Graffiti 2 Community Ministry’s 2020 Annual Report

2020 has been a year like no other. Then again, every year is a year like no other! However, COVID19 didn’t change the mission of Graffiti 2 in 2020. The amazing staff of Graffiti 2 continued to revitalize, revive, and revolutionize the Mott Haven neighborhood where we live and work.

In many ways, ministry didn’t look entirely different from the past. As we ministered in these familiar ways, we took extra precautions with new policies and procedures to make sure we had a safe environment. The core of G2’s Ministry strategy is to provide a safe environment for holistic ministry so that meaningful relationships can grow.

In this season we also found new ways to serve our community. Within this annual report are updates from each of Graffiti 2’s Directors as well as a 2020 financial report. As you read you will recognize many familiar methods of ministry as well as new ways we have served the community.

This unique year reminded us of something we already knew: the bigger the city, the more personal we need to become. In the past 6 months, our Graffiti 2 team excelled in giving personal care to our Graffiti 2 family and our neighbors. Besides the need for food and funds, people needed to know they were loved, they were remembered, and that someone cared. Due to this deep ministry, there were new professions of faith and believers took new steps in their faith.

For many years, the staff of Graffiti 2 has noticed a steady increase of individuals in our neighborhood struggling with addiction. At least, this problem is more noticeable as we see needles in the park, panhandlers in the street, and drunk men walking in our door.

One of my friends who finds himself in this destructive behavior cycle said something that struck a nerve within me. He said, “I am tired of people trying to sculpt me into what their idea is for me. I have a creator, and that is His job.” All too often, we go out to serve others with great intentions and think that we can better their lives. My friend’s words remind me—we are simply broken people trying to fix broken people.

Sometimes this ministry addresses the needs of people who walk through our doors. This may involve providing food, groceries, coats, assistance or referrals.

Sometimes this ministry provides financial support. Our benevolence grant ministry helps people with financial needs such as rent, utilities, and other basic necessities.

All the time, this ministry provides a friend.

Stop & Care events mobilize staff and volunteers to stop & care for those beyond our doors who struggle with addiction or homelessness. Once a month, volunteers are equipped with a well-stocked survival backpack and Dunkin Donuts gift cards. Besides just giving the backpack to a person in need, volunteers seek a person with whom to share a meal at Dunkin. Just as Jesus did, we stop, listen to their struggle, care to hear their name, join them for a bite to eat, and offer a prayer. The aim is to develop an ongoing relationship and connect them to people who want to love them, not sculpt them.

G2 Helps has allowed us to make many new connections. This new arm of ministry was birthed in 2020’s pandemic, and God’s timing was perfect.

The year began normally. Artisans were making products in preparation for an artisan fair at the United Nations and exciting plans were being made for other events through WorldCrafts. The ESL class was meeting twice a week, seven students strong. A team of GenSenders — college students mobilized through our partnership with the North American Mission Board — helped our ESL students with their conversation practice the week before the quarantine hit.

At the start of the shutdown, artisans had a contract to complete from home. A grant from the WMU Foundation allowed the artisans to continue work throughout the spring, making masks for our friends and neighbors. The ESL class was canceled until further notice, but it was not forgotten as my assistants checked in with each one of them through weekly calls and texts. Relationships among the students only grew over this long break.

Last year, WMU asked to feature our artisans in its student material for the month of May 2020. In the height of the pandemic, we were not only featured on the student literature but also made the cover of Missions Mosaic with an article. This opened the door for all Women on Mission groups, Acteens, and Youth on Mission to be learning about and praying for us! With the entire world on Zoom, I was able to share with groups from all over the country.

July transitioned us into the new normal with our programs resuming under basic COVID restrictions. We also began a new program called Get2Work that provides an honorarium-based job while assisting individuals who are seeking employment. Three of our individuals have since found work. Our own workforce increased as we added part-time program assistants. Having the extra set of hands has allowed me to say, “yes,” when answering a call to help an individual learn to read.

The year started with a sense of normalcy for G2 Kids, but then April ushered in the age of Zoom. COVID precautions caused us to go completely online, making virtual tutors and mentors essential. Zoom allowed tutoring, Bible study, and much needed social interactions to continue..

Summer brought back the opportunity for in-person ministry with extra precautions. Our summer and afterschool programs were reduced in number, but they were not reduced in impact. This restriction became a blessing as the small group allowed for deep conversations in Bible study, fun science activities, creative art projects, and more one-on-one interaction.

With the start of the school year, families had an urgent need for a quiet, stable, and safe place for students to participate in online learning with their teachers. Graffiti 2 began opening its doors at 7:55 AM for Study Hall. Many teachers noticed the difference between kids in our study hall and those logging on from home. They even began referring other families to join Graffiti 2.

Throughout the summer and fall, our Bible study time focused on Proverbs 3:5-6. In one of those Bible studies a third grader named Sapphire responded to a question in a way that made this director’s heart soar! As we discussed Abram’s decision to present Sarai as his sister rather than his wife, Sapphire replied, “He wasn’t trusting in God. We are supposed to trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding, and in all our ways submit to Him and He will make our path straight. He didn’t do that!” I was floored. She applied scripture correctly to respond! I made sure to let her know just how proud I was of her.

As you invest in Graffiti 2, you are investing in students like Sapphire. You are a part of her story!

Beginning my new position as the Youth Director during the last week of June, I arrived just in time for Summer Programs. G.S.A.L.T. Summer and Afterschool programs both looked vastly different this year than ever before (as I’ve been told). Even with capacity restrictions, screening requirements, mask-wearing, and social distancing, we connected with new students as well as old.

Throughout the summer and school year, G2 Interns make a big difference as they support and tutor all of our students. All six of the current G2 Interns grew up or spent time in G2 programs over the years. In each of their applications, the interns expressed their desire to give back and serve the people who impacted their lives.

In my first 6 months of serving, I have seen much growth in each of my students—both G.S.A.L.T., as they are paired with online tutors or interns for homework help, and our G2 Interns, who are able to serve and help fellow students. Where COVID may have restricted numbers and physical contact, it has allowed for a new intimacy and intentionality with the few we are able to see every day.

2020 Total Revenue: $394,692.93

Staff Networks: $137,293.38
Funds raised by individual staff members from their personal networks of individuals and churches. The goal is for each staff member to find support to meet 100% of the cost of his or her employment.

Designated Program Gifts: $102,785.22
Grants, fundraisers, designated donations, parental investment, special events

Service and Sales: $5,980.74
Graffiti 2 Works, books, shirts, hats, Upside Down Training

Church Partner Giving: $70,818.62
Churches committed to partnering with Graffiti 2 by praying, giving, and going

Undesignated Individual Donors: $75,360.57
Individual donors who give one-time or monthly gifts

Miscellaneous Revenue: $2,454.40
Bank rewards, Amazon Smile, and reimbursements

2020 Total Expense: $280,353.04

Facility: $16,626.19
Includes maintenance, materials, and insurance. Rent and utilities are abated due to building improvements made in 2019.

Ministry-Wide Objectives: $102,979.54
Includes applicable personnel costs, administrative, office, Upside Down, community outreach, hunger relief, COVID19 ministry, special events and fundraising.

G2Kids Operating Expense: $54,540.83
Includes applicable personnel costs, school year programs, summer programs, and travel

GSALT & G2 Interns: $17,703.39
Includes applicable personnel costs, school year programs, summer programs, and travel

Graffiti 2 Works: $59,449.05
Includes applicable personnel costs, Adult Learning Center materials, Artisan materials, Artisan labor, equipment, training, and G2 Store

G2 Helps: $29,054.04
Includes applicable personnel costs, direct assistance & support, benevolence grants, materials, and equipment