By Deb Steiner

A few months back, I emailed Project HOPEFUL Executive Director, Carolyn Twietmeyer, and asked whether I could sign up Project HOPEFUL in a contest run by Cultivate Wines.  We were familiar with the competition because, among other ways, we had advocated for other much-loved organizations in the same contest in previous quarters of voting.  Carolyn agreed that we could give it a try.  Our thought was that if we didn’t succeed in receiving a grant, at least we would have the opportunity to educate people about Project HOPEFUL and waiting children around the world.  Little did we know…..




Prior to the kick off of the Cultivate Wines voting, we strategized and brainstormed; prayed and strategized some more.  We didn’t really know what we were doing, but we were good at appearing as if we did!  We developed a staff schedule for posting about the vote, which promptly went out the window when voting began.  We circulated and re-circulated the rules, determined not to blow it, even inadvertently.


For two months – 61 days – we begged, cajoled, pleaded, and stomped for the vote.  We were relentless.  We were irritating.  We lost friends.  We gained supporters.  And, low and behold, we won.  Or better said, the children WON.  Project HOPEFUL was awarded the $50,000 grant.  Thank you, Jesus!  But that was only the beginning.


Throughout our conversations with Cultivate Wines, something became very obvious to us:  They get it.  They really, really get it.  Not only are they giving away 10% of their revenue to organizations like Project HOPEFUL, they aren’t even profitable yet.  Not only do they really care about issues affecting our world, they are doing something about it.  Not only have they been encouraging to us as a staff, but now we are working together to figure out how to be partners going forward.  Talk about counter-cultural!


Cultivate Wines is a wonderful business founded by people with fantastic hearts.  We are so grateful to them for the grant and for all of the grants they have given in the past and will in the future.  Would you consider supporting Cultivate Wines by purchasing your wine from them?  You can be sure that a percentage of your purchase will be paid forward to another worthy organization.  THANK YOU Cultivate Wines; we look forward to seeing where this crazy ride called life takes us next!