It’s hard to imagine that a little under a year ago the idea of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home didn’t even exist. Since then of course it’s become an all-consuming fire of urgency.
I just wanted to take a moment to share with you where we have been and where we think we are being led. On July 21 last year I determined there was need for a residential maternity home for pregnant teens in St. Charles County. The next several months were filled with research, phone calls, and visiting other maternity homes. I started recruiting board members and volunteers in August and September. In September Quinn Murphey orchestrated Armstrong and Teasdale agreeing to do all of our legal work for us at no cost. On October 4 we had our first board meeting at the Schnucks’s Deli with Kevin Thompson, Amber Teigen, Adam Eaton, and Scott Sigmund. Scott McHenry had our website going live in December. We finished up the year with a very intimate Christmas party with dreamers sitting around my kitchen table thinking of “what ifs…”
We started off the new year with Dan Cooper helping us to receive our non-profit status from the IRS on Jan 12, 2011. Susan Zimmerling hosted our first fundraiser on February 2. During this time I worked to make relationships with the community through the YMCA, Rotary, and Community Council. I contacted many churches, individuals, and civic groups letting them know we were coming. We collaborated with Bridgeway Behavioral Health for our first 5k fundraiser in April followed by a beautiful benefit concert in May hosted by Zion Lutheran Church I connected with Casey Graham, our friend at givingrocket.com, who developed our first capital campaign. Through these efforts we were able to raise almost $34,000 in the month of May through individual contributions and local church support. I attended as many Non Profit trainings and webinars as my schedule allowed. My reading list of resource books and blogs was sometimes staggering. It’s been a compelling year of growth, prayer, learning, and focused determination.
This past month our brave board decided to fast forward the timeline of The Sparrow’s Nest. Instead of opening in another 18-24 months we are dedicated to opening our doors in 12 months. Mark your calendars now to attend our ribbon cutting ceremony in July 2012.
I’ve laid out a very optimistic but aggressive timeline for the next 12 months. As one of our volunteers said, “if we’re going to do this, and this is really a need, then let’s move now.”
So on July 30, 2011 we will have a focused time of prayer and praise at the O’Fallon YMCA to dedicate the next 12 months to God’s leading. Our Strategic Plan will be finalized by August 5 allowing us to go after major funding from grants and foundations. By August 30 we will have all the information gathered for the ordinances, permits, and licenses required to operate. We need massive manpower to get this underway in this amount of time so September 2011 will be a major volunteer recruitment month for us.
Our next two major fundraisers will be our October 1 Sparrow Scramble and our Celebration on November 12th. We will finish out the year with another letter appeal. By December 30 we will have determined a general location.
We will start out next year flying. We plan to purchase or have a lease on a home by January 20. By March 30 all of our permits and licences will be acquired. By May 30 our staffing will be complete and by the following month their initial training will be finished.
By July 30, 2012 we will be operational finally able to see our mission in action.
It’s a lot of hard work requiring laser intensity and focus. We need your prayers. We need your financial support. We need your insight, ideas, and help. This is such an exciting part of our history to be a part of. We are literally starting from the ground up. And the sky is the limit of what we can accomplish together!
So that’s the plan Stan. And we’re praying with all our hearts this is God’s plan for The Sparrow’s Nest. We can’t lose sight of what we are really working towards. We want to restore young girls to the love of God. We want to give their precious babies a very strong start to life. We want to be used by God to ease a portion of social injustice.
What’s your plan?