2015 Annual Appeal From the President

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First of all, I’d like to thank you for supporting GRA’s work in rural East Africa in 2015. Each year I’m amazed by the generosity of our supporters and always find it hard to believe that with so little effort on our part, so many good hearted people step forward to help so abundantly individuals, families and communities in need – half a planet away. The reality of One Planet, One Family and One Life is growing all the time it seems.

Many seeds were sown last year, and I look forward to this time next year when I can relate to you what has flowered. Until then, please take a look at the enclosed “What We Did in 2015” to see the fruit of last year’s contributions.

Turning to the exciting matter (well to me anyway) of the enclosed Financial Statements, you can see that our total revenue is down a bit from previous years and that our total expenses exceeded revenue by a little over $13,000. That looks bad, but actually, it’s primarily the result of a $22,000 loss on the sale of our old drilling equipment (which we were happy to sell because it wasn’t being used). The proceeds from that sale is the reason our cash balance at the end of the year is higher than usual.

We anticipate buying a 20 foot container of fuel efficient charcoal cook stoves in the near future, so that extra cash will come in very handy. These cook stoves will be marketed through microfinance groups and save thousands of trees and the lives of many children by reducing the amount of fuel consumed and toxic emissions released.

In addition to our three major programs of rural water supply, permaculture/tree planting and support for orphans, you’ll see that GRA has gotten back into the business of microfinance – thanks to a generous contribution for this purpose by one of our supporters. So far, that program has gone extremely well.

In case you’re wondering, we missed meeting our $50,000 matching grant this year – but only by $854 so I think we can still claim victory.

Thanks again for helping to keep hope alive for the thousands of people GRA serves in the Mara region of Tanzania – and all of those in other parts of the world who have benefited from the experience and knowledge gained by volunteers and collaborators who continue to visit our projects and take back with them whatever they find of value.

Sincerely,

Lyn Hebenstreit
President, Global Resource Alliance