Dear Friends and Family of AIDSpirit USA,
Over the past 15 months we have all faced unprecedented fears, stresses, and anxieties while seeking ways to overcome the impact of COVID-19 and like you, the board of AIDSpirit USA is feeling a little overwhelmed.
All our scheduled speaking events and other fundraising projects were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 leaving AIDSpirit facing a loss of over $25,000 which is placing a significant burden on our work. And if that were not enough, our sustainability farming projects took a major hit as well causing the loss of income from our corn, banana, and pineapple sales due to COVID-19 lockdowns in Uganda which prevented us from taking our crops to market.
Though our fundraising opportunities were significantly impacted we were still able to hold on and keep our heads above water until now.
Several recent unforeseen events have tapped into our monetary reserves in big ways this past year including:
• A massive wind and hailstorm recently destroyed the roof on the covered patio we built to provide shade and a gathering space for the children, the repair is estimated to cost $5,000.
• This same storm destroyed over 40% of our 800 banana trees which must be replanted impacting our current yields.
• As the heavy banana trees toppled over, they damaged the new fence on the north side of our property which requires immediate repair.
•We lost most of our 25,000 pineapples to a worm infestation and our recent crop of 2,400 coffee plants were severely damaged by a bug infestation that we hope we caught in time using costly pesticides.
• Helen Rose, a 9-year-old girl who was severely abused and recently brought to our home, has been fainting inexplicably and we initially had to tap into our emergency funds but due to the generosity of Jeanne Bender the funds for doctor visits and CT scans have since been covered. We are still learning more about her ailment (which we believe was caused by the abuse) and how to fight it.
• Janet was on her way to work during her school break when she was struck by a car causing severe internal injuries and head trauma. She was hospitalized for several days and has had to undergo treatment, but she is on the mend and has since been released from the hospital.
• Uganda is now in full lock-down once again making it very difficult for our family once again with most of the children at home.
Though we have taken every precaution possible and thus far our children have not been infected with COVID-19, the availability of vaccines unfortunately for the population of Uganda looks very much different than here in the United States. There is good news however as we have been able to purchase (at a cost of $500), vaccinations for Charles, Mama Mary, and the entire Tender Mercies staff through the International Hospital of Kampala.
Even after all of these trials, the family of Tender Mercies, our AIDSpirit volunteers, and board of directors remain faithful and hopeful that if we pull together, we will overcome these obstacles and any others that may come our way. I deliver this message with my sincere hope that you will continue your financial support in one or more of the following ways:
• By providing an immediate one-time contribution to our COVID-19 Impact Fund. This donation will help offset the fundraising losses and the unforeseen emergencies we’ve experienced this year.
• Signing up for the monthly 200 for $20 campaign. If we reach our goal of 200 monthly donors giving an average of $20 each month, our basic operational fund support for Tender Mercies (including the costs of food, shelter, medicine, and sustainability project maintenance) will be securely taken care of and provided for.
• Invite your friends and family to learn more about our organization and help us to expand our reach. Our monthly gatherings are being held in person at our home and streamed live via Zoom, so we can share our story all over the world, if you can help us get there 😊😊😊😊.
On behalf of the AIDSpirit Board and the family at Tender Mercies, may God Bless each and every one of you in 2021 and beyond.
Tom Jacques, Chairman