As 2013 comes to a close, I can’t help but to take a moment to pause and review what turned out to be a great year.
Some personal highlights:
- I turned 4My oldest daughter became a teenager (boo)
- My younger daughter started middle school (boo)
- Necole and I took a vacation to Cancun
- Necole started a business
- Relatives moved from Austin to Raleigh.
- I was able to speak at a TEDx event here in Raleigh
- I hired a Literary Agent
- I started to coach and consult with a few young organizations — I love doing this!
Professionally, Help One Now had another amazing year. At the same time, it was the most challenging year I’ve ever faced as a leader. But, the work that is being done is worth it.
- We sent over $1,000,000 in 2013 to alleviate poverty and transform communities. I don’t have the final numbers yet, but we’re close to doubling our growth as an organization from 2012.
- We were able to hire 4 full-time team members in 2013. This is the first year that I’m not the only full-time employee.
- The Help One Now team is fantastic. They’re so dedicated, and for whatever reason, they put up with me and my chaos and determination.
- In January, we introduced our new board members, and I am a very lucky dude. These board members have stretched me in so many good ways. Also, let me say this: I would not have survived 2013 without Mike Rusch. He is our board chair and I’m thankful for his leadership, friendship, and insights.
- We opened Ferrier Village and participated in the rescue of over 35 kids who were being trafficked in Haiti. (19 when we posted the first blog)
- Over 400 children are attending a new school in Haiti, thanks to the 2012 Legacy Project.
- A clean water project just went live in Zimbabwe a few weeks ago.
- We were able to visit our partners in Zimbabwe and Uganda. They inspire me!
- Every day, hundreds of kids are getting fed, being educated, and receiving love through our sponsorship program.
- We launched a new project in Ethiopia.
Really, I could go on and on.
We also made a million mistakes, dropped the ball way too many times, and missed some key goals as an organization. Like I said, 2013 was an amazing and yet challenging year.
I’m thoroughly grateful for family, friends, colleagues, and donors who make all of this a reality.
My life is full and I’m grateful. I cannot wait for 2014 – so many new opportunities, possibilities, and obstacles.
We’re starting the new year off with a bang as we travel to Ethiopia and Uganda from Jan 1-12.
I just wanted to take a moment and say “Thanks” to all of you who are on this journey with me.
I hope 2014 is an amazing year for you!