Tuesday, December 30, 2014

OH, WHAT A YEAR!


Photo image courtesy of neydt via 123rf.com
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
Philippians 3:12-14, MSG

In the non-profit world, plans must be made, goals must be mapped out, budgets must be outlined, deadlines must be set.  If not, the organization has absolutely no direction, and donors/grantors are hesitant to provide any funding.  Furthermore, there is great truth to the saying, "Aim at nothing, and that's exactly what you'll accomplish."

Even so, God reminds us, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (Proverbs 16:9, NLT)  In other words, we can set all these goals with intricate detail, but the end result it ultimately up to the Lord.  

This past year has been full of goals and surprises as Snappin' Ministries has pressed on toward the goal of offering "Special Care for Special Caregivers."  It has been beautiful, and at times hair-raising to see where God has taken all of us on the journey.  As we step into 2015, we foresee the Lord building upon all that He has birthed in 2014.  Here are some of the exciting things that happened:

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 2014's TOP 10 BLOG POSTS


10. Taking a Walk On The Dark Side
      by Jeff Davidson, published June 27, 2014
9.   Singing a Different Song
      by Alexandra Dittrich, published July 7, 2014
8.   Trey Turns 25
      by Jeff Davidson, published August 11, 2014
7.   Love Is All You Need?
      by Barb Dittrich, published February 6, 2014
6.   The Day Somebody Paid My Daughter a Compliment 
      by Barb Dittrich, published July 15, 2014
      by Jeff Davidson, published July 14, 2014 
      by Barb Dittrich, published September 12, 2014
      by Jeff Davidson, published 
      by Tammie Hefty, published July 10, 2014
      by Barb Dittrich, March 21, 2014

This year we added several new contributing writers with unique perspectives to our devotional blog.  We also added regular features like the "Are You Serious?" Awards, and #SacredSunday.  As a result, readership engagement and subscription increased.


It was a year of excellence and recognition!
Receiving a generous check from All American Windows & Doors during the 620WTMJ "We Love Wisconsin Tour," March 28, 2014


ANNUAL IMPACT
  • January 12, 2014 – We had the honor of speaking to congregants at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Delafield, WI about how they support families raising children with special needs.
  • January 18, 2014 – Family Bowling Party held at AMC Lanes in Waukesha, WI.  Attendance increased by 12% with 65 people enjoying food, fun and door prizes.
  • January 22, 2014 – Our executive director and foundress, Barb Dittrich, was once again interviewed by Trinity Broadcast Network for their local report.
  • February 7, 2014 – New volunteers joyfully joined us for our Valentine’s Respite Date Night held at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Delafield, WI.  We entertained 18 children, so that 10 couples could enjoy a sweet evening out.
  • February 28, 2014 – The Lt Governor of the Great State of Wisconsin joined us and the students of Nature Hill Intermediate School, Oconomowoc, WI in proclaiming World Rare Disease Day.  Students had learned about kids with rare disorders during their Circle of Power & Respect time each morning that week, and purchased blue jean ribbons to “Wear that they Care” each day at lunch during the week.  It was truly a remarkable observance!
  • March 20, 2014 – Supporters rallied by dining out at Fiesta Garibaldi in Oconomowoc, WI.  This yielded $400 to fund our programming.
  • April 3-5, 2014 – It was our great privilege to have 2 of our board members, Barbara Dittrich and Jolene Philo, speaking at one of the nation’s largest disability ministry conferences, the McLean Bible Church Accessibility Summit in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.  We had a wonderful opportunity to chat with many parents and colleagues at our booth at the 2 day summit.
  • April 24-25, 2014 – We met new faces at Wiscsonsin’s Circles of Life Conference, held at the Madison Marriott.
  • April 27, 2014 – Nearly 60 people soared to new heights with us at The Gift of Wings on Milwaukee’s Lakefront.  Families enjoyed lunch, personal kite making, a trick kite demonstration, and assorted flying goodies to take home.
  • May 3, 2014 – Mothers enjoyed our FIRST EVER Mother’s Day Retreat at the Cedar Valley Center in West Bend, WI with guest speaker, Ellen Stumbo.  A lovely lunch, massages, manicures, and time to enjoy the beautiful grounds all helped to refill the tanks of mothers raising kids with special needs.
  • May 16, 2014 – Our Recess respite program offered the parents of 17 kids one last break before school was out for summer. 
  • June 19, 2014 – Through the generosity of Tammy & Mike Derynda, over $1,800 was raised at all 3 of their Wisconsin Culver’s Restraurants.
  • July 13, 2014 – Our annual family picnic was a blast as Kurt Roskopf and friends availed attendees of the opportunity to try adaptive water-skiing.  Many volunteers made this exciting event happen.
  • August 11-15, 2014 – We had a FABULOUS week collaborating with Mission Bells Ministries on their Christian Disciple Farm special needs day camp.  Autism Solution Pieces of Racine again joined us in leading approximately 30 women participating in the Moms Group.
  • August 22, 2014 – It was our great privilege to be a Silver Sponsor of the Oconomowoc KidsFest this year.  We quickly found ourselves wiped clean of the 300 sensory hand-outs we arrived at the event with.  Kids and their parents loved the activities we were able to offer.
  • August 22, 2014 – Back-to-School “Recess” wound down our respite for this year at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Delafield, WI.  Our team entertained 11 children whose parents received a much-needed break.
  • September, 2014 – Our Parent Mentor Program was retooled into our new Side-By-Side Small Groups.  We were THRILLED to launch 5 small groups, 2 in-person and 3 via video conferencing, to connect parents to others walking a mile in their shoes.
  • September 28, 2014 – In lieu of our Awesome Autumn Outing, we collaborated with Crosspoint Community Church for their Fall Festival.  Offering the opportunity to engage in our Kids’ Art Contest, our volunteers had fun helping get the creative juices flowing.
  • November 8, 2014 – Our 2nd Annual Christmas Mini-Mall to benefit SNAPPIN’ MINISTRIES enjoyed a 40% increase in vendors and a Kids’ Art Contest to engage families as well as supporters. 
  • November 10-30, 2014 – In an effort to reach more busy in a fresh way, we began an online book discussion of Amy Julia Becker’s new release SMALL TALK:  Learning From My Children About What Matters Most.
  • In addition to these specific events, this year our organization provided $2,452 in the way of gift cards and TLC gift baskets, daily devotional blog posts from a team of 16 different writers, information distributed through Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook all for thousands parents connected to SNAPPIN' living with the challenge of raising a child with special needs. 

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Favorites on Instagram


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ALREADY SCHEDULED AND COMING UP IN 2015...

  • NO MORE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES, Book Group on Facebook beginning January 12, 2015 in conjunction with Rising Above Ministries
  • Snappin' Side-By-Side Small Group Mentoring reconvening in January, 2015
  • Winter Water Park Adventure for Families at Country Springs, January 11, 2015
  • GET YOUR JOY BACK, Book Group on Facebook, beginning in mid-to-late February, 2015
  • Mother's Day Retreat at Cedar Valley Center, West Bend, Wisconsin, May 15-16, 2015
  • Awesome Autumn Outing, Lapham Peak State Park, Delafield, Wisconsin, September 27, 2015

And THIS Is Just The Beginning!
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If you think this type of support is worth continuing, we would be so grateful for your financial help...
 

PRAY:  El Roi, THANK YOU for being a God who sees the challenges parents raising kids with special needs face!  THANK YOU for carrying us through every trial and joy in 2014.  Go before us and beside us in 2015.  Apart from You, we can do nothing!

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