From Jonn Blazey – Managing Director of Development and Communications
Thanks for checking in on us. Like you, we are rolling with the punches and finding ways to get things done in this new normal.
On the programming front, we continue to connect with our men – whether it’s a quick ‘hello’ over text, a full counseling session on video chat or anything in between. It’s actually been beneficial for many of the men to be in contact this much as it helps to strengthen our bonds and alleviate the feelings of isolation. We’re meeting physical needs by delivering meals and groceries directly to the guys to try and limit exposure to COVID-19. It’s a stretch for our small team. I’m still going into the office most days for the guys mail and to catch calls that come into the office.
As I’m sure it is for all NFPs, there is anxiety over development. Our donors have positioned us well to respond and we’re doing ok for the moment – but the path forward is not clear. We’re currently in a push to grow our recurring giving to solidify our giving month-to-month and provide stable programs – It’s difficult to say what larger gifts will look like for us in the near future. Our immediate needs would include support in meeting the felt needs of the men. Delivery of meals and groceries exceeded our meal/needs budget but it’s essentially the only option. Support in the form of gift cards for grocery stores, restaurants, or amazon help us meet this need head on.
Most pressing is the need for prayer. Jonathan, you understand our men and you know the anxiety that they live with on a “normal” basis.
From Noah Adair – Executive Director
I would say “what Jonn said” and pray for us as we strive to lead with faith, heart, and wisdom. We are human too, and we have vulnerable/high risk family members as well, not to mention kids that are germ magnets! So anxiety is something our team (or at least I can speak for myself) face every day as well — of becoming ill, of having loved ones who become ill, or just being separate from those we love for extended periods of time. We know that the Holy Spirit is our comfort and strive for courage and faith. And while our humanity, and even our anxieties, normalize the men’s anxieties, our goal is to be strong and present for them the absolute best we can given the circumstances. That’s where wisdom comes into play — balancing our own humanity with being supportive and present amidst what they’re feeling as well.
As for us [Emmaus Ministries] financially, as Jonn said, we are doing well but have a close eye on expenses. We are $100/month in commitments from reaching the threshold of a matching grant of $25,000 — money we will receive in short order once we hit our goal. So very tangibly, this is important for us as we aim to weather what could be a “long winter” so to speak. Even still, we are reluctant to step fully into growth mode because the future development-wise is uncertain for us and many of our peer nonprofits from the conversations I’ve been having (some of whom are in DuPage).
More than anything, we are seeing just how important relationships are right now — our men, supporters, friends, family, etc. — and we are grateful for you, FPGE, and the missions team members who have stuck by us through thick and thin. That’s not lost on us in times like this, by any means. In fact, it’s in times like this where we feel the relational proximity of our partners the most, and for that we are grateful.
If there’s anything I can do to be present and helpful for FPGE, or any of your FPGE folks, please let me know.
And thank Lou, et al for asking us for input.
[Visit the First Pres Missions page to read more about Emmaus Ministries and other mission partners.]