Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fundraising Update & kicking off a new semester...

It's been a very encouraging couple of days! Last Wednesday, I sent out a newsletter (click here to read it), letting people know that my RUF support account was in bad shape, and I was worried about being able to finish out the semester working with RUF. At that point, I was really discouraged (and scared). I realized just how dependent my job (and with that my ability to pay rent, eat, etc.) is on the generosity of others... and I realized that I have no way of guaranteeing that the money will be there. It's a pretty helpless feeling! Well, that was last week... then over the past few days, donations came pouring in. It's been less than a week since I sent out my newsletter, and at that point, I still had $6,599 left to raise. In less than 7 days, I've received $3,600 in new donations, leaving me with only $2,999 left to raise!!  Many of those donations came from totally unexpected donors and/or from people that I know are in tight financial situations themselves. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's so humbling and so encouraging. God has shown me once again that He IS faithful (even when I start to doubt it).

I did a little math, and here's what $2,999 looks like broken down into "bite-sized" pieces...
3 donors giving $500
3 donors giving $250
4 donors giving $100
4 donors giving $50
6 donors giving $25

If you would like to make a donation (of any size - it all adds up!) and help me finish out this semester with RUF, click on the Support Me tab at the top of the page for information on where the money goes how to make a donation. (And feel free to shoot me an email at annie.hall@ruf.org if you have any questions!)

The semester has been fun so far - it's hard to believe we're only on our third week! We will have our third Large Group of the semester tomorrow, and we've been having an encouraging turnout each week so far! Brian is preaching a sermon series on the life and claims of Jesus this semester. Please pray that God would use his messages in the hearts and lives of WCU students! Lately, students have started being more proactive about planning spontaneous events (bonfires, game nights, movie nights, etc.) and inviting everyone - including people they don't know as well and new students - to join in! It's an encouraging indication that God has been building community within RUF and has caused us to grow in unity. Our Monday Night Fellowship and small groups will be kicking off next week, we have our first Not-A-Date Night of the semester planned for February 14th, and we will be taking our Servant Teams (groups of students that serve RUF in different ways - event planning, Large Group/music, or prayer) on the first-ever RUF at WCU Servant Team Retreat Feb 21-23!! It's shaping up to be an exciting semester, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for us!

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support!!
Much love,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Here's a link to my most recent newsletter... check it out! http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=604f169e40ea8a4a228332b5a&id=557be50ed8

If you would like to receive my email and/or snail mail updates, click the Join my mailing list tab to sign up!

Check out the post below for a recap and pictures of the fall semester! :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fall 2013 Semester Recap!

Another semester has come and gone! It's been a busy couple of months...

The semester kicked off with Valley Ballyhoo (a big student involvement fair) on August 17. We set up an RUF table where the campus minister, Rev. Brian Thomas, some students, and I talked to incoming students and handed out RUF cups and information about RUF at WCU. It was a lot of fun... and busy! (Hence the lack of pictures.)

Our first Large Group took place on August 21, and we continued to meet every Wednesday night for a time of fellowship, worship, and a sermon from Brain.

Brian and his wife Jessica opened their home to freshman and sophomores every week this semester for Monday Night Fellowship - a free home-cooked meal and a chance to hang out and get to know each other. We really enjoyed this and decided to continue doing Monday Night Fellowship in the spring, and to open it up to everyone! Other weekly activities this semester included Girls Night (Bible study and fellowship at my house every Thursday night), and Guys Night (hang out time and Bible study with Brian).

On September 5, we had another Not-A-Date Night. This is a favorite here at WCU, and we do it at least once every semester! We divide students up into groups of about 5-8 students, and each group eats dinner together and then participates in a group activity of some sort before joining up with the rest of the groups. It gives new students a chance to connect in a smaller (hopefully less intimidating) setting, and allows students that don't usually hang out with each other to get to know one another better. This time, the group activity was a game called "Bigger and Better". Each group started off with a paperclip, and after dinner they set out to find someone who was willing to trade them something bigger or better for the paper clip, and then they went on to trade THAT object for something bigger or better, and so on. Students came back with all kinds of crazy objects and a lot of crazy stories!

We took 30 students to the Southeastern RUF Fall Conference September 20-22. Students from Clemson, Davidson, Erskine, Furman, Johnson & Wales, NC State, UT Knoxville, Wake Forest, Winthrop, Wofford, and of course Western Carolina (about 400 total) gathered at Camp Graystone in Tuxedo, NC for a weekend of fellowship, Bible study, and enjoying the great outdoors. Unfortunately it rained most of the day on Saturday, but we still had fun! Many of the students that came were new to RUF, and I enjoyed getting to know them better and watching students form new friendships. 

Fall semester is football season, and although WCU is more known for having a good marching band than a good football team, we love tailgating! Go Cats!!

In October, I attended RUF intern training in Atlanta. Training is always both challenging and encouraging, and I really enjoy spending time with the other RUF interns! There are currently a little over 100 interns total working with RUF all over the States! This training was bittersweet - most of my fellow 2nd-year interns (pictured below) will be finishing the internship at the end of this semester, and it was our last training all together! I am so thankful for the time I've gotten to spend with all of them, and I am going to miss seeing them all at training every few months!

Another favorite RUF event is our annual Hoedown! We had apple cider, homemade goodies, games, and my roommate "Hoedown Heidi" taught us some square dances and line dances!

We wrapped up the semester with a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party in December!

It has been a busy, crazy, and FUN semester! I'm enjoying some time off, and I'm glad for a chance to spend some time with family and friends in Germany, but I'm looking forward to next semester!! I still have to raise about $7,000 in order to continue working with RUF at WCU through the end of the fall semester, so if you are at all interested in making a donation, please click on the Support Me tab to find out how you can do that and where the money goes. $21,075 has already been donated for the 2013-2014 school year, and I am SO grateful to all of you have played a part in that!! 

Merry Christmas, everyone!! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Help RUF improve!

Hi everyone! RUF is working on improving the national website (www.ruf.org), newsletters, and other forms of communication with students and donors, and we would LOVE to have your input! If you have the time (it should take about 5 minutes), we'd really appreciate it if you'd fill out this survey!

CLICK HERE: https://fivestone.wufoo.com/forms/donors/

The fall semester is HERE!! Freshman move-in is tomorrow, and Valley Ballyhoo (a big student involvement fair) is on Saturday! Brian and I, as well as some RUF students will be spending the weekend meeting incoming freshmen and trying to help them move in and get settled and connected on campus. Please pray for us and for the freshmen as they make a pretty BIG life transition!

SUPPORT UPDATE: I am still waiting for a few donations to be processed before I'll know the exact amount, but I still need to raise an estimated $13,500 for this coming school year. If my support account doesn't get a pretty significant boost before the end of the month, I'll be forced to take time off from working on campus in order to focus on support raising. Please be praying for me in the next few weeks - both that the money would come in and that I would trust God rather than worry! And if you're able to donate, please do!! Even little donations are a big encouragement.

Friends, if you would be willing to buy me two cups of coffee a month, then consider making a pledge for $5/month. If you'd be willing to pay for my lunch once a month, consider making a pledge for $10 or $15 per month. Little donations like that (including one-time donations) really help out! (A HUGE chunk of my support for last year came from small, one-time donations from dozens of people.) 
Check out the Support me tab at the top of the page for more information about donating... and if you have any questions, shoot me an email at annie.hall@ruf.org!

Thanks everyone, much love!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For those of you on Bloglovin'...

Quick shoutout: Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Ok, that's it. :) Have a great day!

Check back soon for more updates... Freshmen Move-In Day is 9 days away, and after that things are gonna get CRAZY up in here!! Can't wait.