Common Heart Executive Director Keith Adams wrote to donors thanking them for their support in 2017 and sharing what's ahead in 2018.
Thank you so much for being a part of this small revolution of kindness! You are the reason that thousands were touched with a practical demonstration of God's love in 2017. Far too many in our community have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Your generosity in 2017 provided a week's worth of groceries to 31,907 people in our community! (That's more than 9,000 families! WOW!) Your generosity also helped another 29 families with crisis assistance.
We're looking forward to another tax season assisting families preparing free income tax returns and accessing tax credits and refunds. Last year 534 families took advantage of this free service that your generosity makes possible. During this fall's open enrollment for health insurance, our partner Charlotte Legal Services saw 40 people at our site and helped them access affordable health insurance. During Medicare's open enrollment our partner Union County Council on Aging helped 60 people at our site, saving them a combined total of $85,368 on their prescriptions.
There are so many other ways your generosity made a difference for families. The one I'm most excited about is a new Common Heart program, Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin' by World, which we beta tested in 2017. Your generosity made it possible for 12 families to experience this new program! Twelve heads of households went through a 40-hour investigation of poverty, the barriers to getting out of poverty and the resources needed to get ahead and move into self-sufficiency.
In 2018, thanks to your continued generosity, we're expanding this class into a new program "Advocates for Change" which will bring graduates of Getting Ahead, our "Leaders for Change" together with a new group of trained volunteers, "Allies for Change." Together they'll work to implement the "Leader's" plan to move out of poverty and work as a large group to help build "a sustainable community where all can do well." This year our goal is to bring 24 household leaders through Getting Ahead and match them each with 2-3 allies. Your prayers, support and volunteering will make all the difference for these families and our community.
There's a big year ahead! Thank you for being such a big part of 2017's successes and growth of this small revolution of kindness!