I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas
As of December 21, 2013 it has been 11 years since Sammi passed away.
I would like to thank all the people that have been so supportive of Sammi Rae of Hope over the last 9½ years. It was very important to me to try and build a legacy for my daughter Sammi. We have been involved with 107 families and only had 2 that we could not stop the foreclosure. I am very proud of that. Without the help of volunteers and the financial support of everyone, this never could of happened. I can never thank everyone enough.
When we started this, I was very naive to how the nonprofit system worked. Over the years I have had my eyes opened a lot and have learned a lot. Like anything, some good, some bad. We have always been able to adjust and keep the families first priority. We currently are helping a family, and it appears that it will be resolved by the first of the year.
However, I just wanted to let everyone know that I have been forced to make a decision regarding Sammi Rae of Hope. I will try to keep this brief and try not to sound to negative.
While we are a 501(c) 3, we have never received a penny of Government funding to help support the families. Everything thing has been done completely from the small portion of private support, with the majority of funds being raised from fundraising.
With the dramatic drop of the funds over the last 3 years it has become a huge struggle. Even with the minimum overhead we have. Contrary to what other believe and has been said to me, there are no salaries paid to anyone at Sammi Rae of Hope. Everything has been strictly by volunteering the time to help the families.
It takes a tremendous amount time to save a home for a family. We have had files that that we have had to deal with for 3 years. To set up and put together fundraisers in hopes of netting 20% after paying for everything and chasing down unpaid pledges and sponsorships. These things all take a lot of time! Then to also earn a living to support our own families. There is no time left in a day to be a good husband and father. By the time I get home I am drained of all empathy and compassion for what they need my help and support to deal with, and I would like to be there more for them.
Now with the recent loss of my grandson, I am realizing that I while I wanted to build something for Sammi, I have neglected the rest of my family. My wife and daughters love me, so it doesn’t really seem fair any longer to me that that I tell people to go home and be together during a crisis, when I have not been able to take the time with my own.
So, I have decided that I am no longer able to carry the financial burden and emotional toll that this has become. I have been asked a number of times over the years, how do you always seem to find the glass half full? Well, the truth is that I am finding extremely hard, no matter how far I dig down to get that glass half full again. I don’t believe that I could be effective enough for the families any longer with that attitude.
While I still anticipate doing an annual fundraiser in memory of Sammi and donating the proceeds to some of the other Organizations, I have to be honest with myself. I have been a foolish man that made a foolish promise to an extraordinary little girl. I just hope that she can forgive me for failing her again.
So, it is with a huge sadness, a broken heart, and a touch of bitterness that as of 2014 I will be phasing out Sammi Rae of Hope. I will no longer be receiving any families as of January 1, 2014
I will do my best to help secure the one family that I am currently dealing with and that will be the final family for Sammi Rae of Hope.
Again, I can never that thank all the volunteers that have come for so many years and gave of the time so unselfishly. Without them, we never could have made it as long as we did to help all the families that became true victims of true circumstance.
The people that gave their time to help start and develop Sammi Rae of Hope. The private individuals that were a steady flow of donations. And, all the companies that have sponsored our events in the past. Without any of them I never could have accomplished anything for all of the families we have helped.
Thanks to Jim Bush for being as committed as I was, and for his loyalty and friendship over all these years.
Most of all, I have to thank my wife Marcie for understanding and supporting my quest in memory of our Sammi.
Thank you to everyone for all you have done!!!!!!!!
John R Tuffelmire
Sammi Rae of Hope