Dear Friends of Ruby’s!
What a joy it was this morning to wake up and notice a slight burst of sunshine on these rather cold days. As I opened my eyes, I couldn’t help but think about how thankful I am for the gift of thousands of people: Food donors, cash donors, Guests attending the Pop-Up Pantries, Volunteers, Team leaders, Site leaders, Sponsoring Churches and our dedicated employees. As I consider these things, my mind goes back to the first distribution we had with about 800 families in Duluth, MN . I visualize it often when we start a new Pop-Up Pantry and am reminded how God has blessed us. So this letter goes out to everyone who supports or is involved with Ruby’s Heart in one way or another.
Today we have 78 Pop-Up Pantries which includes 14 new sites that started this year. We currently own, free and clear, 14 semi tractors, about 30 trailers, with a loan on 9 of them, for a total about $100,000, as well as multiple smaller trucks, pickups and automobiles that are also fully paid. Plus, we have a beautiful 47 passenger Coach Bus for sale. Our revenue is about $3,500,000 from our distributions with 10% of that staying with the sponsoring churches to be used for benevolence.
We also have the following locations:
- 8,000 square foot office building
- 11,000 square foot & 20,000 square foot warehouse with 60×100’ foot shop, 6,000 square foot freezer and 2,000 square foot cooler in North Branch, MN
- 20,000 square foot distribution center in Waupaca, WI
- 46,000 square foot Ministry Center in Luck, WI with 52 bedrooms, free medical and dental wing and an on-site beauty shop
- 11,000 square foot thrift store and food shelf in Siren, WI
- 24,000 square foot affiliated Samaritan Way Thrift Store in Elk River, MN
We owe about $1.6 million on everything not counting the Elk River space. The properties have a resale value of over $8,000,000 plus over $1,000,000 in equipment. Therefore, we are so thankful. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Our goal this next year is to accumulate a substantial amount of cash base to back our operation. After 15 years we have expanded to 44 employees paying out over $115,000 per month in payroll plus benefits, we think it is time to have a great revenue base for a back drop to use for stable growth. We are presently looking at Distribution Center buildings in Fergus Falls or Moorhead, MN plus in Northeastern Iowa for 2020, as we receive daily emails asking us about expanding into other areas of MN, WI and other states. We can expand and serve more people because of the generosity of our food donors.
The purpose of this letter is to wish you the happiest Thanksgiving, but we have other needs we would like to communicate with you. First, we need to accumulate cash to back our expansion and to secure additional semi tractors and reefer trailers, as well making managing cash flow easier as we maintain distribution to our current Pop-Up Pantry sites and add additional locations. Secondly, we had to put a new furnace in our ministry center in Luck, WI. The first bid was $175,000 but through negotiations we were able to purchase it for $52,500. We have paid down $20,000 but we still need an additional $32,500. Any help would be appreciated! Thirdly, our Ruby’s Pantry website has maxed itself out of handling all the data we are asking it to. We have been using a smaller software version but now we must have the backside of our system rebuilt to handle all the online transactions. This is a $75,000 one-time improvement cost with a management contract as part of all our software.
Lastly, we always have families in need of food. Consider being a sponsor of a family at one of our Pop-Up Pantry locations. A $20 donation feeds a family of 4 for a month. Please consider helping a family receive food during the month. Even a small donation can help a family receive groceries during the month.
With the holiday season upon us, I ask that God will be a great blessing to you and your family this year. You can donate by visiting our website at www.rubyspantry.org/donate or by mailing a check anytime to Ruby’s Heart, 5833 Pecan Street, North Branch, MN 55056.
Thank you for your precious support.
Founder and Executive Director