Greetings from Rattlesnake Ridge Kentucky!
Summer is approaching and it sure feels good to have the warm sunshine. The children are out of school now and ICM's park is a flurry of activity.
Recently, we had 165 students graduate from High School in McCreary County. We are so proud of our kids! For many, they are the first in their family to graduate. Our graduation rate, this year in McCreary County, was 92%!!! (The 2016 National average was 83%). Our schools were ranked in the top 30% of schools nationwide by US News.
When ICM began work in McCreary County way back in 2000, the High School graduation rate was 52.6%. We knew things were improving but to see the numbers is truly uplifting!!
There has been a lot of activity up here on the ridge. This is our busiest season and we are having mission groups arriving on a weekly basis. Some groups have come to work and some to assess potential work projects for later in the summer.
This Spring, we've hosted 3 groups from South Carolina, 2 from Georgia, 1 from Tennessee, and 1 from North Carolina. Our projects have included installing handicap ramps, new flooring, painting, and restoring bathrooms.
Presently, we are working with The Bed Ministry out of Paducah, Kentucky building and delivering new beds and mattresses to local children. This is their second visit this year. In all, they have provided more than 30 beds and mattresses to our community.
We are excited to announce a new addition to our staff. Jacob Lowe is joining us and will be assisting Barbara with ICM activities and programs. He will be training to work with mission groups and to assist with various projects and daily responsibilities.
ICM has grown and even though we have some great volunteers, we've been in desperate need of an extra hand on staff. Jacob is the perfect fit for ICM. We've seen Jacob grow up here on the ridge. He has participated in many of our programs and has been a most helpful volunteer for several years. He will be overseeing a number of art classes, a wreath making class, crafts day, and family movie nights.
We want to give a big thank you to NOW Foods, a vitamin and supplement company out of Chicago. NOW Foods hosted a charity drive at their corporate office. Employees collected boxes of toiletries, baby diapers, personal hygiene products, medicine, sunscreen, bug repellents, paper products, etc.
We are always in need of these donations and they came at the perfect time. Also, NOW Foods personally donated hundreds of bottles of vitamins to our food pantry. We are so appreciative. Thank You!!!
And, we'd like to thank Trueblue, a worldwide staffing company based out of Seattle, for their generous gift of $5,000. Their donation was matched by our private donor for a total of $10,000!!!
These last few months have been amazing and we have all of you to thank. Our matching challenge fundraiser has been going strong.
Here are the numbers!!
January $ 5,060
Total individual donations so far this year are $60,331!!
With our matching donation, that number brings us to a Grand Total of $120,662 toward our $200,000 goal. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We are humbled by your generosity.
Also, thank you to all who have kept our food pantry full and to those who have participated in Spring cleaning to fill our thrift store. Thank you to those who are traveling to our mountains to work on home projects and activities for our families and youth. We are so blessed.
If you have an opportunity, we ask that you spread the news about the work we do at ICM. We have only grown through word of mouth. It just takes one person to open the door to a new opportunity. Feel free to contact us with any questions or let us know if you would like to pay us a visit.