2017 is close coming to an end. It's been a tough year in many ways, and a good year in others. I'm sure that's true for many of you reading this blog. Some of you come and read and post comments, others come and read, but are shy about posting comments. Some that come also donate, others share our blog and it's mission with friends and co-workers. It takes many things to be successful as a grass roots charity.
Some of you may know how long Bridge and Beyond has been in existence, others perhaps not. This blog, Bridge and Beyond and it's mission began in December of 2008. We started small with donations initially only for men, and due to great growth in a very short period of time added shelters that serve women as well as men. Not long after that we added children through several schools in the area, as well as working with Homeless Families Foundation. We physically deliver to fewer locations now, as we have more consolidation.
Charities go through peaks and valleys. Prior to my starting Bridge and Beyond, I witnessed this with other charities I supported around the country. Some came to a screeching halt in short periods of time. Grass roots longevity takes far more work, I think, than many folks realize. We are now 9 years old here on Bridge and Beyond. I consider that a remarkable accomplishment with so many people deserving of our thanks to make it happen.
Below you see our stats for the last 5 years, from 2013 forward. You can see, a steady down turn in donations since 2013. I've also taken the time to list the 5 year averages for each item, with the exception of rain poncho's which is a 4 year average; as it wasn't counted separately this past year. We've maintained pretty well with afghans being donated, this year in part to our friend Marsha M. who donated 22 afghans. Thank you!
I point all this out because I wonder if it's time for some reflection. Do we still help people?Yes we do, but certainly far fewer. Would we do better if we focused differently? I am open to discussion on this. Are we stretched too thin? What stands out to me is how much higher the average is on most items vs what we've donated in the last couple of years. If for example we stopped making and donating cotton washcloths, would we be more successful at collecting and donating hats and scarves?
I thank you all for your support via donations, blog visits, and blog comments; as well as those who share our links in their social media outlets. I am however, wondering if we've run our course? I have no immediate plans to delete Bridge and Beyond, I am just trying to think realistically what our future holds. If you have thoughts you would like to share, please leave comments. If you're shy about doing that, please use the contact form on the right hand side of the blog to reach me. If you have my email addy, feel free to make contact that way as well.
Again I think you all, and hope you have a happy and safe New Years.
**Rain poncho’s weren’t counted this past year, they were mixed in with misc as there were so few.
All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.