January is a good month for assessing plans for the year ahead and all the thoughts and discussions that go with the subject. Budgets, Personnel, Adjustments to Strategy and Operational procedures all have to be considered and apparently January is the quietest month of the year, so a great time to plan such things. On some fronts, January is quieter – but when you put on the table all these issues to discuss, suddenly the month becomes very full of meetings, which has been the case for me since getting back from Vienna on January 5th.
Vienna was a worthwhile trip and we spent a good couple of days visiting Glasshouse Businesses in Vienna with the representative of our Dutch Bulb Supplier. We learnt a lot and were encouraged to see immense potential with Ornamental Flowers, Bulbs and even Cut Flowers which we haven’t started yet.
It was interesting that the day we got back from Vienna, we were contacted by a Hungarian company to provide facilities for Rest Days for 1,000 piglets crossing Europe each week on route to Russia. We have the ability to provide the service required which would provide further income for Smiles, but some investment would be required first to upgrade our Pig Barn (or build an extension) to start this new service. We would need about £20,000 ($26,000) to make the adjustments for what would be a profitable contract thereafter. More challenges for us to consider, but if you can help with a Gift or Loan towards this Farm development, please let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As we were busy in January reflecting on 2017 and planning for the year ahead, many I know were recovering from Christmas and New Year arrangements. In all the years of running Smiles, I have always seen January as the lowest month of the year for Income. Just the basic support tends to be received. No fund-raising bonus. Few special gifts. I am told many are coming to terms with their overspend on Christmas and the Holidays – so charitable support in January is always ‘way-down’.
I can’t be sure of the reasons, but I can confirm that giving is much lower in January which means we have to catch up in February or throughout the rest of the year. Just 40% of our monthly budget was received in January, so we have important catch up to do and the Smiles Day scheduled for February 3rd or other date you have chosen is a great starting point. If you have a Fund-Raiser planned, I appreciate your efforts and pray it will be very successful indeed.
If you haven’t planned an event, maybe a special extra gift as a ‘Smiles Day Gift’ could be a massive blessing for us in February.
Thank You for doing whatever you can do.
I told you in my January New Year Message, that each month I will update you on the main focuses for 2018 and how that impacts specific needs we have beyond the monthly operating budget need of £66,500 ($86,500). So today, I can share with you an update on our 2018 focuses:
1. The SMINRO Business is working well at fulfilling the projections. From February 1st we are employing another full-time person for the Glasshouse. This will offer good support to the team in Arpasel, helping to provide the focus and stability we need in the Glasshouse for the year ahead.
2. Legal issues on Paperwork continue for the Dezna property, so at this stage we have to be patient and allow the legalities to be processed but hopefully next month I will have specific news on that issue.
3. Quotations for the Fire Department upgrades needed at JFL and the Tileagd Complex are now produced and I know the total cost is closer to £15,000 ($19,500) a third more than originally anticipated. This is due to the extreme area to be covered in Tileagd and the higher price reflects the size of the job to be done, requiring Smoke Detectors, Alarms and Fire Hydrants. Some gifts have been received for the work but much more is needed and now we have only 2 months to secure the authorisations or face severe penalties and consequences.
If you can help, please do so with your gift marked ‘Fire Upgrade’. Thank you.
In 2018 I will also update you each month with the top 3 projects needing additional financial support to enable it to continue the ministry we are called to provide.
Based on 2017 receipts, the top 3 needs for additional support are:
1. Residential Care and particularly the new Tileagd Assisted Living facility which achieved 57% income for its operational budget. Therefore approximately £4,400 ($5,720) budget deficit each month. Support Tileagd Assisted Living
2. Tileagd School & Nursery achieved 91% income for its operational budget. Approximately £604 ($785) budget deficit each month. Support Tileagd School & Nursery
3. Gepiu Community Project achieved 83% income for its operational budget. Approximately £429 ($558) budget deficit each month. Support Gepiu
All our projects need continued support, but if you would like to start a commitment or make a special gift – please consider these needs to help reduce or eliminate any future deficits.
Mission Trips continue to be a crucially important aspect of building support for the work. People enjoy the opportunity of fellowship and short-term service trips to get their hands-on experience of Mission Work on the Field. Rather like 2017, this year is showing a very busy, and I mean ‘very busy’ second half of the year. Already bookings for July – December are as busy as we’ve ever known.
However, the first half is not so booked and we are offering some very special rates for a Mission Trip in March, April and May. We have work on special projects that needs attention in these months, so if you can come for a Hands-On Mission Experience please contact us urgently by telephone or e-mail.
Also this year, we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of our Tileagd Complex Opening. The original celebration was June 2008. To mark this special occasion and encourage some of you to come back to join the celebration – we are holding Special Anniversary Events at the Tileagd Community Complex between June and December 2018.
If you want to be part of these special weeks, contact me for further information. (e-mail: email@example.com)
As I have mentioned previously in my updates, we are currently working on a Restructure of the various field projects – Family Care, Homeless, Emergency Housing, Community Work in Cuiesd, Rapa, Salard and Tulca. We are now one month into what we anticipate to be a 3 month process and I would ask for your continued prayers for wisdom and guidance as to how we can best restructure the projects for greater efficiency and impact in the future. With undertaking such an important review, there is great pressure to make good decisions and retain all the unique aspects of the past but to be willing to prune as required for better fruit in the future.
I look forward to sharing more as we progress with the new Field Project proposals and as we seek to find the best staff to take the project forward.
Going into 2018, we have slightly modified the web updates produced each month. This is designed to both help the contributors and you the reader. We thought maybe ‘too much’ information can be difficult to digest every month. So Luke, Georgi and Adi will rotate their contributions, starting today with an update from Luke, so enjoy the read along with Maria and Barbara’s regular piece. Georgi will be sharing her project news next month and Adi in April. You’ll soon get the idea but remember you can write to me any time on any subject which I’ll respond as quickly as I can or pass it to someone who can respond quicker and better for you.
We want to keep in touch and be available for all your interest and questions concerning the work of Smiles here in Romania.
Thank you for your wonderful support which I pray will continue as we maintain and develop this partnership of service together for the purpose of building God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Keep in touch and hope to see you soon.
Kevin D Hoy
Chief Executive to
The Smiles Foundation