by Jim Wehner, FCS President
Hard to believe that we are staring down the close of 2015! The list of things to be thankful for this year is pretty long at FCS.
January started with a rush of activity for our housing team. We had seven houses in stock that needed renovation. By the end of the year, we will have renovated and sold all seven. (That's seven new families in the neighborhood!) Beyond that, we will have acquired and renovated another five properties (total of 12!), three of which are under contract to sell in December! This was made possible by the visionary investment of a group of donors in a “rotational capital fund” in 2014.
In May, after more than a year of planning, we opened a small grocery store in our focus neighborhood. This idea was vetted and supported by a strong group of professionals that set our budgets, helped us plan store layout, and raised initial capital for the program. Since the day it opened, it has been like holding a tiger-by-the-tail! We have received great press coverage that we never expected and are not always sure how to receive. At the same time, we became owners of a small business, and we live and die monthly by our financial statements. We have provided 12 part-time jobs to residents of our neighborhood and connected the neighborhood to a bigger, regional food-service economy. The neighborhood impact has been humbling to see!
As we look forward to 2016, we find ourselves thankful for partners like you that find value in what we are doing. Your regular support encourages and challenges us to keep moving forward. It reminds us we can make a difference when we work together!
As you look towards the close of 2015, I hope you can find encouragement that spurs you into 2016 with a thankful heart!