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  • Hollie Mealy

Thoughts on: 2 Years of Providing Relief

Phew! 2 Years! We are just days away from our #1000BellyHugs teacher lunch event and I've been so focused on preparing for it that this snuck up on me. I've been elbow deep in stock pots, lasagna sauce and cookie dough and couldn't be happier! As of September 1, I am a full time mom and Nonprofit President! That is a big change from last year at this time! Here are some facts and figures and overall reflections/highlights from yours truly :)


The Numbers: Year 2 Update

TOTAL meals in 2 years= 1,671

In comparison, the end of year 1 we had = 562

So, 1,109 meals in year 2!


TOTAL Facebook "likes"= 278

One Year ago= 161

That's 117 people added this past year who now know who The Right Relief Inc is and what we do!


Highlights by the month

In November we participated in our first craft fair at a church in Waukesha and received donations from strangers who learned about The Right Relief Inc just that day. It showed me even more that people connect with and "get" why we do what we do. Everyone knows someone who is a caregiver and can relate. We also had our first Pampered Chef online Fundraiser.


In the fall of 2020, I worked on being more efficient with the help of Kyle. In December we set up a new meal tracking system, treasury and google calendar. All were implemented in January 2021 and I have felt way more organized and able to focus on caregivers as opposed to all the paperwork side of running a Nonprofit.


We partnered with Sysco wholesale and received our first delivery in January. What a sight to have a semi pulling into our cul-de-sac in Menomonee Falls before the sun had even come up! The drivers always are confused why a single house receives so much food!


Also in January, I had the privilege of being introduced virtually to Dan Dickinson (thank you Amber Kahn!). He founded the nonprofit Transplant Village after he himself had a liver transplant many years ago. He is a businessman and fundraising expert. Just listening to him talk over Zoom was inspiring and I hope that The Right Relief Inc can one day do as many great things for caregivers as Transplant Village does for transplant patients and their families.


We were able to make caregiver meals at Right Relief Headquarters (my house!) and then drop off at Kathy's House in January, February and March so that even during social distancing guests there were still able to have some homecooked meals.


On March 21 we held a virtual "Toast to Caregivers" in place of our 2nd annual Honoring Caregivers Fundraiser. We celebrated and acknowledged the hard work caregivers did and continue to do through the pandemic. We began an important conversation about caregivers asking for and accepting help and how that's OK! Yanic Truesdale (from Gilmore Girls!) even made an appearance!


Both in March and April we were able to coordinate 3 individual caregiver meal drop offs in one day. In April we had our 200th Facebook "like" contest winner and she received a lasagna of course. I dropped off our first meal at Children's Hospital for parents staying there with their 2 year old.


May brought the TMJ4 Morning Blend Gives Back contest and we were able to spread the word and received enough votes for 2nd place and $200 prize. Thank you Relief Squad!


On June 7 Kathy's House opened the doors of their new facility and The Right Relief was the dinner provider that night! Finally in July we were able to cook there in person for the first time since February 2020. We had 2 Teen Relievers helping prep food that night as well!


At the end of July my family and I visited Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We got to spend time with The Right Relief Inc Boston's Jan O'Brien and her awesome family. They asked "What's next for The Right Relief?" over a delicious Mexican lunch at a fun outdoor restaurant in Hyannis. So glad to have them "pushing" and to get me thinking. They made over 100 meals since January of 2021!!


In August and September we provided group meals again for Kathy's House. Also in August, teen relievers helped make Right Relief Cookies for local schools during the teachers' pre-session days.


Reflections

Next week, we are starting year 3 with a bang and the biggest event (by FAR) we've ever done: 1,000 Belly Hugs for teachers. This back to school event started last September with 3 schools and about 80 meals. My how we've grown!!!


My initial goal was to have 5,475 meals completed in 10 years. Now, it's looking like a total of 5 years. Craziness. That means the "what's next" question from the O'Briens (and my dear husband pretty much every other day) is fast approaching. Years go quick. We are almost half way to 5,475. HALF WAY! I'm going to take a few days after 1000 Belly Hugs and then dive in. Stay tuned ;)


Relief Squad is amazing. Seriously. I want to end by recognizing, thanking and appreciating the group that The Right Relief Inc has as supporters; whether on social media, cooking/baking, providing ideas, inspiration, donations and caregiver referrals. It'd be impossible without the Squad! Thank you to Sue and Bill Bailey, Julie Hall, the Wurster's and Liz Buchmann as they cook and deliver meals when I'm unable to make a drive or a date work. They also help at Kathy's House. Thank you to Jan O'Brien for her work in MA and willingness to listen to my somewhat crazy thoughts. There are so many who have helped prepare for the 1,000 Belly Hugs event too. Separate blog coming for them! Lastly, my board members and family!! Rick, Krista, Mom, Dad in spirit, recipes & carbs, Kel & Ben, and Kyle, Violet and Robbie: your support means the world!!


Year 3... LET'S GOOOO!




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