2021 was a great year for HopeBUILDERS. As the pandemic lingered, our goal was to complete 125 projects. Under the circumstances, it was a lofty goal, but by the end of the year, we completed a record 208 projects for 109 households and impacted 194 lives. This year, we plan to do even more!
It is amazing to think about how HopeBUILDERS has grown since its founding in 2000. We have served nearly 1,000 clients in Kansas and Missouri and our reputation is growing. Stories of our work are spreading and I believe we will soon be recognized as the premier home repair organization in the Kansas City metro area. In fact, I just received an email from the News and Community Affairs manager at KMBC 9 news. She was following up on the impact of Community Days and said, “I’m still seeing the amazing things you are doing in our community and look forward to when we can work together again. “
The goals for 2022 are ambitious but, we have a solid funding base, dedicated volunteers, a skilled staff, and an excellent Board. It will be another record year. 225 projects are planned this year, including 60 ramps, 50 accessibility modifications and 115 improvements and repairs. Having secured a second round of funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, we will be able to utilize contractors for projects such as roofing and HVAC replacement that would have been too large or complex for our volunteer teams.
To help process and oversee these projects, we are excited to have Ron Bibbs join our team as a Project Manager. (Be sure to read the announcement on our Facebook page.) His skill and experience make him a great addition to our team. Sadly, Jack Summers leaves us this month as our AmeriCorps Vista worker. He’s been invaluable and we will miss him greatly. Our experience with Jack was so positive that we have decided to add 2 AmeriCorp Vistas in 2022; one will focus on volunteer management and the other will help in marketing and grant writing.
More projects will mean even greater visibility in the community. You will see more about HopeBUILDERS on social media this year and we will share stories of changed lives with local news outlets, community leaders, and political representatives. We will also produce a number of promotional videos to highlight the growing need in the community and show how HopeBUILDERS is making a difference. That greater visibility will, no doubt, lead to more requests for our services, but we hope that it will also lead to additional funding as more organizations and foundations learn about the impact we are making.
It is going to be another great year and I am honored to be a part of HopeBUILDERS. I want to thank you for your support and look forward to serving with you in 2022.