From Campaign Chair Don Macune (February 2021)
In Haiti there is a proverb, "Dèyè mòn gen mòn," meaning, "beyond mountains there
are mountains." Tracy Kidder used the translation in the title of his biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health. Kidder says this about the phrase: "Haitians use the phrase in two different ways: to say that there's no end to obstacles, and also to say that there's no end to opportunities." Little did we know that this proverb would apply to our Capital Campaign and construction of a new Neighborhood Center for Neighbors in Action.
We signed a construction contract in January and we broke ground in February. =If= we have no further disruptions due to economic crises, weather events, or pandemics, we =could= occupy the building in time for the beginning of school in Q3 of 2021. It brings us great joy to imagine a world where vaccinations have made it safe to resume our programming with the Port Houston community in a brand new, fit for purpose facility. have put this text in English so that you can understand the purpose.
To recap 2020, we began the year having raised enough money to proceed confidently with construction. We also had in hand a pledge from the Mabee Foundation of an additional $100,000 to be paid when construction began. We were well into the permitting process when Covid19 hit in March. The city's Permitting Office and our architects, engineers, and consultants all transitioned to working remotely. Our location is perfect for our mission but raised some concerns during the permitting review. Eventually all questions were resolved and we received the permit in December. During 2020 we also selected a contractor with a long and successful relationship with our architects and who also comes highly recommended for his work with churches and non-profits, including completing projects on time and under budget.
As construction begins, we are entering a period of strategic planning to ensure that we are ready to utilize the building to its fullest potential. As the proverb reminds us, in addition to the obstacles, we have witnessed no end to opportunities in our years in Port Houston with new opportunities created in 2020 by the pandemic and subsequent recovery in 2021. Please "stay tuned" as we make plans for this new chapter for NIA and Port Houston. Additional gifts from our donors will only increase the impact of their past gifts to the Capital Campaign. Thank you for your support and your prayers. Together we are building Neighbors in Action!