donation department, it has slowed a bit. We are still trying to learn the ropes here on how to navigate through fundraising and such. I would like to put out another request for people to partner with us on a monthly basis if they can. Even if it isn't much, every dollar counts when a non profit is starting up. Every donor is very special to us. Please consider joining us.
I'm sorry I don't have more to report on at this time, as I said, it was a slower week. We are trusting that the Lord will guide us through these last few weeks here in February as decisions need to be made before the end of the month.
Thank you to all who have already partnered with us and I will continue to keep you weekly updated.
Looking very professional now!!! Check out our brochures done by Bellis Copy Center!
Our main goal this week has been to continue to with meet with different professionals in this world of eating disorders, and we have had nothing but a thumbs up and a, "Great idea!" from everyone. We are greatly encouraged by these meetings! Trying to get everyone in the Upstate on board with a brand new idea is no small task, but we will continue to work at this till we see this project off the ground!
We did indeed open three days this week due to the Airbnb we have chosen for the month of February giving us such an amazing deal for the three days she had available. We were very grateful to be able to continue support for our client that has been with us from the beginning.
Due to the government shut down, we believe our 501 (c)(3) status has been delayed....probably literally left all by itself, sitting in a pile of accumulating requests. That reality is a little bit sad for us. Going to the mail box every day with spirits high that today might be the day that we get our letter, and then dashed when there is no mail for Hope Recovery Kitchen.
So we have the month of February to really get our feet off the ground....it will be a very trying month as we wait patiently for things to move along. We need more clients, monthly support, and for our grant to come in for us so that when this month ends we can move into the permanent location we are still dreaming over in Greer. Please make all these things a matter of prayer for us. What happens if we do not get any of these three things? .....let's not think about that when the month is just starting.....a lot can happen in 30 days.
Stay tuned for next week's update....
Our third week ended a day early. We are grateful for all who came and participated in our kitchen these last 3 days. We had clients, support group, and a large meeting of women who are very interested in bringing more awareness to the upstate about the great needs here in this world of eating disorders. Donata and I are tired but thankful for everything that happened this week. We learned so much in these past three weeks and are so glad that we were able to help people all while doing something we love.
My own personal lesson this month has been patience. This has been a seriously hard thing for me, but I have no choice but to learn it or be frustrated. So I am choosing to own it. A little patience can go a long way!
On a more serious note...and one that is difficult for us to bring up... We have learned this month that we can not do this alone. We need help from those that are interested in partnering with us to continue this work. Our needs are not great but they are needs, and every little bit that people contribute goes a long way with us. Would you please consider helping us by committing to donating to our work of love, monthly. Already a few have come and told us that they want to support us monthly and this has done wonders for us already. Feeling like people really care about what we are doing boost us up, helps us to continue on. If you are able, $5, $10, $25 or more a month, helps us to help others. Would you consider joining us? By going to our main home page you will see a donate button. There, in that box, it will give you another smaller box with the option to support us monthly. We need our family and our friends to help us keep this going. Please do consider seriously supporting us in this way. We will continue to keep you updated as much as we possibly can. If we knew people believed in our work this much, and were willing to monthly contribute.......it really would be a huge encouragement to us and to those we are helping along in their recovery.
So...whew! What an exciting 4 days that was! We had a total of 5 people who ate a meal with us, and we met several new people! We had meetings with people who are plugged into this community of eating disorders here in Greenville, such as therapists and dietitians. Overall, we were very encouraged.
Next week we already have some people lined up for meals and we are grateful for this. The Lord is bringing people in and the community is growing quickly.
If there is anything we learned last week, it is this...This is a need here in Greenville, SC and in other cities as well. Meal support, learning how to cook a meal, and eating with people is going to be very helpful for even people who have had eating disorders in the past and are just looking for a place to land when they have no one else to eat with.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask....I will do my best to answer. My head and heart are very full and it is just about near impossible to blog about all of it and every single detail, but I wanted to let you all know that it was definitely a very profitable week!
I know you all are eager to hear about how the first day went....
Donata and I came away from our first day feeling very encouraged and excited! We had two people stop by and that was such a good feeling meeting two people. The rest of this week we have different people coming in at different times. Some are meetings and some are clients. Its going to be a great first week! Again, thanking the Lord for a place to meet!
Our first board meeting happened in the evening and went for two hours but was extremely profitable for us. Personally, I was just shaking with excitement about getting an opportunity to tell our board all that we have been working on for weeks now. The feedback we got was that we really do seem to have our "solid footing to our plans." They had many more very helpful suggestions for us as well. Overall, a very, very positive start to this kitchen.
As I mentioned before we have some very important meetings coming up and in the next two weeks and would appreciate prayers that His will be accomplished!
I prob will wait a while to write another blog as we are very busy, but I will do my best to update everyone as soon as can.
Recently, I was asked what is my passion behind the starting up the kitchen, and this was my response...
My passion for the Hope Recovery Kitchen came about when I saw so many people getting turned away from treatment and the support they desperately needed because of cost or lack of insurance coverage. This made me sad and I thought, if only there was a place here in Greenville where people could gather and eat meals together and grow a community where they can support each other. I feel strongly about speaking out and helping where and when I am able. I still battle anorexia and have been for several years but I believe I am closer to the end than I have ever been before and now I want to see this kitchen started. I have gathered a friend to me, that has helped me so much in this journey. My friend, Donata used to let me come to her home whenever I needed to and let me eat meals with her and her family. This helped me so much overcome my fear of food and with the redeeming. Her support was a key factor in my recovery. I wish to see this taken to a bigger scale and we know we can’t do it alone, but with Christ, this is possible. Helping others with eating disorders is my passion. I want for everyone to get the help I got. I’m not going to recover and then go silent about it. I want to finalize my own recovery journey here at the Hope Recovery Kitchen, by encouraging others that are still behind me to press on to the finish line. I promise, it does get easier!
Donata’s response was as follows...
I’m a mom of three grown children, I was trained as an RN in my home country of Switzerland.
For the past 20 years I’ve been helping people from different backgrounds who have been battling an eating disorder. In doing so I’ve noticed a lack of meal support outside of treatment centers. On numerous times I’ve successfully offered meal support to some of my friends with ED, and I would love to offer this kind of help to larger groups of people.