After a lot of prayer and planning, early in 2017 Barry challenged our employee teams with the goal to be the best rescue mission in the country. We worked hard and made significant progress toward that goal. There is still much to be done and opportunities to serve the homeless and hungry are growing. Many of the guests we serve are hungry for much more than a good meal-they long to understand and experience the peace, love and hope that comes from knowing Jesus.
Every day we see God's hand of provision and protection along with your generous support keeping these doors open. This organization began nearly 65 years ago with volunteers offering coffee, donuts and prayer. It continues today as a grassroots-supported non-denominational ministry fueled by prayer, volunteers and donors. Did you know that the value of volunteer time at Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries for 2017 was more than $1.2million? Please read on for more numbers and to see the Annual Report inside this issue. We are so grateful for each of you. It is humbling and encouraging to see the many ways you make a difference to so many people we feed, care for and shelter here.
In this issue, we also want to share the new ways you can access information about the story that Jesus is writing here and how others you share that story with can join you to help write part of that story. To help share the story that Jesus is writing here and to better serve the Topeka community, we have developed a number of new tools, including a new website. Please take the time to visit us online at www.trmonline.org and learn more about how your support makes a difference every day. We have worked hard to make the website a tool that helps and encourages people and shares the good news of Jesus Christ 24 hours every day.
Soon we will launch the very first Topeka Rescue Mission App for smartphones and tablets. It will offer rich media like video, links to the very latest news and new prayer requests. A calendar will help app users to see what is happening here and a daily Bible reading plan will be available. The app will be updated frequently. People who use the app will also be able to report a tip to the homeless hotline when they spot someone in the community that we may be able to help-all right on the app.
We maintain several different pages on Facebook. If you are on Facebook and haven't stopped by any of those pages, please search for Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries. We also maintain a TRM Boutique on the Boulevard page and a Topeka Rescue Mission Thrift Store page. These are all regularly updated. If you enjoy shopping or collecting, the two stores often post items that are available on Facebook and there are some amazing items available. Please like and follow us and share our pages with your friends on Facebook. Every time you spend $1 at either store, you help to feed 7 people a meal!
We have recently signed up with Pushpay and can now offer giving via text message. Many of you will recognize that Pushpay helps churches accept donations. They are now reaching out to ministries, like us, to streamline giving and make it easier and quicker for supporters. Send the keyword TRMgive in a text message to 77977. They'll send a link in a reply-click on the link and they will help you from there. There are options to give a recurring or one-time gift and to designate the gift if you choose. It is secure, very quick, mobile-ready and easy.
Lastly, there are several ways to maximize giving to TRM Ministries without any extra cost to a supporter. Kroger stores (Dillon's) frequent shoppers can donate every time they shop by picking the mission. Amazon Smile members can select TRM Ministries to support at no cost to them. Azura Credit Union is also a fantastic partner! They have an account setup so that every time shareholders swipe that card for a transaction, a small donation from Azura helps to feed and shelter guests here.
I think you might agree-2017 was quite a year! Thank you again for your support. We are grateful for each of you and can't do this without you. Please remember, every time you give $5, you feed 35 people a meal. Our daily focus isn't on the 586,000 meals total that we serve in a year-it is the one person right in front of us who is hungry. Because of you, we can feed him, shelter her and help them rebuild their lives while sharing the love of Jesus.