Pages Navigation Menu

Annual Report

FOCUS 2016 Annual Report

2016 was a memorable year for FOCUS. Critical improvements were made to the facility, a new component was added to the Food Services ministry, and a solid plan was developed for a children’s mentoring and tutoring after school program. Additionally our financial picture is very healthy.

The year end financial statement shows a small shortfall relative to budget projections. But that ‘s not the full story. When we were adding on to the facility it became necessary to replace both existing heating/cooling systems in the Thrift Shop. We did that, and because our financial reporting system does not allow for capital expenditures, that cost of $22,000.00 was accounted for as a maintenance and repair outlay on the cash flow statement.

If considered as income vs. expense we are $2000.00 over budget projections. So, any way that we look at the financial statement we present a solid, healthy picture. At the present time we have a reserve of some $51,000.00 and approximately $46,000.00 in operating funds.

Our fund raising efforts have mostly been concentrated on identifying various local foundations and grant makers. We have one department manager and one volunteer working currently to locate and determine the suitability of our ministry areas and their funding preferences.

In 2016 we received $27,598.00 from the grants we had written. This was from 6 different grant makers and we are becoming more and more dependent on a stream of funding from them.

Our fall annual appeal was even more successful than last year. Our efforts resulted in approximately $19,000.00. The mailing list was purged again reducing the list to about 400 from 900. As a result we saved about $450.00 in costs and saw an increase of $2000.00 in donations.
Realizing that we cannot exist as a ministry without our faithful volunteers, we celebrated their work and honored them with a dinner in the fall. The event was hosted by the Pine Mountain United Methodist Church and we were graciously served by the youth of the church. The gathering was enjoyed by all and the keynote speaker was local musician, speaker, and song writer Mr. Allen Levi.

We all recognize that the future is in the hands of our children, and we are increasingly devoting more efforts towards them and their needs. Generational poverty is, and will continue to be, the greatest negative factor facing the family and society as a whole. There are students lagging behind their peers in academics and many times these same students struggle to manage some personality and behavioral issues as well. Currently a number of our volunteers, staff, and board members are actively involved in a tutoring and mentoring program at Park Elementary in Hamilton.

That program has shown some positive results so our desire is to go to another level. So in September of 2017 we will initiate an offsite mentoring and tutoring program using the Christian Biblical model as a core concept. The Harris County Schools have shown a great interest in what we are planning to do and fully support it within certain parameters. During 2016 the committee tasked with the challenge of planning for this program has secured a building, met with another sponsor of a similar program, and began the search for volunteers.

We continued with a program at Harris County High School targeting some teens who may be more at risk of dropping out of school. The Director and a long time volunteer presented a power point presentation pointing out the consequences of dropping out and also the benefits of going on after graduation and securing some type of further education and/or training. We stressed the opportunities available at some local technical schools.

In that same vein, we again offered scholarships to graduating seniors. The scholarship committee requested an increase in these awards from $5000.00 to $8500.00. The FOCUS board agreed, and seeing the wisdom in this, increased the amount of scholarships offered in 2017 to $10,000.00.

The largest accomplishment last year was the completion of the addition to the Thrift Shop. This was done to alleviate the scarcity of storage space and mainly to facilitate the intake and processing of donated goods. Previously donations had to be removed from an exterior donation bin and brought inside the building for processing. This was labor intensive, not suitable for our mostly older lady volunteers.

The donation bin is now integral to the main building and processing can begin much quicker and far more easily. One small retail room was also added. There was a secondary benefit to this as now space is freed up in the old warehouse so that we have space to store more food products for the Food Services area.

Submitted by Bill Searcey

Individual ministry area reports follow:

EMERGENCY SERVICES:

The FOCUS emergency Services office is open Tuesday and Wednesday each week from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Our Executive Director and volunteers are continually looking for ways to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of clients.

In 2016, 1386 clients came to the office for food or financial assistance. The majority of clients come for food from the food pantry. Clients may receive food once per month according to income and the number of individuals in the family.

Financial assistance is offered in emergency situations. The clients are interviewed to share their situation and the reason for their need. The most common financial requests are for power bills and propane assistance in the winter months. Occasionally we help with rent and medical/dental needs. In 2016 we assisted 207 people with utilities, 20 with rent and 7 with medical/pharmacy needs. All other clients received food.

The volunteers have hearts of compassion and listen attentively to clients in order to help meet their needs. Clients are given tips on money management and are informed of other programs in the county that may be available to them. To clients who are agreeable, we never hesitate to talk about Christ and pray with them.

Submitted by Sarah Culpepper

FOOD SERVICES:

The food pantry at FOCUS continues to be a busy place. In 2016 we distributed 6109 bags of food to 1181 families. 425 of these families had children and we helped a total of 2800 individuals. We have continued the Harvest program which is a partnership with KFC in Pine Mountain. At the end of each day they freeze excess prepared food and we pick it up on every Monday and Friday morning.

A new home delivery program in partnership with Rotary began last year. We now have 22 homes with home bound clients that receive monthly food from FOCUS and Enrichment Services. This allows the volunteers delivering the food, not only to be able to bring food, but also to have a conversation with the client and check on their wellbeing.

In 2016 FOCUS purchased 45,727 pounds of food from Feeding the Valley at a cost of $8,672.66. The market value of this food would have been $77,736.73 with a savings to us of $69,064.07. We are also fortunate to have so many groups and individuals in Harris County who help us keep our food pantry stocked.

We were fortunate and thankful to have much needed space in the warehouse made available to us as a result of the Thrift Store addition. We were able to begin buying items during the summer that were in short supply and store them in the warehouse until they were needed. We are hopeful that Feeding the Valley will be able to deliver food to FOCUS now that we have storage space available.

Bob Kober continues to be invaluable in the running and daily activities of the food pantry. He bags food for clients, keeps the shelves stocked and organized, and makes a weekly run to KFC to pick up food. He has also computerized all of our record keeping which makes doing monthly reports so easy. Thank you, Bob.

Submitted by Julie Nordin

Home Repair:

For the Home Repair Division in 2016 seven roof repairs were completed. One new metal roof was funded by FOCUS and installed by volunteers from New Harvest Church for a disabled home owner in West Point. The other roof repairs were for elderly or economically challenged home owners in Cataula, Hamilton, Pine Mountain, Shiloh, and Waverly Hall.

After the roof was installed on the home in West Point, the house foundation was leveled, rebuilt, and sub flooring was installed. Repairs were completed to roof, floors, and walls for a home owner in Cataula. For another home in West Point, work was done in the bathroom to stop water leaks and a hot water heater, commode, shower faucets, and connections were installed.

Electrical repairs were completed for a disabled home owner by the Carpenter’s Workshop from Cornerstone Baptist Church in Cataula and they also completed flooring and foundation repairs for another disabled home owner in Waverly Hall. Both projects were funded by FOCUS.

The Harris County Rotary constructed a handicap ramp that was for an elderly home owner in Pine Mountain and funding again was provided by FOCUS. Repairs were completed to the roof, floors, and walls of a home owner in Cataula, and a stove pipe was purchased and installed for a home owner in Pine Mountain Valley. Also in Pine Mountain Valley a handicap ramp was erected for an elderly widow using a walker. The labor was provided by volunteers from FOCUS and Harris County Hands of Christ, and funded by both groups.

Submitted by Dick Weaver

Thrift Shop

The year proved to be challenging with a 7.5% increase in the budget, as well as the construction of an addition geared to increase efficiency and productivity. The increase included $3000.00 anticipated from the Shoe Fundraiser. Although the budget was not met for the first time in the history of the ministry, the major reason for the deficit can be attributed to a loss in customer base. Changes in employment, relocation, and/or personal issues such as finance, health, and age were the major contributors leading to the decline in revenue. A plan to increase visibility of the Thrift Shop can replace these customers, as well as drive new customers to the ministry.

Revenues for the Thrift Shop (sales, donation can and Shoe Fundraiser) were 8% below budget. This represents approximately 60% of total 2016 revenues.

Accomplishments for 2016 include donations to outside groups, ministries, and organizations.

• Fabric, frames, cloth and craft items to the Senior Center
• Books to the Harris County Library, Park Elementary, various other schools, and nursing homes, prisons, abuse shelters, and the V A Hospital
• Miscellaneous items to various nursing homes for Christmas presents and for monthly bingo prizes
• Books for continued support to the Ellerslie Little Free Library.
• Clothing to clinic at park Elementary.
• Men’s clothing and Bibles for the jail ministry
• Women’s clothing and Bibles for the jail ministry
• Stuffed animals to Harris County EMS and nursing homes
• Stuffed animals and linens to the Harris County Animal Shelter
• Clothing to the drama club at Harris County High and Middle Schools
• Clothing and toys to the SOAR ministry for children in Mexico
• Miscellaneous items requested by the Waverly Hall Nursing Home for Christmas and monthly bingo prizes
• Miscellaneous items loaned and donated to FDR Park for the children and family events

Submitted by Sherrie Mundy

o o #####