Special Year-End Matching Opportunity
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I have some great news! A few of our faithful friends have issued a significant Year-End Matching Fund Challenge. Therefore, provided they are dated on or before December 31st, your generous contributions will be doubled up to $40,000!
As you prayerfully consider helping us meet that goal, let me bring you up to speed with the many exciting things that are happening.
Although the pandemic interrupted our in-person ministry for a while, I am thrilled to report that we are running full steam ahead! As you can see in our enclosed Executive Summary, by the end of 2021 we will have completed six Onsite Programs, three weeks of our LEAD Michigan Summer Camp, and two LEAD Programs in Iowa and Wisconsin. That adds up to more than 750 students impacted by the life-transforming SSI experience. Furthermore, we hosted a wonderfully successful Annual Banquet with keynote speaker Craig DeRoche.
In addition to these great successes, we have embarked on a plan to pass the torch of leadership for SSI into the future. Let me explain.
As many of you know, our vision from the beginning was to equip, engage, and empower the next generation for Christ. It is through the generosity of so many people like you that we have seen that vision being realized right before our eyes! In fact, there are many former SSI students serving in leadership roles throughout Michigan and the nation. And last year we watched as our first alumnus was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives. What a reward to see so much good fruit over the years!
For me, this journey from small beginnings in the mid-1990s has been exhilarating, rewarding, challenging, and so worth the sacrifice. To everything, however, there is a season, and we are now entering an exciting new chapter in the history of SSI! Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall commend Your works to another.”
And so, it is now time for new leadership to help carry the mission and ministry of SSI forward, and I am excited to announce that one of our own SSI alumni, Joe Cecil, is stepping up to the challenge. As a high school student, he attended our LEAD Summer Program for three years beginning in 2009 and completed the House, Senate, and Media Tracks. Over the years, Joe continued to help by lobbying for our summer Legislative Tracks and serving as an aide-de-camp. In his professional career, he worked with a variety of state and local political campaigns and spent four years working for the Michigan House of Representatives as a Legislative Director and Member Advisor. In 2015, Joe married Charlie Ann, and together they are raising their growing family.
Since being hired as our COO two years ago, we have discussed the possibility of him assuming the leadership of SSI long-term. During this time, he has increasingly taken responsibility for the management of all aspects of the organization and, in addition, successfully assumed the teaching responsibilities for our LEAD and Onsite Programs with a dynamic communication style that effectively connects with the students.
I, along with the SSI Board, have come to believe that Joe has the leadership capacity, the skill set, and the vision to carry the ministry forward. In short, we trust him and believe that he is the right man for the future.
Therefore, during our Banquet in September we announced Joe Cecil as the new President assuming full responsibility for the leadership of SSI. You can watch that announcement here.
I will remain the CEO during a transition period and will focus on raising funds and expanding to other states while helping the team however I can. But for now, it is amazing that God has brought all this to pass, and I am anticipating that He will continue to bless SSI under Joe’s leadership far into the future!
Whatever success SSI has experienced is due to God’s favor and faithfulness along with His provision through His people! To everyone who has stood with us along the way…THANK YOU!! And if you are new to SSI, please know that it would be an honor to be considered worthy of your support!
As we come to the end of 2021, you can be such a blessing through a generous year-end financial gift. Remember, every donation dated on or before December 31st will be matched up to $40,000. What an incredible opportunity to double your support!
Would you consider a generous tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, $250, or $500?
Or maybe God has blessed you abundantly and you could contribute $500, $1,000, $2,000, or even $5,000?
As always, a gift of any amount will go a long way toward helping us reach our goal!
Please know that your generosity will be a great encouragement and will send a strong vote of confidence for Joe and the SSI team as we launch into a new season of growth and fruitfulness!
Thank you for joining us in this incredible vision as we “Pass the Torch” to the next generation!
With Much Gratitude,
Donate by December 31st
Use the form below to make a credit card contribution, or send a check made out to SSI, 4407 W. St. Joe Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. All gifts are tax-deductible!