Welcome 2023!

Six months ago, I took a very bold step in starting this organization without a clue on actually how difficult it would be. I dove in as a desperate attempt to take action after losing a second friend to the veteran suicide statistic without truly understanding what it takes to run an non profit. I spoke to a few other non profits, and Dyan from Operation Turbo told me "you will fail," but reassured me that these failures and mistakes were not going to define the future of my organization and that they were simply lessons. I had so many people support my decision when I first started, that I did not truly believe I would struggle, but I was wrong.

From the moment I filed my non-profit status in Kansas, it seemed like I hit a road bump every step of the way. From not receiving my decision in the mail and calling months after applying to find out it was approved weeks prior, to having issues with setting up my website and getting non-profit deals/pricing for it, trying to budget with no initial funding, and struggling to get volunteers for my board of directors, I had fleeting thoughts that I had made a large mistake. 

But I kept going...

I discovered recently that I missed a MAJOR step by not being nationally recognized as a 501(c)3 although I indicated my intent on my form I filed with the Secretary of State of Kansas. This only created more issues with my ability to conduct business, but we are now awaiting the decision. After two hours of being placed on hold and speaking with a representative of the IRS, it seems like it will all work out. 

Though I may be lacking support in some of the people you might expect to be in your corner, I have made some incredible connections in the veteran community and am blessed to have the support of Peak2Brew for fundraising opportunities this year to help us get off the ground. We plan to run in three relay events in upstate NY with a fundraising platform to help us provide funding for gear, training, and travel expenses for veterans who need our assistance. More to follow on these! 

To be completely honest, the process has been mentally draining. As someone who struggles with perfectionism, I spend a lot of time feeling less than adequate that things did not fall perfectly into place quickly. I have wanted to give up at least once and I know that this feeling will ebb and flow, but the more I talk to other leaders in business and philanthropy, I realize I am not alone. The mission is extremely worth it and I believe the bad days will be outweighed by my successes as I move forward. I just have to remind myself: "Slow is smooth."

So cheers to another year of tripping, stumbling, and recovering, because I'm ready to learn and grow.