building bridges

Turning a Dream into Reality, pt I

Ever since I have been a little girl, I have dreamed of being active in my community. Years later, as an adult, I still have those dreams but decided to journal about it and share my thoughts with individuals I felt would be interested in these dreams of mine. Well, one day, nothing major about this day, I felt a nudge and had the bright idea that TODAY IS THE DAY I would take actual steps into making this dream a reality. I researched "Starting a Non-Profit Organization in The Commonwealth of Virginia" and took notes. Within minutes I had completed my Articles of Incorporation and dedicated a few hours to compiling every process, related to TGNCK's operations. This document would soon become my Bylaws. Ironically, those key individuals, I had shared my vision with, through the years, all agreed and voted to become my Board of Directors and Executive Officers. This step in the process affected me emotionally because, to me, this meant I wasn't the only person who believed in this vision or this cause. Now I'm really motivated.

The Commonwealth of Virginia recognized us as a non-stock corporation on March 4, 2015. A year later, the IRS awarded us our tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), status on March 15, 2016. If you're wondering why it took one year and 11 days, its because [well] the application fee is $400 and it is at this point ALL of your substantiating documentation must be complete: business plan, proposed budget, mission/vision statement, formation documentation, Bylaws, etc.. Once we received our award letter from the IRS, we submitted our application to receive Charitable Contributions (which comes with a $100 application fee). We needed a mailbox (fee), logo (fee), website (fee), business cards design (fee), business cards (fee), and lets not forget the time it takes to ensure these documents are completed accurately. We all have full-time lives that we are "balancing" to make this organization, amongst other goals, occur. Soon, we will begin writing grant proposals and hosting our own "FUN"draising events. This is quite the learning experience for each member of the Executive Committee; nevertheless, this is a worthy experience we each have committed to.

I truly hope that you are committed to enduring this wonderful journey with us as well. I think it is most rewarding when people can come together, in support of something positive, that helps others. The fellowship, bridges and partnerships built are priceless. Frequent my "Corner" to read about this process and other encounters while turning this dream into reality! I look forward to growing before you and helping others beside you.

*Pictured you have myself and fellow public servants, of religious-based outreach programs, touring the Virginia office of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).

Thank you!