As I was pondering the theme for this newsletter, one word kept bubbling to the surface: GRATITUDE. I write it in all caps here, as it is so prominent in my thoughts.
I am grateful for your incredible response to our Hope is Where the Heart is gala. This was our 15th annual gala benefiting our MAT Program, and an unqualified success — both in terms of dollars raised and record attendance. But, from my vantage point, it was even more successful in the most human of ways. In the way it touched anyone who listened as the parents of two baby boys talked about how Wings of Hope is giving their sons a chance to walk … or the way it moved anyone who saw Emilee, a young woman who could not speak on her own a year ago, speak about her journey back to health … or the way it affected anyone who listened to Jonathan, a MAT pilot, talk about his experience for the first time as a passenger in a MAT plane, riding with his daughter to the Mayo Clinic. (See page 2.)
I am grateful for your generous response to our annual appeal. Every year, we ask you for additional help during the holidays when you inevitably have so many personal expenses and family commitments. Not only do you give, and give generously; but in the past four years, contributions have increased by 300 percent. You should know that as we discuss these results among staff and in the boardroom, it is no small thing. We are overwhelmed and humbled. (See page 3.)
I am grateful for your support of our airplane raffles. These have become so wildly popular — our fall raffle sold out in less than 12 hours! — that last year we started raffling off not just one, but two, planes a year. The money these raffles raise is invaluable in supporting our MAT program. The next raffle launches April 1! (See pp. 3-4.)
As much as I am grateful for your generosity, I am always struck by how generously you give of your time and talents. More than 80 volunteers worked tirelessly for months to pull off the huge event that is our gala. We count on volunteers to stuff the envelopes we use to mail out our annual appeal. Volunteer pilots fly for our MAT Program and internationally. If you want to understand how personally our volunteers take their work, just read TJ Stewart’s blog. (See story page 3.)
On behalf of everyone here at Wings of Hope … Thank You!