The ministries of Orchard are built around the gifts, talents, and interests of the people who we partner with. Our Partners are the heartbeat of what we do. From feeding the hungry, mentoring students, to fighting human trafficking, our 80+ Partners are using their gifts and passions to meet some of the world’s deepest needs. Every day they are bringing light and love into a dark world, allowing their work to display Jesus Christ.
One of those Partners is OneTalent co-founder JoAnn Allen. JoAnn and her daughter Camilla have been a part of the Orchard Partners program for almost four years. One Talent provides opportunities for girls to recognize their abilities, enhance their technology skills and awareness, participate in educational and career development activities, and experimental learning experiences. (You can learn more about the work OneTalent does HERE.)
This year the team at OneTalent will be celebrating 15 years of ministry work in the College Park neighborhood of Atlanta. When they were introduced to Orchard, they attended an annual prayer event and saw that Orchard was commitment to being a faith-based non-profit serving ministries. “I didn’t know if I fully understood what Orchard did, but once I attended that prayer breakfast, I got it!” JoAnn was impressed with an organization that would take the time to connect with partners individually, pray for them by name, was transparent on all they could do to help, and had an integrity that she could count on. “Orchard is true to its word. Promises are always kept and they offer the mentorship that we all need.”
The team at OneTalent have seen our Partners program grow drastically over the last few years. JoAnn mentioned that what has helped her continue to thrive under the Orchard model is the ability to connect with other amazing organizations. She told us that it encourages her to keep building and to continue to steadily step in to the calling God has on her life: to mentor the youth of her community. “Orchard is a beacon of hope for us. They are a solid platform who is always there when we need them.”
At Orchard we love to see the look on people’s faces when we tell them that we help ministry leaders thrive by providing cost-free, customized consulting, guidance, and resources. This is our commitment to our Partners and the generosity of our stakeholders is what helps us do this effectively. The ministry leaders we serve have God-given callings on their lives to provide some of the most significant needs in their communities. Their work is never easy and the Partners program is tailored to come alongside each of them, helping them create a road map for the journey ahead.
When we sit down with partners like JoAnn, we are always reminded of the model that we get the privilege to set for our partners. We encourage our partners to build community, make Jesus central and prayer necessary, to display love to others by using the Bible as their framework and to continue to innovate by leaning in to how God has uniquely wired them. These are not just platitudes for us. We teach these foundational ideas from experience and practice. Orchard is committed to these same values and we take seriously the leadership that is needed for this.
We have worked with over 100 different ministries in over two decades, so you can imagine that we have encountered new experiences and many new people along the way. As the years have gone by, the needs of the world continue to grow. With that need, however, has come many more ministry partners who have chosen to step up and help move the vision of Orchard forward: to see a world where Christ is known by the actions of His followers. Even among the changes we encounter and the growth we have had, one thing will never change: everyone needs Jesus and we get to use our work to help that vision become a reality.