March is supposed to be in like a lion and out like a lamb but for Empower Youth we have been roaring like a lion for the entire month! There has been no rest this month. But we can’t say we have done our work behind the scenes as this month we have been recognized for our efforts with some very touching awards and wonderful articles from the press. We even received $105,000 to put towards improvements on the ranch. This money is much needed as we cannot use any of our monthly donations for ranch improvements until we have all of our other programming financed through monthly and one time giving.
One of the reasons we love having the ranch property is because we want to teach our students basic principles from the land and then show them how they apply to everyday life. What you plant, you harvest. You can’t plant tomatoes and pull up a carrot. That’s a principle of the land and most folks will recognize that from some early Sunday School lessons. This has been an unusual season of Harvest and we are so thankful!
Here are some of the great happenings this month and a glimpse at what is to come for Spring and Summer!
We rolled into March with an award from the Duke Energy Children’s Museum’s Difference Makers Celebration honoring Empower Youth as their 2018 Difference Maker Honoree for Non-Profits. Here is a video link to our category nominees. We were thrilled and completely shocked to receive this prestigious award.
On March 5, we received a very special award from the Bethel Business Association. We were also able to join our great partners at Community Savings Bank to speak on the power of partnerships in our community. To be honored by the community we love so dearly is something we will always cherish.
We also managed to make the paper– ALOT! Here is a list of our different articles.
We served more students with weekend meals this month. We taught over 300 students in our leadership classes. We had more than 200 volunteers out to the ranch! We had our first 4-H group and boy did that blow us away! We gave away the last bit of pillows to Lynchburg Clay schools. We took in the largest shipment ever of food from the Freestore Foodbank. We were even featured in a Youtube video from Gabe’s Homestead Journey series!
And then we started April with the Findlay Market Parade!
As you can see, the last 6 weeks have been busy– and this is our down time!
Going forward, we are ready to begin doing an overhaul to two of our barns!
In order to start the ball rolling Community Savings Bank has announced they will be donating $50,000 to renovation of the grand hall, improvements to the parking lot, and the building of a manager’s home. These funds along with a $50,000 budget line item from the State for Capital Improvements for a new septic system is the beginning of adding facilities to make our property a true standout when it comes to building leaders.
We begin our Summer Camp and Internship programs this month as well!
Finally, as we look towards May we have an incredible opportunity to earn money towards our food bills from the Freestore Foodbank. When you sign up to be a part of the Hunger Walk on Memorial Day in Cinci, Empower Youth keeps the entire amount of your registration to go towards our food bill!