Special Thanks to:

Special Thanks: Lifepoint Church

It is always fun to get a call from people who want to serve. Lifepoint Church had a group come over that painted, cleaned and decorated JP in preparation for our Halloween party. Thanks Lifepoint!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Gearing up for winter

In all the years that I have lived in Alaska, I have always had a white Halloween.  Sometimes it is snowy and warmish, like in the 20's.  Sometimes it is snowy and cold...as in -30 cold.  But there is always snow and it is always pretty dark.  Growing up we would go trick-or-treating door to door in our neighborhood with our costumes over our snowsuit/facemask/mitten attire.  I know that when the calender hits September 1, we are well within the range of snow that stays until spring.  I realize that is not true in other parts of the world...but that is the environment that I grew up in.

So here we are in the middle of October.  There has been a thin layer of snow for a couple of weeks, the temperatures are getting colder, the amount of daylight is growing smaller.  It is winter or at least the introduction to winter.  This is the time of year that residents of Fairbanks feverishly work to get their homes set up for the next six months by taking care of the last few details that they have not accomplished yet: putting away yard tools, disconnecting garden hoses, covering gardens, putting on snow tires, etc.  Here at Joel's Place we also have a few things that we are doing to get prepared for the snow and cold.
  • Training the staff.  I just got out of a staff meeting where we covered winter protocol.  We have 11 staff here at the moment and it is important for us all to be on the same page.  Unlocking doors so kids are not trapped outside.  Making sure doors are closed and everyone knows where to look to see if we are closed for cold weather or not.  Small details that will go a long way towards happy and productive staff.
  • Winter Programs.  The new season brings new programs...and lots more paperwork for me.  We are launching into another season of our CACFP feeding program; this year we are providing meals for both Joel's Place kids and the youth of the Boys and Girls Club.  We are building a snow park for snowboarding, snowskating and sledding here on the grounds.  We have our Red Room Concert Series and lots of development programming on the horizon.
  • Ramp It Up!  Our annual fundraiser is November 14th at 6pm at Friends Church.  We are looking to raise enough money to cover free skating for the entire 2015 year!  Ambitious, but I think we can do it.  Let me know if you are interested in attending this amazing night.
  • Parties, parties and more parties.  Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years (not to mention my birthday) the next 75 days are going to be filled with celebration and fun.  I know we are looking for candy donations for this coming Halloween party if you are interested.
  • Facility work.  We have a couple of grants that have come in that will be upgrading our building.  We will be remodeling the downstairs, adding more security cameras, building the snow park, putting up an arctic entry and increasing a few security measures throughout the center.
Other than that...not much going on.  If you are interested in joining us on any of these endeavors, please feel free to drop me a line.

Winter is coming...and this year will be amazing here at Joel's Place!
Thanks for all your support,

James