On August 4th, Village to Village (VTV) turned 11 years old. It is hard to believe that what started out as a crazy idea in my (Matt) head has turned into what we are doing today. As I have reflected on the history of VTV over the past few weeks, I cannot help but think of all the people who have helped make this pipe dream a reality. So this post is a tribute to my “Village” who all have had a part in helping me achieve my dreams.

I want to start by thanking Terry Waggoner. Terry was gracious enough to listen to my dream and then take the initiative to call me a few days later and tell me that he wanted to help me make this happen. And that is exactly what he did. Without his support and connections at the very beginning, VTV would have never been more than a dream.

Secondly, I would like to thank all of our board members, past and present. According to Forbes, half of all nonprofits fail in the first 12 months. We have had some amazing people donate their time, gifts, and money as board members. Thank you to our past board members; Corinne Barker, James Boyd, and Tisha Alexander. Your part in helping us move forward as an organization is greatly appreciated. To our current board members; Rebecca Johnson, Toussaint Goudeaux, Stefanie Goudeaux, Heath Yoder, and Paula Kercher, I am so thankful to be able to work with you all on a regular basis and I could not ask for a better team to be on this journey with. Thank you for the faithfulness and leadership that you are currently giving to make VTV all that it can be.

Thirdly, we have two spouses of our board members who are very involved and whose impact cannot go unnoticed and they are Krista Yoder and Erik Johnson. These two serve in no “official” capacity with VTV but it is as if they do. Thank you both for doing your part to help spread the impact that VTV is having in our community.

Next is a board member but also our Chief Difference Maker, Anthony Troyer. Anthony, you have been a huge encouragement to me and I am sure that I do not tell you that enough. The difference you have made since joining VTV, has been gasoline on our small flame. I love having you as a teammate and you do amazing work. You truly are the Chief Difference Maker and I know that you will not only continue to make a difference in our organization but that you will make a difference in the lives of kids and families in our community.

Lastly, is my amazing and beautiful wife, Stacey, who is also a board member. You have been my life partner for over 24 years and your unending support and encouragement are something that gives me life. You have always supported my crazy dreams and ideas and you are and will always be my safe place. Thanks for being the best partner I could ever ask for and for being the constant in my life through many transitions and changes. I have no idea what the next 11 years might bring but I will cherish whatever time we are given together.

I guess I lied because I would like to thank one more “Village” and that is everyone who has given to support VTV over the past 11 years. Nonprofits rely on the generosity of others and I am so thankful for every single person, church, and business who has given to help keep VTV going. We literally could not do what we do without your support. So thank you all for being part of this “Village”