Fresh Start Pallet Products, Inc. had a great year in 2020 in spite of the pandemic. Our team stayed healthy, productive and made advances in their personal lives and individual carpentry skill levels.
This has set the stage for our Social Business to expand in three areas:
Adding a highly trained and skilled professional Shop Supervisor/lead trainer. Colin came to us with significant skills in carpentry, furniture restoration and design. This is an opportunity for us to increase the quality of our finished products and broaden our capacity.
We now have a well trained core team of craftsmen to support our ever-growing orders for core products, custom work and contract work.
Due to our success in doubling our sales over 2019, we have also doubled our fundraising income due to our many donors with assistance from GlobalGiving. As a result, we are in the process of preparing to open the Fresh Start Academy. This program will support our goal of scaling up the number of trainees we can support and help - while assisting workforce storages in the building trades of Connecticut. Watch for future communications as this new initiaive takes shape.
Our future success is tied directly to our sustainability goals for 2021. We want to thank our customers, donors, and all of our volunteers for their combined comittment to Fresh Start where we "Build Furniture, while Rebuilding Lives" .
The tagline for our organization, “Building Furniture, Rebuilding Lives,”describes our mission, our passion, and the outcome of our work at Fresh Start Pallet Products, Inc. This summer was a period of growth for producing new furniture and for increasing sales of our Core, Custom, and Contract work. That growth has enabled us to add additional employment trainees and to increase our capacity.
Balancing our growth with COVID-19 has been challenging. But, thus far, we’ve succeeded in keeping the virus from entering our doors. Training is particularly challenging because of the nature of our work because social distancing and wearing masks make it difficult to train people to operate machines and power tools that require diligent focus on safety and precision.
Our internal metrics are very encouraging. Thanks to our partnership with GlobalGiving and the generous donations of our other contributors, we’ve been able to double our sales income this calendar year and to increase the number of people we’re able to train to meet that sales demand. That’s helping us shift the balance of our income sources from gift dollars to dramatic increases in earned income; therefore,our year-end projections drive us closer to becoming more self-sustaining. We’re excited about new training opportunities for 2021 and remain resolute in maintaining a healthy and safe environment until all the COVID-19 challenges start to recede.
The Covid-19 virus has impacted Fresh Start Pallet Products in Hartford, CT in ways similar to most non-profits. Like so many challenges we've faced over the years we have adapted to the changing workplace environment. When the various "stay at home" governmental directives started rolling out we initially thought we would need to close the program.
However, like other businesses we have found ways to ensure we could legally remain open. In short we found that we qualified as an "essential" business in one area of our training and production operations. We were fortunate in that our contracts with the new Parkville Market in Hartford, CT fit the requirements. Parkville when fully operational will be the first Food Hall in the state. While their needs changed from indoor dining to curbside food pick-up, to this week of allowing the Market to expand to outside dining and limited indoor dinning. As the opening of CT has progressed we have worked very hard to produce new products for them and at the same time increased our training opportunities for our trainee/workers.
Not only has this challenge hit during the Covid-19 crisis we needed to be flexible with two of our Syrian Muslim refugees during Ramadan. Providing flexible working hours to ensure they can practice their faith has proven invaluable for their dietary needs and sleep patterns.
Fresh Start's income comes primarily from fundraising supported by GlobalGiving and the sales of furniture that is the end product of our training, thus making our Parkville Market relationship even more critical.
In short, the community partnership with Parkville Market and its owner Mr. Mouta and his team has been a lifeline to our survival during these challenging times. Though difficult at times, Fresh Start is stronger today than we could have ever imagined.
The shout out for this report is a 'THANK YOU TO OUR HEROES AT THE PARKVILLE MARKET AND GLOBAL GIVING WHEN WE NEEDED IT MOST" !!!
The goals and objectives of Fresh Start Pallet Products, Inc are being met and exceeded in several ways through our association with GlobalGiving.org. Lead by volunteers, Fresh Start has been working to train those who face homelessness, alcoholism and drug addiction in Hartford, Ct. As a Social Enterprise we rely on the sale of furniture and fundraising as the major sources of our income. New directions in our training, marketing and sales are now paying off. We are working hard to create a new approach to training our program participants, serving more individuals the creation of the Fresh Start Academy. Fresh Start has also rebalanced its approach to product sales by expanding our sales approach from focusing primarily on core products to also include contract work in partnership with local retail companies and creating custom products for our customers. The 3 C’s approach has improved our total sales revenue significantly.
We are also seeing great outcomes for our trainee/employees. For example, Mike who has been in our program for more than a year and one half will be a new trainee mentor in the new Fresh Start Academy. In addition, he is actively pursuing the rental of his own apartment as he leaves his current residential treatment program. Without a stable income this move would not be possible.
We also want to remind our friends and donors that GlobalGiving has provided our only online giving platform for Fresh Start for the last 4 months. As a partner we have increased our donor base significantly and in that period on time we have raised over $37,000 through online giving. We want to thank their support and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership. In December and January, we are exceeding our individual giving goals over last year by 60%!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to FRESH START PALLET PRODUCTS INC. today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.