Lessons I am learning along the way:
QuickBooks: Anyone out there a QB expert? The program is powerful. We got a online subscription to QuickBooks Online Plus so MOP income (donations and bracelet sales) and expense reporting and tracking can be real time, accessed from Ghana and Iowa at the same time. As we mature as an organization and we have two locations (NEW SCHOOL WILL BE READY SOMETIME THIS YEAR) we need to become more efficient at tracking expenses by location, by type, and all the things you can image. The other major reason for the software: to be able to produce current, year to date and operating budget reports that we can include in grant proposals. And again the information can be accessed by online so whoever is writing the grant can produce the latest reports. I am working with Renee and her Mom, Barb Farwell to get all the information keyed in and get us all on the same page for the updates Renee will be making realtime once she is back in Ghana.
Renee will be traveling to Ghana on August 16th, after spending the summer in Iowa and Wisconsin. Renee is currently working as a program counselor at a Summer Camp for children from the greater Milwaukee area. Renee has worked at this camp for 4 years during her summer vacations while she was going to college at Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Marketing: A while back a local artist that sells at the St. Phillips Farmers Market on Saturdays, Weida Duncan, told me about this cool shop in Inman Park called At the Collective. (click here for their website) She suggested that I contact the owners to see if the Recycled Glass Bead Bracelets made by the Mawuvio's Programme could be displayed for sale at the store. So fast forward to this past Friday, I took the day off, went into town with Cindy for lunch and lo and behold we end up walking into At the Collective. If you've not been there, mark you calendar to visit real soon. It is a very cool shop with art and crafts and more art and crafts all made by local artist. They have everything. So I start talking to one of the artist that has a clothing line in the store and I start telling the story about the bracelets, (thank goodness I have three on that I can show), but when it comes time to leave behind a card, write down the MOP URL, or even open up my iPad which I had with me, to share pictures, I was not prepared. The business cards on my coffee table at home, the iPad with tons of pictures, but not in an album or journal for show and tell, what can I say. Marian Collier who was the person that was helping me out, answering questions, was a delight, she was patient with me, listened to the story, looked at the bracelets and gave me all kinds of information and ideas about where and how the bracelets can get exposure for sale in Atlanta. Marian - thanks for your patience and for your interest. Marian's clothing collection is on ETSY at www.McCollections.Esty.com - you can check out. And if you have an upcoming book club meeting, church meeting, a birthday of someone who has everything, or you want to impart a random act of delight on your favorite checker or waitress or the school crossing guard, or your admin person at work, or anyone in your life who would enjoy one of the bracelets, I can bring over a great sampling for you to select from, $12 each.
iPAD Photo Journal: If you have an iPad and you take any amount of pictures or your iPad or have the iCloud service turned on, make sure you get the iPhoto application that has the Journal feature. It is very cool, easy to use, easy to learn. You can send a photo documentary of sorts to your family and friends as you traverse the Inca Trail, or go on a shopping trip in New York, or spend the day at Piedmont Park. I took photos on Friday of my visit to Paris on Ponce and a few of the other places we visited in and around Inman Park and I made a Birthday Journal for my niece, JoAnn. I am going to create one for the MOP PROGRAM specific to the "Beading Program" and the bracelets we sell and will share the URL so you can check it out.
All is going well with Kwame and the children in Kissemah. The school program is currently begin supported by two volunteers from Austria, Floren and Maria. Soon, at the end of July the school year will come to and end, the children have 5 or 6 weeks vacation and the new school year begins in September.
Renee will head back on August 16th and she is returning with a volunteer sponsored by Omprakash, Kaitlyn, who went to college with Renee. And Sarah will also be traveling at the same time. Sarah is also a college friend of Renee's. There will be lots of work with the set up and transition to the new school, amazing that we are REALIZING THE DREAM.
Any questions, comments, don't hesitate to send me a note, firstname.lastname@example.org.