As I sit here in our new office space, thinking back on all of the blessings that have come with the 2019 year, there is just this one thing that I can’t seem to shake. There are so many reflections I could tell you, but allow me to share just a few:
- We had record breaking provisions during our Hoops for Hope season in February.
- There was a seamless packing day that set up our 2019 Vision Trips for huge success, and also the tiniest member of the A2S family, Ese Lovedale, joined the pack in March.
- In April we had our very first FaithFuel – monthly giving – campaign, all the while having sweet friends create big and successful fundraisers, in support of our programs.
- May was filled with celebrating, as many of our A2S U.S. Scholars graduated from high school and college.
- We took off on two amazing Vision Trips to Nigeria throughout June and July.
- In August we launched a new and improved website.
- September held one of the best, most experiencial Soulful Supper‘s to date.
- October was for new beginnings and moving to a new office space that allows us to stretch our legs a bit.
- And last but not least, November and December are months that we, here at A2S, look forward to each year, because as a community, we focus on empowering the dreams of our youth through My Dream Project.
But the thing is, as important and essential as each of the aforementioned things are, there’s still this one thing that I cannot stop thinking about.
There have been so many growth spurts within A2S over the course of this year because of you. And when I say “you“, I mean YOU, the reader, the staff member, the donor, the volunteer, the committee member, the board member, the kid who just wanted to use a drill but wound up building a house. YOU! Your sacrifices. Your selflessness. Your generosity. Your willingness to prioritize the needs of our kids in Nigeria in order that they can lean in to their dreams and overcome Nigeria’s extreme poverty crisis. You.
We are constantly in awe of the hearts and stories that God allows us to be a part of. What would we do without yours? That’s the real question. What would we do without the gift of your prayers and generosity. What would we do without that “thing” in your story that has encouraged you to make room for A2S? What would we do without your sensitivity to help a world outside your own. You, my friend, are an inspiration to the heart of A2S, and to borrow from Andrew’s words, “A truly empowered person will inspire others.”
I think that is the very reason that I can’t get YOU off of my mind. You are essential to the mission and vision of this great organization. Oftentimes we lose sight of the bigger picture. It can become difficult to imagine what change is actually happening in the lives of those we serve yet don’t see, but what I’m constantly in awe of is the way our children respond to YOU. Maybe you’ve met them. Maybe you haven’t yet had the privilege, but I can tell you this with complete certainty; they are watching you. They see how you give without asking for anything in return. They notice your compassion. They are attuned to the reality that they would not have access to education and opportunity without YOU. You inspire them, and I believe, in turn, they inspire you. My goodness, what a privileged position we all find ourselves in.
Andrew frequently says that one of the greatest gifts throughout his story is the gift of consistency, and YOU, friend, are our gift of consistency. Thank you for helping to share smiles, inspire hope, and empower dreams. We are eternally grateful, and I don’t use “eternal” lightly.
As we dive deeper into a season of thanksgiving with family and friends, I want to make sure you know that we see you. You inspire us. And we are so grateful for your role in this great big community of providing access to success.
From all of us at A2S, we are wishing you the most joyful Thanksgiving!