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2016 SSC Accomplishments Print E-mail

Strategic Goal:  Community Support and Development

  • The Beloveds Emergency Fund, sourced by direct donations and 5% of general donations received each month, has been running successfully for 18 months! In 2016 so far we have assisted 21 beloveds with their needs and disbursed over $29,000.   This year we also disbursed $32,000 in zakat funds entrusted to us to over 36 individuals and families.  We thank Allah for his abundant care and provision!  In addition to financial assistance, we connect beloveds in need of healing with healers at no charge and provided a listening heart and emotional support where needed.    If you or a beloved you know is in need, the application is at www.tinyurl.com/belovedsfund.  Learn more at www.suficommunities.org.

  • We recently held our first Worldwide Unity Prayer Call with beloveds from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, UK, US and Canada!  The intent of the SSC Board for this call was to provide a space for holding the heart of the WHOLE tariqa, not just the US.  Nothing can replace how our guide held the heart of each beloved and each community, but we wanted to do something that at least acknowledged that need and attempted to address it.  It was a beautiful and holy time together with Sidi’s students from all over.  There was even translation into Spanish for the Spanish speaking beloveds!  Inshallah this will be the first of many such gatherings to connect our hearts and pray for our guide, our brothers and sisters, and our world.  A link to the video and audio recording will be made available at www.suficommunities.org.

  • Community leaders from around the country continue to meet every two months to learn about each others’ communities and discuss topics of relevance to all.  

Strategic Goal:  Financial Stability

  • As part of our strategic plan implementation, the SSC Board created a Programming Committee in 2015 to develop and put in place new and expanded programming for our community and the Mother Center.  We hoped to have new programs in place this year, but in this transition year development has taken longer than expected.  We were able to offer the Embracing Ramadan Teleclass series in May, al hamdulillah, and are excited to report that we have several new programs slated for 2017!  Inshallah we will continue and expand our zawiyyah program with Amina al-Jamal, and add healing retreats, teacher and leadership workshops, as well as Islamic studies classes.  We will have more information about the schedule in the next 6 weeks, inshallah.

  • We continue to contain costs and make gains toward greater financial stability.  Inshallah with your help we will end the year with a small positive, al hamdulillah!  This means more of your donations can go toward projects with national impact as well as important improvements at the retreat center to further enhance the ability of our Mother Center to support itself fully, inshallah.

  • In 2017 we will continue to focus strongly on boosting our income generation, and keep working toward financial stability.   Thanks to beloveds, this year we were able to connect with several outside groups who rented our retreat center for their events, al hamdulillah, which supplements income and helps us cover our overhead when there are no others programs.  We expect all will hold events here again in 2017, inshallah!  If you know of any groups or organizations looking for a peaceful space for their retreat, please contact Salih Cotten.  Your referrals can make a difference!

  • Eliminating debt by paying back the Mortgage Circle – This year we sold the Meadow Lot (#5) above the RetreatCenter to a beloved who wanted to help reduce the mortgage debt, al hamdulillah and may Allah bless them.  They are holding the lot for a future buyer from the community, or may opt to develop it themselves.  We still have an accepted offer to purchase Lot 4, but challenges with septic approval have delayed closing.   We continue to set aside funds each month to repay our mortgage holders as we wait to complete the sales of the parcels.

Strategic Goal: Strengthening Our Non-Profit Organization


  • Strategic Planning – We have a working strategic plan and are currently updating and expanding our vision to make sure it and the strategic plan are aligned.  We recently completed, and the Board approved, our core purpose statement and core values.   We are now working on our future goal statement and vivid description of our envisioned future for our organization and community.    If you would like to know more or share some input, please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  See the Strategic planning page at www.suficommunities.org.

  • The SSC Board continues to have open seats for directors from the Southeast, Midwest, Mid Atlantic, Northwest and South Central regions.  If you might be interested in representing your area, please contact Wahida Kass ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) about how to connect with your Regional Council.  In 2017 we’ll be working to expand the representation and participation from communities on the board.

  • Mother Center/Shadhiliyya Sufi Retreat Center

    • We continued to keep our doors wide open!  No one who wanted to come to the Mother Center this year was turned away for lack of funds.  We hosted our usual events and plan to keep offering these.  It is different without of beloved guide, but there is also sweetness and familiarity in being with our brothers and sisters of the way.  When we gather in community with beloveds to study, Sidi is deeply here with us in spirit!  Join us next year for 10 Day Ramadan Retreat  ~ Hajj Retreat  ~  Sufi School West  ~  Sidi Commemoration Gathering.

    • We broadcast most of the programs held at the Mother Center this year, al hamdulillah.  (All are available for download on the Sufigifts.com website.)

    • Facility Improvements
      Maintenance and projects were scaled back this year to keep us on budget, but we did accomplish the following improvements:

      • Replaced or refurbished all the hand railings for the Mosque plaza area
      • Installed new LED motion detector lights for all the buildings.
      • Installed new vanity in the “men’s” mosque bathroom
      • Replaced the missing door frames and wall patches – a long outstanding need!
      • Replaced 6 beds with new frames and mattresses
      • New umbrellas for the Mosque Plaza seating area
      • Purchased new reflective signage for our front gate to make it easier for guests to find our entrance.


     
    2015 SSC Accomplishments Print E-mail

    Strategic Goal:  Community Support and Development

    • The Beloveds Emergency Fund, sourced by direct donations and 5% of general donations received each month, has been up and running successfully for 6 months! We have assisted 19 beloveds with their needs and disbursed over $25,000 year to date.   In addition to financial assistance, we have been able to connect beloveds in need of healing with healers at no charge and provided a listening heart and emotional support where needed.  Inshallah, in the next six months we will strive to reach more beloveds and expand the types of support we can offer.  If you or a beloved you know is in need, the application is at www.tinyurl.com/belovedsfund.  Learn more about this program.

    • Our new zawiyyah program at the Mother Center, with Amina al-Jamal in residence for beloveds 
    • to come and walk and drink, has been a blessing to many and we extend our grateful appreciation to Amina for coming to be with us and providing this holy service for the beloveds.  Inshallah, the program will continue to grow in 2016.  You can see upcoming schedule and contact information at our Center website,  www.suficenter.org.
    • Community leaders from around the country have been meeting every two months to learn about each others’ communities and discuss topics of relevance to all.
    Read more...
     
    Projects for 2015 Print E-mail

    Funding needed

    Description

    Estimated

    Operating Funds

    $19,000 1st Quarter operating loss after general donations (General donation goal for the 3 months was $21,000 vs Actual of $8,892).
    $19,000
    Center Priority Projects
    Yellow House UpgradeUpstairs Renovation Project (So far raised $6,000 which was spent mostly on outside repair of west (hillside) wall of the house).                                                                   
    • Living area             $5,000
    • Bathroom              $4,000
    • Kitchen Flooring      $2,000
    $11,000

    Walter Springs Development Projects          
    • Cleaning of Heart Pond Spring Box          $2,000
    • Simple mineral baths facilities for men & women –
      to open bathing                                $10,000
    $12,000

    Permaculture design for the Center parcel and Lot 2
    $3,000

    Center Infrastructure Upgrade Planning  - To help Center to move to USHS Accreditation Standard
    • Hire Civil Engineer to evaluate Water System, Septic System, Road, Mosque Plaza, Kitchen upgrade
    $10,000

    Build Firefighting “Station”  at the Center 
    • Including creating fire hydrant, shed for equipment, fire hose, dedicated water supply, clearing brush from around buildings.
    • Using existing good volume water pump we purchased last year.
    $5,000

    Mosque plaza make over project - Safety, accessibility
    Cost of phase 2 prep work:                                                                        
    1. Includes Architect time
      • Conceptual Design
      • Construction document
      • Drawings for Fundraising
    2. Soils Engineer Analysis
    3. Structural Engineer
    $10,000

    Replacement pickup truck
    $10,000

    Zawiyyah Building Assessment & Conservation
    • Track any potential building movement
    • Repair the rock wall in front corner by parking lot
    $2,000

    Yellow House Upgrade - Phase II 
    1. Reside South Wall - needs replacing due to weather and rot:  $6,000
    2. Downstairs Room:  Remove rug, clean any mold issues found and lay new wood flooring:          $6,000.
    $12,000

    Sleeping Room updates – 25 rooms  @ $1,800/Rm$45,000

    Mosque front corner water damage repair 
    $20,000

    Additional Water Storage tanks: 4-5 tanks of 5000 gallons each
    $15,000

    Total
    $174,000

    Projects in Planning Stage – Preliminary Cost Estimates

    1. Mosque Plaza                                   $ 80,000
    2. Kitchen Facility                                 $100,000
    3. Sustainable Power for the Center         $100,000
    $280,000

    Current Organizational Initiatives Underway (partial list)

    1. Present strategic plan to stakeholders for feedback and finalization in 2015
    2. Seat new board members and conduct training and orientation (April 2015)
    3. Creation of a comprehensive master site plan for Center and Lot 2 as part of strategic plan (Dec 2015)
    4. Creation of master permaculture plan for Center and Lot 2 as part of strategic plan (Dec 2015)
    5. Creation of core healing programs at Center to support our mission and increase use and revenue from Center (2015)
    6. Replace QuickBooks accounting program ($2,000 new cost annually, plus plug ins) with something less expensive more integrated with website (May 2015)
    7. Integration of data bases so the all update together (2nd quarter 2015)
    8. Prepare brochure for marketing retreat center to prospective guests and groups to increase occupancy and revenue (June 2015)
    9. Continue to enhance Center website (2015)
    10. Grow on-line Gift Shop Sales (2015)


     
    Print E-mail

    SSC and Mother Center Updates for 2014


    Strategic Goal:  Financial Stability

    • Paying back the Mortgage Circle - We have interested buyers for both available lots, inshallah, and are moving towards sales, al hamdulillah!
    • Continued cost saving measures to balance budget (after your generous donations)!
      • Again we say congratulations to the staff at the Mother Center for successfully keeping monthly operating expenses (including salaries, insurance, utilities, etc) down!  We continue to make strong gains toward better financial health.  This means more of your donations can go toward projects with national impact as well as important improvements at the retreat center to further enhance the ability of our Mother Center to support itself fully, inshallah.

    • Updated the SufiGifts.com website with a new look thanks to help from a beloved.  Please stop by! Look for more improvements in coming months.

    • We are currently developing and implementing a marketing plan to draw more groups and other visitors to stay at the Center with the help and expertise of a beloved.

    • At Sidi’s behest we have established a regular zawiyyah program with Amina al-Jamal in residence for beloveds to come and walk and drink.  So far the program is doing very well and we are deeply grateful to Amina for coming to be with us and provide this holy service for the beloveds.  You can see schedule and contact information at our new Center website, www.shadhiliyyasuficenter.org.
    • Increasing usage of Retreat Center facility to create more vibrancy and revenue
    • Facility Improvements
      • Spring House renovation completed in January – it’s a beautiful room and presently being used for the new zawiyyah program.  (Photos, right: Before & After) Donate to this project

      • Water harvesting check dams were created to slow water coming down the stream, to allow the ground water to recharge when the stream is flowing.

      • Added 20,000 gallons of water storage capacity to our system, including installing gutters and collecting rainwater from building roofs to reduce need to purchase water during drought times. (Photo, below)

      • Added more safety protocols and policies

      • Healing Springs Spa development - Completed the bathhouse spring box and are preparing the bathing site.  While we did not quite get the bathing area set up as expected last year, inshallah in the next few months we will have two antique bath tubsNew 2500 gal Water Tanks enclosed in tents for bathing.  Stay tuned for news! Donate to this project.

    Strategic Goal:  Community Support and Development

    • We completed one successful Strategic Planning retreat in May and plan to hold other events in 2015 to gather local feedback and input into our draft plan, due out in January 2015.  Visit www.suficenter.org for more information.

    • Kept our doors wide open!  No one who wanted to come to the Mother Center this year was turned away for lack of funds.

    • Established a Beloveds Emergency Fund sourced by donations and 5% of general donations received each month. Donate to this fund.

    • We broadcast many of Sidi’s talks from his time at the Mother Center this year.  (All are available for download on the new Sufigifts.com website.)

    Strategic Goal:  Sustainable Agriculture Development

    • A successful year-long permaculture education program completed in November.


    • Creating a multi-year permaculture plan for the Retreat Center grounds is a key priority; planning for preliminary aspects is underway as we look for a professional to prepare a full scale plan for us.  Donate to this project.

    • Young olive and other fruit trees have been planted around the Retreat Center.

    • Permaculture principles are being studied and applied; our goal is for all the Center’s decisions to be based on sustainability principles.


    Exciting plans for 2015!  Inshallah…

    • Continued development and refinement of a strategic plan for SSC, including incorporation of local community feedback through regional visioning sessions.
    • Mother Center/Shadhiliyyah Sufi Retreat Center-
      • Improve the Yellow House and make it the location of the new Women’s Zawiyyah.  Sidi has asked us to create a private space for the women who come to make retreat.

      • Create a guest/community kitchenette. Donate to this project.

      • Continued from 2014…Creating a mineral water drinking fountain in place of the heart pond at the mosque plaza as part of a planned renovation of the mosque plaza area to make it safer, more functional and more beautiful.  Donate to this project.

      • Continued from 2014…Open mineral water bathing facilities to the public. Donate to this project.

      • Continued from 2014…Continue planting of 100+ olive trees around the Center.  Donate to this project.

      • Continued from 2014…Continue expanding our water storage capacity and looking for additional water sources for the Center to support guests and gardens.

      • Continue to enhance safety protocols at the Mother Center.
    • National Community – Astagfirullah, we did not make as much progress as hoped in 2014 so continued from 2014…
      • Achieve full regional representation on the SSC Board
      • Hold member meeting in January 2015 to review past year’s progress
      • Resume quarterly newsletters
      • Upgrade www.suficenter.org website
     


    2017 - Our Goal


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    Or mail a check to SSC, PO Box 100, Pope Valley, CA 94567 Phone: 707-965-0700x21.

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    SSC is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.