My Own Home received a $5,000 grant from the Giving Circle to assist in our first year of operation as we build our capacity to grow and provide services to members.
At the time of our application we had 16 members, 5 family and 6 single, and had not yet started providing services. With the Circle’s support, we were able to begin offering services this past July and currently have 23 members, 6 family 11 single.
We were also able to develop our list of volunteers, which now includes 30 community members willing to perform a wide variety of services for our members. All of the volunteers have now undergone background checks and an initial group has gone through our training program.
As a result of being operational, we have been able to participate in three student service events sponsored by the University, where members had yard clean up work performed and windows washed. An added bonus was how pleased the members were to have this kind of contact with university students.
Most recently we were invited by Moscow High School to give a presentation about My Own Home. Approximately 120 students attended the presentation and 80 of them completed volunteer forms. Not that we, or at least some of us, want it to snow a whole lot this winter, but if it does having so many student volunteers should be a real asset in being able to provide snow removal services for our members who need it.
Some of the other services we have performed for our current members include: moving furniture so that carpets could be cleaned, transportation and minor house repairs. We have also held two get togethers for members to have an opportunity to meet one another and tell us what services they are most interested in receiving. We’ve also sponsored trips to a movie showing at the Kenworthy and a performance of the IRT’s summer play.
Organizationally we have recently strengthened our board with the addition of three new members: Andrea Beckett, a well known and highly regarded CPA; Jim Prall, who has extensive experience providing services to seniors on a volunteer basis; and Susan Ripley, who has worked for Latah County’s Assessor’s Office for more than 27 years, most recently as Technical Systems Manager, and who has performed countless hours as a volunteer and board member for a number of local organizations.
Our major goals for the coming year are increasing our number of members and becoming financial sustainable through securing funding from grants and private donors. To that end, we have scheduled a facilitated board retreat in early January to develop a concrete action plan for accomplishing them.