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10 Years Ago…

The year was 2002. Lilo & Stitch won Best Animated Picture at the Oscars; the United States won 34 medals at the Winter Games in Salt Lakes City, Utah; Simon and Garfunkel won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys; and, most exciting of all…Bridges of Hope was born!

That’s right, Bridges of Hope is ten years old. Where has the time gone? Does this mean we are a “tween?” Well, maybe not exactly, but those folks involved with Bridges since our “birth” can hardly believe how fast we’re growing up. And growing we are! The first year Bridges was in existence, we served about 150 households; last year, we served over 2,400 households.

We started out with one amazing staff member, and along the way we’ve grown into an organization with 15 incredible staff members, including the addition of Common Goods in 2009. What an exciting time we are in: we are serving more clients than ever, we have the best staff around (if we do say so ourselves), and we are operating a successful mission-driven thrift store on top of it all!

Over the course of several months in 2011, we invited key community members from a variety of agencies, businesses and other groups to help us take a look back at where we’ve been and help us look forward to where we need to go in the next five years. Thanks to this dedicated group of folks, we have a renewed energy for our work as we enter our tenth year of service with a clear vision that includes the following four strategic priorities:

  1. Strengthening families by providing both a breadth and depth of programming;

  2. Engaging the community in two-way relationships;

  3. Centering our organization in Christ by nurturing our staff and Board of Directors in their individual faith journeys; and

  4. Developing and being good stewards of the resources we are entrusted with.

Bridges of Hope continues to be committed to the original principles the organization was founded on: connecting families to the community resources that can help them thrive; filling gaps in existing resources; and streamlining access to and reducing duplication of services. We are so proud to have partnered with an array of churches, businesses, service clubs, and human service & other organizations over the past 10 years and look forward to these continued relationships.

We have a few exciting things planned for our 10th year, starting with:

  1. A celebration of 10 years at our second-annual Community Concert on March 24 at 2 p.m. Click here to learn more.

  2. An announcement of our Business Partner of the Year: Grand View Lodge.  Bridges of Hope and Grand View have a rich history of working together and we look forward to partnering on a few projects this year. Stay tuned!

Lastly, we have some fun 10th Anniversary Trivia for you. Grab a sheet of scratch paper and take your best guess before heading to our website for the answers. See how well you know Bridges.

What is…

  1. $2,800,000 (Hint: you are awesome.)

  2. 700,000 (Hint: you wouldn’t want to be the one assigned to remove them all!)

  3. 36,000 (Hint: we started somewhere around 300 our first year)

  4. 1,800 (Hint: it was a MOVING experience)

  5. 650 (Hint: it’s all about the Rockstars)

  6. 47 (Hint: they founded us and still ground us…in a good way)

  7. 1 (Hint: it was a brief brush with stardom in 2003, and his name is Mike)

Wow–an anniversary, new strategic priorities, and our own trivia game…it doesn’t get much better! On a serious note, I am really humbled and amazed with how our community has embraced Bridges of Hope over the last ten years. We still have a lot to accomplish together and there is a place for you as we look ahead to serving the 2,200+ households who will reach out this year. I know I speak for our entire staff and board when I say we are honored to serve this community every day.

Thank you for helping us build Bridges.

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