As you know, we are in the middle of an Expansion Campaign to raise funds to more than double the size of our building so that we can more than double the number of meals we cook and deliver to clients. We have the great fortune of working with a Volunteer Steering Committee on this effort, and they suggested that I start sending regular updates to our volunteers so that everyone knows what’s happening as we get closer and closer to starting our renovation.
The project is a very complicated one, and many things are still in flux. I thank you in advance for your patience as we work through the many steps that are required before we begin our building expansion.
We are now at the midway point in our campaign, and have made incredible progress. To date, we have raised more than $20 million, and continue to fundraise to get to our $25 million goal.
I hope that by now you have heard at least some details on the project. Perhaps you even attended one of the town hall meetings I hosted in December. Thank you to those of you who were there. I very much enjoyed hearing your feedback. For anyone who could not make it, we discussed our plans for construction, the developer who will be our new neighbor to the north, and the sale of our air rights to this developer.
I also thank everyone who participated in our postcard campaign. Over 400 postcards were received by Community Board 2, and they had the desired effect – no one could claim that there was not a lot of support for our project. Thank you, too, to those of you who attended and especially those who spoke to the Land Use Committee of Community Board 2 in December and January when we presented our Expansion plans. Your presence was “loudly” felt, and your remarks were quite persuasive.
I am pleased to report that, with your help, our project has been approved by both the Community Board and the City Planning Council. The project has been sent to the Mayor for his authorization. We thank everyone who lent their time and their voice to us during this process, especially our clients, volunteers, Board, Leadership Council, and Chairman’s Council who live within Community Board 2.
Meanwhile we are finalizing our construction timeline, which we estimate to be about 14 months. We have made plans to start construction around June or July. As we will be digging up the floor and taking off the roof, we will have to move our entire operation to a temporary site to ensure that there will be no interruption in our services to our clients. We have tentatively identified a location in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn that can accommodate our commercial kitchen and loading dock needs, as well as provide adequate office space. It is conveniently located near three main subway lines and also has a private parking lot (although we are not yet sure about the parking regulations). We are currently negotiating terms for a lease, and will be able to provide more detailed information as soon as those negotiations are completed.
If you haven’t yet seen the new building renderings, please stop by the Volunteer Office. They will be happy to show you our beautiful “new” building. It will have many great features to support our growing operations as well as amenities such as outdoor terraces and a roof garden to make your time at God’s Love even more pleasurable.
I want to say a heartfelt thank you to our Volunteer Steering Committee for all the work they are doing to engage volunteers in our campaign. Thanks to: Co-Chairs Tom Knotek and Sylvia Vogelman, and committee members Andrea Bernardi, Gene Colon, George Cominksie, Richard Fink, Patti Freeman Evans, Christian Grattan, McKenzie Mahoney, Nicholas Yarmac and Janet Yearwood.
I hope that you found this update helpful, and that it addresses questions you might have about the Expansion Campaign. For additional details, please feel free to contact Susan Oher (email@example.com) or David Ludwigson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com).
Thank you for your incredible support and continued dedication to God’s Love. By donating your time and your heart, you have made it possible for us to continue meeting the growing demand for our nutritious meals. I am thrilled that you are willing to join us in our temporary space, and cannot wait to welcome everyone to our newly renovated and expanded home sometime in 2014.
All my best,
President & CEO