Cooler morning temps feel so good after a long, hot summer. I hope you are settling into "back to school" routines. With all three children safely deposited in a classroom this semester, I am ready to focus on our new non-profit status at The Homestead.
For almost three years we operated The Homestead as a for profit enterprise, although we put any profits back into building the business. We did this for two reasons. One, I had applied for non-profit status before for Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute and it was a bear of an application that took over six months. Second, I wanted to make sure The Homestead was going to be worth the effort. I did not know if all you lovely people would embrace it like you have when we began.
But embrace it you have! We have at least one successful event, workshop, or retreat each month, and about 100 campers each June. Last year over 1000 people came out to 402 Lake Valley Road to retool, relax, and restore. Our programming included names I never imagined like best selling authors Jonathan Odell of The Healing, Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation, Donna Jackson Nakazawa of The Last Best Cure, Jenny McGruther of The Nourished Kitchen, and Shaye Elliott of From Scratch. By some miracle, we hosted the band Rising Appalachia in house for a benefit for Magnolia Jane Reed that was incredible and raised almost $6,000 for her medical bills. We also continue to feature the best local talent and knowledge-sharers we can find on our topics.
This year is no exception. We set the bar high and expected we could raise the money to bring in one of America's most important voices, Glennon Doyle Melton from the best selling work Carry On Warrior and the epic blog, Momastery. You did not disappoint. We raised almost $12,000 to bring her here this October, and have already sold over 300 tickets. We will also feature Donna Jackson Nakazawa on her new book that is making waves, Childhood Disrupted, along with twelve-time author Jim Ewing, and artist darling Robin Whitfield.
But we don't want to stop there. Bringing unique and little-heard voices to Mississippi is my passion. I now have a board of great folks working with me to make our programming even stronger. I have my sights set on Sue Monk Kid for 2016, and I know you will help me make these dreams come true because we believe our place is good! We see no reason why Mississippi shouldn't be on the stop list of world-changing speakers. And it will be with your continued commitment.
There are three ways you can help us sustain and improve programming this September:
1. Join as a Member- your Membership is tax deductible and comes with the benefit of four FREE events each year, access to our extensive online database, and discounts on ALL events. We currently have 426 active individual, student, and family Members.
2. Make a Donation- if every Fan of our Facebook page gave just $10, our budget would be $50,000. Imagine what we could do with that! We have no overhead (the facility is paid for through rentals). We have no administrative costs, as I am it. All money goes to PROGRAMMING and GOOD FOOD at events. Don't give a big donation. Just EVERYONE give a small one!
3. Buy the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle- If you purchase the bundle through our website or Facebook account, we receive 40% of sales on this fundraiser. I watched this fundraiser for 2 years before I felt comfortable that it matched our goals and mission. I personally bought the last two they offered and am convinced they are high enough quality to put my name on. This group "bundles" together great resources on healthy living and sells it as fundraisers for non-profits at a 60% discount. The upcoming bundle looks REALLY good. Please consider purchasing one bundle of Healthy Living Resources for your family. This will be released in Early September. Look for notices on Facebook and in our newsletter.
That's it! I want to start 2016 with $35,000 in programming funds. I know we can do this. Many hands make light work. Join us!