I suppose I should take this time to reflect on two years of respite retreat planning, but who's got the time!? I've got a house full of dads coming this weekend for the Super Bowl, a meeting with the county school system at 11, and 6 boxes of stuff to take to the post office first. Oh, and wash my hair, and potentially get dressed lol
People ask me all the time "can you even believe how much has been accomplished in such a short time?" Yes, that was the plan :) "Are you surprised by all the amazing reviews, how meaningful and valuable these retreats have been for so many people already?" No, that was the plan lol
MY CUP RUNNETH OVER that I was right. MY CUP RUNNETH OVER that parents & caregivers are at least taking advantage of these opportunities nationally. I am thrilled by their reviews. I am honored by the incredibly generous GIVING to support this mission. There are many phases to get through yet, and I am anxious waiting to reach the finish line. Some days I have to remind myself that there IS no finish line. The development and growth of A Mother's Rest is a journey, an ever-evolving journey.
Do I wish someone would drop $5 million in my lap and say "here, I love this mission SO much that you can use this wherever it is most needed". One day someone will. Collectively, they've already contributed over $800,000 in 2018 alone (for the purchase and maintenance of our respite inn). But I'll take every $5 bill that gets dropped in our donation box at the front door of our respite inn. Every cent means the same. People give because they know the need is great and they appreciate the effort. They give to support families, ALL caregiving families, in this local community.
We are still completely volunteer. We are trying to build an Advisory Council, and then a Board. But we need funding for PAID STAFF...book keepers, a Development Director, other Program Directors, grant writers..... the need for staffing is great, but I am in awe of everything we have accomplished with the few volunteers we have. And the ones we have bring tremendous skill and expertise to our table. I am eagerly looking forward to our next Leadership Weekend, which will be held at the inn March 8-10.
We have a road map, a good one. A Mother's Rest is working to fill gaps in disability family services, exclusively through private, corporate, and foundation funding.
Today we officially launch our "FRIENDS OF THE TERRACE" sponsorship campaign, through which businesses, foundations, churches, civic groups, and private individuals can pledge to cover the operational costs of the inn itself. They do not have to be local, anyone can contribute! This ensures that all retreats at our Terrace Guest House can be FREE OF CHARGE to every parents & caregiver who comes through the door. Eliminating the financial reasons people don't take proactive self-care measures is one of our core missions. Making it free to them through the generosity of others is an incredible blessing....and tax deductible....and a great advertising opportunity! :)
Our goal as a 501c3 health initiative is to encourage parents & caregivers to seek self-care and respite opportunities for themselves...without shame, guilt, angst, or worry. And that is what we're finding....people are nervous, but they come the first time. And they LIKE it. And then they book another one. And another one. #mentalshift #itsokformomtocomefirstsometimes #sleepmatters
THANK YOU to everyone who gives, shares, and contributes in their own way to this mission!!! THANK YOU to each of our (30+) Porch Partner B&B inns all over the country for offering your beautiful homes to our guests at affordable rates. THANK YOU to our benefactors who have the means to make our own respite inn even possible. (let me know when you're ready for the next one! LOL)