International Neighbors is a volunteer, non- profit organization, as such all of our operating expenses are covered by your donations and any grants that we may receive. Currently we spend a little more each year than we receive. So far, our deficit has not been so great that we have had to cut back on activities but we are forced to spend some of our reserves each year.
I want to thank our membership at large for their generous donations this year. These donations help cover our general operating costs. As an example, currently, each month, the monthly IN Day events cost the organization approximately $400 – $500. These costs include rent for Zion Lutheran Church which is ($80) dollars, the custodian ($45) who is paid to help set up the room. We have childcare costs which are approximately ($50) which include the use of the nursery, snacks and sometimes staffing. The cost of decorations and supplies (food, coffee and tea, cups, plates, silverware, and napkins etc.) amounts to around $150. If we are lucky enough to find an “artist” from one of our local communities to provide some form of entertainment, we provide an honorarium.
Examples of some of the other expenses we incur throughout the year are the cost of the room rentals where some of our activities are held, materials for various classes/activities, website design and maintenance, the entrance admission to some sites visited by our groups, childcare for some activities and approximately $780 to cover the postage and printing costs for our yearly mailing.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank, first of all, the Japanese Business Society of Detroit for the grants they have provided to us over the past years and specifically for this years’ grant of $1240 to help cover the cost of rentals and childcare. This enables our members to attend conversation groups without worrying about childcare. The Japanese Business society also gave us $430 dollars, which was combined with a grant from the Kiwanis Club for $1000. These two combined grants, have allowed us to fund and run an afterschool program at Baxter Green Community Court. Once a month volunteers from International Neighbors attend the afterschool program and teach the approximately 15-20 children present about a different country/culture. The program involves crafts, food experiences and other activities typical of that particular country/region. Our hope is to promote understanding and acceptance of different countries/cultures by exploring the ways that we are different and more importantly, the ways in which we are the same.
As you can see, the grants we receive and your generous donations help us provide a wide range of activities for our membership. Without your help it will become more difficult each year to sustain this wonderful organization at its current level. I hope we can continue to count on your financial support to help us keep what we have built thus far and expand our offerings in the future.