Recently a First Hugs sponsor sent me a great question. Why, she asked, did you change the amount to fully sponsor one child from $1000 to $2000? When we did that, it was purely to reflect changes in our budget when we moved our program from XinXiang to XuChang. In the interest of being fully transparent, I am going to share our costs with you.
First of all, labor is more expensive in XuChang . In XinXiang we paid each of 6 staff 1400 yuan monthly plus we paid them for holidays. We paid our room manager 2400 yuan monthly. The SWI paid their insurance. At XuChang, we pay each of 9 staff members 2500 yuan monthly. We have 20 children at XuChang, up from 15 we budgeted for at XinXiang (Although we sometimes had up to 17 children at XX.) We also hired one nanny at XuChang to cook for the children (insuring that the children get good nutritious food and plenty of it!) and cleaning. When she is finished, she spends time with the children. We also pay our manager from XinXiang 2000 yuan monthly to go to XuChang two days weekly.
Most of our donors are drawn to sponsor children. They get quarterly reports and photos. So we made sponsorship for one child $2,000. We expect it will take several sponsors to fully sponsor each child. If all children are fully sponsored, we will have raised $40,000 (20 children times $2,000 full sponsorship) of our $51,000 budget.
There is no doubt we are facing an extra challenge this coming year to raise more money than ever. Our budget has gone from $30,000 to $50,000. We are dedicated to changing things at XuChang for the children. We are hopeful many people will join us in seeing a bright future for these children.
We are planning our annual trip to China in March. We are very excited to visit our program at XuChang for the first time. Krista Dolan and Moya Smith from the First Hugs board will be traveling. As always, we pay all of our own travel expenses. No money from First Hugs goes towards any travel expenses. This trip, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist will be traveling with us. Both have children adopted from China and both are passionate about helping orphans. They will pay their own expenses as well. Every cent raised for First Hugs goes to the children; to pay the nannies’ salaries.