September 23 marks The Right Relief Inc's 3rd NPO Anniversary. Just three short years ago we became Incorporated and an official Nonprofit. The time has flown by! Take a look at the last year's accomplishments!
Right after our 2nd birthday, the 1,000 Belly Hugs for teachers event was completed and we did it! 1,000 hungry teachers got a little Relief for lunch at school. As a former teacher, I totally "get" that end-of-September-tired and know it was appreciated by many! So many people helped to make this event possible from delivery drivers to Kathy's House for providing the kitchens to #ReliefSquad members who shared on social media and of course, COOKED! What a morning ;)
The rest of the fall we were busy with a craft fair in Menomonee Falls (selling our logo Christmas ornaments and spreading the word in the community of TRRI), voting campaign for the TMJ4 Morning Blend Gives Back Contest (which we WON!), group meals at Kathy's House, Ronald McDonald House & a few more schools wrapping up from 1,000 Belly Hugs, a podcast interview for Uplifting Women, our Waterlin give back restaurant night, A Week of Giving after Thanksgiving and venue hunting for our Honoring Caregivers Fundraiser. Phew!
The opportunity to film a segment for the local news in November really was the highlight (thanks to all the voters for getting us there!). I could not have picked a better Caregiver representative to be interviewed with me; Laura Beres and her son Noah. Laura articulated what so many Caregivers feel when they are in the trenches and how something as simple as a home cooked meal (belly hug) can mean the world and give that boost to keep on caring. Turning my kitchen into a "film set" was wild and something I obviously never thought I'd do. The film crew/producer let no detail go unnoticed and helped me feel at ease and able to tell The Right Relief's origin story. Watch the segment HERE. The whole experience also ended in a generous donation from Bank Five Nine which was put right back into ingredients/groceries for Caregiver meals.
November also brought our first ever Right Relief Newsletter! I love sharing our meal totals this way with Relief Squad and keeping everyone updated. Thank you to those who read it every month! I'm working on getting all newsletters on our website.
I was thrilled to be asked to share our lasagna recipe on the Happy Healthy Caregiver blog as well in November. No better time of year for a warm belly hug of noodles, cheese and pepperoni if you ask me :) HERE is the link to the post.
In December we welcomed a new Right Relief board member: Jan O'Brien who lives in the Boston area and started The Right Relief Inc Boston chapter with her daughter Katie and several other Teen Relievers. Thankful to have her wisdom on our board.
We were busy in January with preparations for the Honoring Caregivers Fundraiser. So many generous raffle basket donations came in and tickets sold. Hot House Tavern in Menomonee Falls helped to plan every detail. On Super Bowl Sunday, Relief Squad got together to celebrate Caregivers! We were able to raise both funds and awareness of the work they do. The conversation of "it's ok to accept help" was started and is continual with what we do every time a meal is delivered.
We also held a 2/22/22 fundraiser in February and were invited to speak with the student council at Country Dale Elementary in Franklin, WI. They raised $3,000 from a coin drive that they generously donated!
March brought 2 years since Covid rocked our world. Blog post on that HERE and April was a big anniversary for me personally. We celebrated my Dad by having our first ever Dessert Day which was so yummy of course ;) Something he would have enjoyed tremendously!
In May I accepted a grant from the Menomonee Falls Community League! Such a generous group looking out for needs in the community. We had our first TSHIRT Tuesday! Summer brought tons of cooking with the help of Teen Relievers. We got back to serving at Ronald McDonald House. I worked on a social media partnership with the Love + Lift nonprofit which connected us with thousands of parents/moms in SE Wisconsin.
In July we celebrated National Lasagna Day by making a huge sauce batch and delivering 6 lasagnas to caregivers in 2 days! I got this awesome shirt too :)
Finally, time for year 3 by the numbers!
TOTAL meals in 3 years= 4,687
(Which means 788 left to the 5,475 goal!)
In comparison, the end of year 2 we had 1,671 meals
So, we provided 3,016 belly hug meals in year 3!
TOTAL Facebook followers = 379
One Year ago= 278
Year 4 will see "completion" of the original meal goal based on the number of meals I had around the table with my mom, dad and sister in my childhood home (15 years x1 meal per day). I initially thought this would take about 10 years and it has come up so quick I can't even believe it! Thanks to generous donors we will be able to continue beyond this goal. I so enjoy cooking for Caregivers and am lucky to be able to do something I'm so passionate about and that gives others the same feelings I received 10 years ago. I've found volunteers who are friends and care about The Right Relief's mission too. Together, we can provide support to Caregivers who often get over looked or who don't/won't ask for help. I can't wait to double our meals...by year 8?! 10,000 +?! Bring it on!