January 2014 Letter from VCS President

Happy new year! 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Vulnerable Children Society. We have two wonderful programs running, and goals to expand and help even more children living in Ethiopia.

I am so proud of being a part of the society over the past year. Despite obstacles, we have truly stuck to our values of compassion, transparency, sustainability, and impact. We have shared news, even when there wasn’t good news to give. Thank goodness, there was a lot of good news at the end of the year! We have created new partnership programs that have a strong lasting impact on the children and families. Even though I personally am not known for my patience, we have worked with compassion, not only for the children but also with our previous and new partners. It’s also been amazing to see the outpouring of love and support from our sponsor community. And lastly, we have been careful in our commitments and are ensuring that Vulnerable Children Society will be able to operate sustainably, long into the future.

Our directors have been busy, and our partners have been too. Nicole, our communications director, just got back from Ethiopia, and has written a wonderful update on one of the children in our Love and Hope Centre. You can read all about it and see gorgeous pictures of the project we are so proudly working with Canadian Humanitarian on.

Our newest director, Flora, has taken on the role of fundraising. Flora tells me that we have a goal of 20 new Love and Hope sponsors before June 1, 2014. She is enthusiastic, and knows exactly what our society needs at this moment.Flora wants to share that she is happy to support anyone who would like to run a fundraiser during this year, so that we can do more projects like supporting the young women at the retraining center in Addis Ababa.

As you know, we have a policy of never making commitments that we cannot match. But two challenges have put us in a “thinner” situation. Don’t get me wrong, as you will see in our interim financial statements, we have money in the bank. But, the matching of monthly income and monthly expenditures is closer then we are comfortable with.

There are two factors at play. Firstly, many of our long-time sponsors signed up through CanadaHelps with a commitment of one year sponsorship. Unfortunately, some of these sponsorships are expiring and we are missing months of support. What can you do to help?

Please check your sponsorship on CanadaHelps.org, and set your Vulnerable Children Society monthly donation to “no expiry.” You can always cancel it at any time, of course. Then we will not miss those months of income.

The other challenge that we are facing is the normal attrition of sponsors. When people get divorced, or lose their jobs, they are no longer able to meet their sponsorship commitment. We didn’t actively encouraged new sponsorship for over a yea,r when we were having the transition issues in 2013. But now we are here in 2014, with stable, excellent programs. We need more new sponsors to stabilize our monthly core funding, and then grow our programs.

If you would like to help us grow our sponsor base, so that the society can comfortably meet its commitments and even grow to help more children, please ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to become a monthly donor.

We suggest a minimum $35 monthly donation, but of course, it can be in any amount. A little goes a long way in Ethiopia. And a little more goes a lot more!

Myself, I am heading back to Ethiopia in February on a personal trip. But I will be visiting our Love and Hope Centre for the first time, and also visiting with young women in Hope for Children’s teenage preemployment training program. I’m so excited to meet the young people Nicole and others are raving about.

And I can’t wait to blog all about it! So if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our blog on our website homepage so you can see all the kids’ shining faces and hear all the news.

Finally, I’d like to invite each of you to our annual general meeting on January 22, 2014. Everyone who is a monthly sponsor, is also a member of Vulnerable Children Society. That means that you have not only have a chance to ask questions and understand how we work, but it’s also an opportunity to get more involved. If you would like to attend our annual general meeting, please simply send me an email info@vulnerablechildren.ca and I will gladly include you.

Thanks again for your amazing support this past year. I can’t wait to work more with you in 2014.

Arnica

President, Vulnerable Children Society

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