Episode 41: Melissa Tubergen on Non-Profits are Entrepreneurial too!

business Nov 16, 2021
Melissa Tubergen knows Non-Profits are entrepreneurial, too!

Melissa Tubergen knows not all mompreneurs look alike! She is the mompreneur who started the non-profit, Give Hope RV. She has a lot to share about starting small and starting with what you know and how entrepreneurial non-profits really are!

Connect with Melissa on Facebook or her website -- and while you're there, please consider making a donation to this amazing minsitry.

Melissa's favorite gadget are her sticky notes! 

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This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Episode - 41

Jennifer Uren
Melissa Tubergen is a mom of six kids, bio and adopted, and a foster mom. She and her husband founded Give Hope RV where foster and adoptive families are offered rest and connection through the avenue of camping. She's a Jesus lover, homeschool Mama, a home hairstylist, and a runner, as well as a diet coke enthusiast. So welcome, Melissa.

Melissa Tubergen
Glad to be here with you, Jenn.

Jennifer Uren
Well, um, that gives us a lot of information about you actually, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about like where you grew up, and maybe your favorite place to camp?

Melissa Tubergen
Sure. So I grew up in Southwest Michigan, actually, the majority of my childhood was spent at the campground that hosts two of our RVs. My family manage that campground from the age - I was six until we were I was 16. So my childhood is camping. And so we haven't moved very far from there as we've grown our family and lived in so we're about just right not too far from Lake Michigan and just south of Holland here in the southwest area. So yeah,

Jennifer Uren
Well that's great. So camping was your - you didn't go camping you, you lived camping.

Melissa Tubergen
We lived camping. Yeah. So we there was a house, and there's a house there. And so that's where we lived. We didn't do a lot of camping growing up, but have a lot of camping experience. This summer, we took our kids camping up to the UP. And that was so fun, very primitive camping. We just stayed at some state forests. And it was so wonderful. I've never done that before. But we look forward to doing it again next summer. Because we usually do glamping, which is what we offer most of our our, we offer all of our families through Give Hope, which is very nice and very posh and very comfortable. But yes, it is very nice to unplug entirely and to just keep things really minimal. So that was a really fun thing for us to employ.

Jennifer Uren
That's great. My daughter goes to school up in Marquette in the UP and so we love it up there. It's beautiful.

Melissa Tubergen
Beautiful. Absolutley beautiful.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Well, let's we're going to talk today, you kind about mompreneurs in ministry. And let's kind of go back to the beginning with your story. So how did you meet your husband? And how did you guys end up on this path of adoption?

Melissa Tubergen
So our meeting is kind of funny. We were set up on a blind date. And the girl I worked with happens to be his then business partners wife. I'm 5' 11", so kind of tall. And she was like, "there's this great guy really want you to meet him." And I was like, "Great. Is he tall?" And she's like, "Yes". Fantastic, this will be great. And we met and he's not tall, David's shorter than I am. And what I didn't take into account is that she is very short. So everyone is tall to her. And so that's really how we met. We met in December. And we're married in July. And so we were married very quickly. We had our first kiddo shortly thereafter, and really just started the journey of parenthood and marriage within the year of meeting, and so we just kind of kept adding kids as the years went on. And that was just how we grew in our relationship too. We joke that we have seven things in common. It's Abby, Faith, Eli, Olivia, Beau, and Gertie and Jesus. Like that is all we've got. So I'm glad Jesus is in there, that's for sure. Because otherwise I don't think we'd be - well, I know we wouldn't be anywhere where we're at right now. And so that's about all we got. And so that was just really where we, how we met, like, where we landed. And then where what brought us to adoption in general really was something we had talked about our whole marriage, but we just kept having biological children. And so and people are already really like, at least in our area like four was a lot of kids. And so they really think you're weird if you go for another or anything like that. And so we were like, no, we're good. And then you factor in the financial ramifications of adding another child and then let alone adoption and costs and expenses. And the church we were attending at the time really it - was ending a series on money and the pastor that was there, he really just said if you are putting off something that God has called you to do, because of money, then you are missing out entirely on the blessing of Jesus, because he has great things in store when we choose to put our faith and trust in Him, versus our own financial security. And so we knew immediately that he was talking to us, we got in the car, I don't even think we were out of the parking lot. And Dave goes, "so you're gonna make that phone call tomorrow." And I said, "You bet." And that was all we said, like we didn't even I knew exactly what phone call he was talking about. So we called the local agency had a meeting that very same week, um, she laid out the different styles of adoption for us. And really just knew God is calling us into international adoption for various different reasons. I think adoption, when you step into it, it's a very personal choice. And it's different for everybody. And so you just have to follow God's leading. And for us, it was international adoption. We started in the Haiti program. And it got all of our paperwork there did all the things that we needed to send it there. And we sat for well over a year, due to some poor communication by our agency, and some just changes within the system of that was Haiti adoption. And at that time, our caseworker said, well, you have the choice to either stick it out for an undetermined amount of time, or you could switch to the China program. And I was like, let's just switch because we weren't feeling called to a specific place. We just said we were a home open to kids. And so we switched all of our paperwork, it got there in February, Groundhog's Day, so February 2, and we were open to either gender, which in China, most people think that it's girls that are very populous. And it's actually boys, there's three boys that wait to every one girl, and "because you're open to a boy," she said "you will get matched very, very quickly." And we were matched April 15, tax day, I saw his sweet face come up on my computer. And I knew immediately I said I, we didn't really care. Either way, we already have given them like our ramifications of what we felt like our family could manage and medically and I was like, I don't really care what's happening with this child. He's mine.

Jennifer Uren
Awww

Melissa Tubergen
So we just sent her an acceptance letter in and then we traveled that July. So February, April, July, brought home August for my sister's birthday. Yeah. And within six months, we were back, turned back around to start our paperwork to go back for our daughter Gertie, who is not from the same place at all. We did not know anything about her. But we just knew that there was a great need for families and really just felt the impression from the Lord to not wait. And because it's his timing and adoption rules change all the time, especially International. And so we are so glad we did because that - if we would have waited, we wouldn't have qualified. And then we wouldn't have so she has Down syndrome and is just a huge blessing in our family. And that kind of wraps this up at six kits. So for now, at least

Jennifer Uren
For now.

Melissa Tubergen
Until that changes and brings others I don't know we whatever. At this point.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. Well, that's great. I love that you're "like for now".

Melissa Tubergen
I can't say we're done because then the Lord will say and you thought...

Jennifer Uren
Well, that's what happened to us. We were done, and then boom, surprise adoption of two kids. So yeah, yeah, it'll, it changes things a lot, surprised or planned, it changes things. Yeah. So well one thing that many people may not realize is that starting a nonprofit is just like starting a for profit business. They just have different rules when it comes to filing taxes, particularly but they take the same amount of blood, sweat, and tears to start and maintain and, you know, finance and all this stuff. So why don't you tell us the story behind Give Hope RV and how you started that?

Melissa Tubergen
Sure. So international adoption re suggests that when you bring your kiddo home, because everything for them is so new that you do a process called cocooning and that really just is keeping the world really really small and staying home. And that sounded like absolute torture to me. And I was like, not happening. I am on the go kinda Mama. I do not enjoy being home at all. So this last year has been a bit of a trip. And so we just I was like, No, this can't happen. My parents have a camper at the place where we grew up. And we just ended up going there because it was only less than 10 minutes from our house where we live now. And it gave our four bio kids the opportunity to still be kids, and to go and do great fun things all around. And the beautiful thing about camping is you can be around a lot of people, but nobody's paying attention to your people like and so you're still very much connected as a family. And nobody was pining for his attention. And so he still learned very much all about us, who we were connecting with us joining in with us, it was fun and engaging play for him because it's playground and all sorts of things that you can just be very focused on together. He would get we'd get in the car, and we'd say we're going camping, and we would and he would go Yay. And we would get he knew the turns and he would be like camping, camping out the window. And so he just looked forward to it. It's just an avenue that we could unplug from the real world and just connect with each other. Because we don't do tablets, we don't do TV. We don't do screens while we're camping. And so it really was just focused and intentional time. So that was the beginning of August. And by September, our kids had started going back to school, but we would still go out on the weekends. And he just blossomed so much in that six weeks and Dave and I would go on walks and he was playing with his siblings and he would just - Dav- this is all Dave's idea actually. And I was the one that was like nice thought and, and he he just said, I think we should offer this other people, I think we should look for a camper and maybe we should offer it to other people and I kind of brushed it off because I knew what that meant is I was getting a lot of work. I was already feeling overwhelmed. And so it didn't take immediate feet to hit the ground on this idea because then we were adopting Gertie and then we were doing that kind of thing. And so come the summer of 2018 we really were more intentional about looking and seeing what was out there as far as a camper goes. We had acquired some additional funds through fundraising for Gertie's adoption that we it just kind of ended up being extra we completely fundraise 100% of both of their international adoptions and so we didn't feel like it was really our money and we wanted to put it to good use and so it gave us the opportunity to be able to there was a camper that came up for sale in that campground we had talked to the family about it and it was they were asking more than we had which is very common for that space and they we just said okay no problem we'll just pray about it and let - thanks for letting us look at it kind of a thing. And we really just prayed over it and just prayed and prayed and thought well this is where the Lord wants us to be then they're gonna bring the price down and he she called me like three or four weeks later and just said we really got to get out of this this is the bottom line that we can take take it or leave it and I was like sold because it was within a couple $100 of where we had prayed about and just knew that that were like a couple $100 is not worth...

Jennifer Uren
Right. Losing it or quibbling about it.

Melissa Tubergen
...losing it. And so we put it out there, announced that this is what we're doing we had talked to some family about it a little bit and I mean at this point we had six kids, we'd done two international adoptions, adopted a child with special needs. Beau has medical needs that require has required several different surgeries. Um, they're like whatever you guys are nuts and you're just gonna do it anyway. And so we purchased it and we really just put it out there and ask for donations because our goal was to make it be a very stress free stay time for our families. And so we wanted to provide everything that we possibly could to make it be an easy thing for them to come and vacate to. Essentially we were given this opportunity by my parents because they have given us for years a stress free fully provided for space camping. And because they have blessed that to our family, my sister's family, and my brother's family for years leading up to it even still now, we have the opportunity to do that for other people in so donations just started pouring in. It is a very well stocked kitchen. We do all linen service for them. So we do blankets and linens. So people don't have to bring any bedding pillows are provided their things there. And so we really just want families to have to pack food, clothes, toiletries and towels, that's our main, just those four easy things at the bare minimum, if they want to pack bikes and other extras they can. But if they're just like, we need to go, and we're going to go easy, then those are the four things they really need to cover for their stay and hack. You don't even have to bring towels if you can go two days without a shower so so that's something that we decided to do. And people just started sending stuff our way we put together an Amazon wishlist but then also said nothing has to be new, it just has to be in good working order. And we would come home and see boxes and boxes in front of our door or bags of things that people in our area would just drop off. Like we just cleaned our linen closet, here's all of our extra sheets in sizes that you needed and that kind of thing. And the Lord just kept pouring in blessing over blessing. And so we started that summer in August 2018. And we had, I think it was oh I actually have it written down 16 families Yeah, we served 16 families that season. Just from August to mid October and so that kind of hit the ground running gave us an opportunity to get things started so

Jennifer Uren
Oh well that's that's wonderful. And I know, I've been to two of your your locations and so you know I they're both they're both wonderful and very different amenities I mean different experiences. But so how many families approximately get to stay with Give Hope RV each summer?

Melissa Tubergen
Well, like you said, we now have more than one location. So that's happened this summer, this summer was our first summer with three locations, and that the addition of the two, RVs is something only God can do all together. He at the end of 2019, uh, 2020 Camping season there was a family that's local to us. That said, we just want to give you our camper. We aren't campers anymore, we want to be boaters and so we just love adoption, they are an adoptive family themselves. And we just want you to have it use it and bless families and so that's how we acquired our second RV and then our third RV is at the same campground as our first and that one came up for sale in the spring. We had the opportunity to look at it put a down payment on it and it gave us five weeks to fundraise $10,600. 10 days later we got the keys because the Lord had brought it in and it was just absolutely amazing to watch him just continue to bless him bless and bless and so we went from having one RV for two and a half summers and now this year we have the three RVs and that is just something that is only God could have done that and so we just are so thankful for the opportunity to be able to serve 120 families in the three spaces that he has provided for us so we're super thankful for that.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah that's amazing. And I know I mean I know that you don't do you don't do repeats in one summer like I mean that's 120 different families being served. That's amazing.

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, um, the beginning of this season we had 100 or no I'm sorry, we have 358 families apply to stay with us this season from multiple states. So we're not just a West Michigan endeavor though that's where we're located. We don't take just Michigan families and we literally have done used only used Facebook as a method of advertisement and so we haven't tapped in really too many agencies or churches we I did my third church visit this summer that's I mean, we definitely want to do more. But there's already such a huge need for families to have a space to stay that we can't service we can serve right now about a third of the people that applied today. You're just registered it's really more of a registration process than the application that registered to stay and so we haven't put a ton of work into getting a lot of advertisement out there because we want to be able to serve more families but I guess we need to up our advertising games hopefully we can get more spaces to serve more people. So

Jennifer Uren
it is a it's it's a tricky balance because I mean word of mouth has spread I mean, I didn't find you on Facebook until well after I was told about you and that we should apply. But so people are talking, I used to help run a food pantry. And we discovered that we did not have to advertise our services - that went like wildfire fire people came to us, it was the other side of fundraising and relationship building with donors that we didn't have a lot of time for, because we're serving people. But that that's where we needed to really get out and grow. And because if we didn't have the money coming in, we couldn't serve the people and it, it becomes this tricky balance.

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah. And that's the thing, where we're finding ourselves now knowing that people will hear about us. So now we're, like shifting gears to continue to love on these families that come, but also to shift and make relationships and to pour into the people that have already been participatory, into the ministry to just thank them and to be so appreciative of the work that they're doing because we have so many volunteers that come up alongside of us to help do laundry turnaround service to literally just pair up with families and just pray for them. And then it's the families that and businesses that choose to donate and to step in and that way, and just want them to know how thankful we are for them. And so working with our board, to make that happen a little bit better, and to turn our focus in that capacity, because we know God's gonna bring the people we don't question that.

Jennifer Uren
Well, and that's my hope from this podcast is that people will hear and if they need to come for the respite and the that, that they'll apply and get into that system. But that really, you know, we see all of these adoption fundraisers and they're important and they're, they're good to participate in. But sometimes you want to help at a higher level where you help more people. And this is one of those ways where you can say, I'm going to I'm going to donate to Give Hope RV because I'm an impact 120 adoptive families and not just one. And so this is just a different way to serve and know that you're, you're impacting more people through the process. So my hope is that, you know, as people hear about that side, that they will, they will want to be part of the supporting of Give Hope RV.

Melissa Tubergen
Well, I appreciate that so much. And I think that that really is where we're at, like in just looking at things and wanting people just to see that not everybody can adopt, not everybody's gonna foster, but the support network needs to be there for families that do. And we're looking to be one avenue of that. So not everybody's gonna start a nonprofit, either a ministry or it's something to like, help them in that capacity, but they can come up alongside of and that is them offering foster care and adoptive care. You don't have to be a foster parent or an adoptive parent, but you can offer the care that foster and adoptive families need. And this is one avenue that they can do that through and we had a donor volunteer appreciation dinner last week. And we had a couple of families that spoke at it that just expressed their thanks to the volunteers and the donors. And one of the families that spoke they just had they had the opportunity like you to stay twice. And we actually have a personal connection with them. We traveled when they traveled to get dirt, we got Gertie, they got their son, we traveled together. And so they just explained though that through their very first day, which came about a year after we brought our kids home that all of their like extended support had dwindled. There wasn't really anybody around that was still giving them constant support. And they're like this opportunity enveloped in support and the people that step in and pray or do laundry or have donated money, you were a part of that enveloping us into feeling like we have hope. And we know that we're going to be okay. Their adoption looked very different than ours with Gertie. It was it's been a very trying experience. They have been amazing. And I'm so proud of them for just sticking with it. Because and things are going very well now. But it was very difficult that first year two years. And they just said the fact that you were here and offered us the opportunity to connect and be with our kids. We couldn't have done it otherwise.

Jennifer Uren
Yes.

Melissa Tubergen
Because even even just looking at the cost of adoption like you've put all of your resources into that they did all they like we couldn't have gotten away. We couldn't have afforded it. We had to pay it. We're paying off these different adoption expenses, that kind of thing and But we could have never gotten away. And this provided them an opportunity to step away.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Melissa Tubergen
And be together with their boys. So

Jennifer Uren
Yes, so people register. Yeah, but how do you decide who actually gets to stay because you said 360, registrations and 120 spaces.

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, everything goes into a lottery. And so there's your registration does provide us with some information, but your information doesn't put you at a higher level than somebody else. Just like you've stayed twice, and other people have stayed twice. That doesn't discount you for staying another time. People that have had to cancel for various reasons that doesn't discount them for staying another time. But it does give us the opportunity just to kind of throw everyone in a hat and pull it out and just put everybody on equal playing field. So whether you register the very first day, or you register the very last day that we have registration open, then you have the opportunity to be at the same level. And so that's kind of really how we've handled it so far. Because we have three spaces now we have the opportunity to offer more emergency care spaces that we've allotted for this season, we allotted one time in each month, we only needed to utilize two of those times and then we never left the spaces empty, we would just put them up for grabs and say that they were open.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Melissa Tubergen
And it's a first come first serve, reply on our email list. And so that's really how we filled it. So far, the whole all four seasons, it's just been lottery style, and people register to stay. And that's probably what we'll continue doing this coming season just because it seems to be the most efficient to not like put some over another or people to feel left out or overlooked. And our we would love to serve the people that have been registering for four years.

Jennifer Uren
But haven't gotten, yes, I know.

Melissa Tubergen
But it's hard to know, like who those people are even because they all just go in a hat. So

Jennifer Uren
Well, and it's hard. I mean, what this does is this really is saying, okay, God, you need to provide the names as I pull them out the right people, because it is really hard to be a judge and compare a situation unless you're in it. I mean, it can look like they don't really need it, but they might need it way more than the person who you think needs it. And this way you're not

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, and some people are really good writers. And some people are not really good writers. And some people can give a really good story, but just 'cuz they want the experience, but they don't have a need. And so we didn't want any of that we just wanted here you are.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, We've often said, we've often said the best missionaries are the worst fundraisers and the best fundraisers can be the worst missionaries. And you know, that's kind of what you're saying, you know,

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, and so and our emergency spaces get filled, they have to be referred to us by either an agency outline ministry or a church and so it can't be somebody that says, Well, we tried for years I have an emergency you know, but um, that way we know that they're being connected and cared for as well alongside of our care that we can offer them but that they have a church that they're connected with or another ministry or an agency that they're walking alongside of as well.

Jennifer Uren
So that's the only crit- that's the only spot that really has a criteria is the emergency ones.

Melissa Tubergen
Correct.

Jennifer Uren
I can tell you I see your emails come through and you're like I have an opening and like 42 seconds later filled you know you can barely breathe!

Melissa Tubergen
I know we've gotten a few replies from people that are like that was how does it go so fast? I'm like, I don't know when it's gone and so the Lord fills it that's for sure and the right people get in

Jennifer Uren
Well you've got three spots I know you would love more I think you've told me your dream would be to just have a dedicated campground for all of this but you know it's not as simple as somebody donating another camper because you need the location you need all the amenities for it, there's maintenance there's all those costs. So how much does it cost to operate a one RV each year?

Melissa Tubergen
Just to keep it baseline running, we estimate it to be about $5,000 per space, and that covers lot rent, electrical costs, propane, and that kind of thing. It does vary a little bit based on location. So um, it just kind of wiggles out to be about $5,000 per location and so we do look for we do what we provide all all the disposables that people would need, such as trash bags, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, like a kitchen scrubbing sponge, they get a new one. So those kinds of things we do ask for donation based. We've had organizations that have picked that up and then taking care of the whole season or something like that each year. So if that wasn't taken care of the cost of being more. But right now it's about $5,000. And that, I can see the cost rising here soon, campgrounds are becoming more expensive to have a dedicated space at.

Jennifer Uren
There's more demand. Yes, yeah. So the irony of starting a ministry that offers rest is that it's a lot of work. So what was the hardest thing that you faced when it came to sort of integrating this ministry with your home and family, so that it didn't, it didn't consume you guys and tip that scale to running you ragged? You know?

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, I think part of it is just understanding that some of it is a lot of ebb and flow. So beginning of the season, springtime is ultimately going to be really, really busy, because you're getting things all set up your winter, I like de winterizing all of your spaces, you're setting up volunteers, you're setting up people to come and stay, and so much of it, I still feel like is a huge learning curve. For us, as we grow, there's just a lot of growing pains that come along with it, which are good, and it's good for us to learn even more accessible resources that are available to us. And we're even exploring that for this coming year, based on how long it took me to connect with well over 120 families to get them their spaces, say simply because, I mean, you make a call and then what you do, when you get towards the end of the line, there's not as many spaces available. So I usually like to call people to fill the spaces as you go and see what's available for them. But, um, I think one thing we've always done with our kids is we've involved them in the work that we do, we don't exclude them from it. And so instead of making space for this is my time to work and Give Hope and this is my time to be with my family. So often it's, we are a family that ministers and so we go together, and we do this together. So that we can spend time with our kids, but so that they can create and cultivate within them a mission mindset, so that they can learn to serve a lot of people well, and that they just, it's just what we do in life. It's how we do life together. And so and then there has been the times where I've had to allocate specific time to do specific things. And so making space in my calendar to have time to welcome the families at the locations when, when we every Monday and every Friday, so making that space and then choosing to not as best I can schedule other things in that time. And so it just really gives us the opportunity for me to focus on what I need to do. As we walk on people and stuff like that, but our kids all help very much. And there's been many times where I've sent a kid, our oldest out to say, okay, you're on for welcoming families tonight because Mama's got to be a mama and so she'll go, "Okay!" That's not really her thing.

Jennifer Uren
But she'll do it.

Melissa Tubergen
It grows her, and it changes her and it puts her in a new environment, which is so good. It's such a great way to just grow personally, is when you're stretched and pulled outside of your comfort zone. And so that's it's really been a good thing for all of our family.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. And what a safe way to do that. I mean, if she's around the space, she's she's part of it. You're not throwing her to the wolves. You're just gonna go a little further.

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah.

Jennifer Uren
You can do it.

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Uren
So well good, well, for the mompreneur, who's listening, who's kind of going, I want to do something, but I don't know that I want to start a business, but this nonprofit, this ministry idea is really resonating. What, what is one simple step she could take to kind of move forward to explore that or move, move towards making that happen?

Melissa Tubergen
Sure. So I would say if you've never involved yourself, and if you're like, I think this is what I'd like to do. I would start by coming up alongside something that's pre-existing, that shares your passion in your heart and see what they're offering, see how you can step in and help and maybe alleviate some of the burden from somebody who's already doing all the work or the majority of the work. I do a collaborative with several other women that are working avenues that support foster and adoptive care and all of them are women that are unpaid for the work that they do. Um, all of us are. And we just choose to spend a fair amount of our week, investing in and pouring into other families that need it. And we're so I'm so thankful for their example. And so I know there's a lot of opportunities out there that women and people would welcome somebody to come in alongside of it, maybe though if you're looking at going and saying, This is what I feel like I have to offer and there's nothing like this out there. Because the women I connect with, none of us cover the same thing. And so we all do very different parts that offer care support, and that kind of thing for foster and adoptive families. And so it just could be, you have that opportunity. So I would connect with just a couple people and see if they'd be willing to help you. Maybe you do attend a local church and see if your church is willing to help you at all, in supporting you. And sometimes you just have to say, we're doing it. And that's exactly what we did is we just said, we're doing it, here we go, we feel like the Lord has led us in this direction. That is one of the things that in our family and in our married life, my husband, I just said, we have open hands, Lord, we want you to use us in whichever way you want, which is so scary to live your life in that way because there's so many days, I just feel very maxed out. And like I cannot add another one thing. Um, but I know that in his timing, he will make all things right, and he will have us be involved in exactly what he needs us to be involved in. And so I think sometimes we just have to make that big leap and say, you laid this on my heart. Here I go. And ask for help. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. We did no clue we didn't become an official nonprofit until August of 2020.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Melissa Tubergen
So that we just kind of did it all on our own and people still donated to allow us to be able to keep things going. They weren't looking for a tax deduction. And so they were just love the the ministry, they loved our heart, and they just wanted to support it. And so you don't have to be an official nonprofit for people to come up alongside of you and give you more. Even the family that donated the camper, they didn't even know that we were a nonprofit at the time. They were not in it for the tax deduction. They literally were just in it to be a blessing for like, yeah. Oh, you are Oh, great perk, you know, like you are in ministry, please. Yeah, then we'll give it to you. They just wanted to serve the Lord. And I think that that's when you can find people that just want to serve the Lord and want to minister to him and to be his hands and feet. Those are your people.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, well, and two things I heard you say - you didn't explicitly say them - but one is, you were very clear with what you're doing. You're not serving the adoption community you're offering, you know, this, this slice of it, so you had clarity and what your specific piece of it was. But the other was, you just did it, you served 16 families that first time, which, when you compare it to the 120, doesn't seem like very many, but that was your start. And you've grown, you didn't start out going, we're gonna serve 150 families this summer. And you know, and go now you just started. So I love that. I love that I took your business card that you've put in the binder, and I got a magnet for the back. So we've got the magnet on our fridge.

Melissa Tubergen
Oh, I love it!

Jennifer Uren
So we can we can think of it all the time. Well, this has been a great conversation. And you know, one of the things that I ask every guest because I'm a gadget girl, if there's a tool, a gadget, something that is going to make life simpler, I am all about it. So I love to find out what is your favorite time saving gadget, system, or tool.

Melissa Tubergen
So it's really simple, but I would say post it notes. I love a good post it. I am a mama that takes it and because of with all the kids like you, I'll just set out six and I put their name at the top and then I find two or three things that they can do that day that need to get done. And so that it's just the easy like 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 and then they just rip it off and then throw it away when they're done. Or it gives me the opportunity to do the same thing. So I'll make some sticky notes that say give hope family you know, I tend to dabble my hands in a lot of different things. And so whatever my hand is at at that moment, so I'll make different stickies for that and so and then just jot down the things I need to get done in that day. Some of mine had moved into being an actual notebook versus a sticky.

Jennifer Uren
Okay. Yes.

Melissa Tubergen
'Cuz there so many things!

Jennifer Uren
And every day Yeah. It's got 12 steps. .

Melissa Tubergen
Yeah. And so I'm moving that but it just has become a very easy system. I'm not a very complicated person, I actually was just talking to my sister today. I was like, I'm very organized, and I need to be a little more organized. And so that's not God's gifting to me.

Jennifer Uren
Well, that's why you ask for help, right? Yes. Oh, well, Melissa, how can people connect with you and Give Hope RV and maybe even get on your email list?

Melissa Tubergen
Sure. So I would say just go to our website, givehoperv.com and there's gonna be plenty of ways for you to register to help, donate, offer supplies or anything like that and join our email list or you can email us directly at [email protected]

Jennifer Uren
Excellent. Well, thank you so much for for sharing with us today. This has been great.

Melissa Tubergen
Thanks for having me, Jenn.

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