Letter to Mandy

(This was written in May 2009 in response to a request for information on how we function) Note: although it is now almost three years later, February 2012, we still function on an all-volunteer basis.

Dear Mandy,

We have been moving steadily along for almost three years now. From September 2003, until the latter part of 2006, Geoff financed this work out of his savings.

A very favorable Statesman article in Dec 12, 2006 put us financially in the black, and mercifully we have been able to stay in the black due to the generosity of our donors, large and small. (He launched his 501c3 foundation January 2006) With the exception of a five-month interval from November 07, through March 08, when we hired on a temporary basis a development director, we are an all-volunteer, unsalaried (including Dr. Geoff) organization. Here are the people who have helped or uare helping us on a non-paid volunteer basis:

A young mother who has a full time book-keeping job at Micron formats our newsletter, at least four times a year. Also, she helps me with my computer when questions arise.

A University of Colorado friend of 50+ years is donating her time and expertise to the ongoing task of keeping our financial books in order. She is also on our Board of Directors.

The controller of a real estate company here prints our quarterly newsletters @.0686 per colored side of our 4 page letter, which equals .27 per letter! She has saved us thousands of dollars. In fact, I seriously doubt that we could have afforded a newsletter without her. We supply her with the paper.

Our website was designed and is maintained on an ongoing basis, free-of-charge, by the father of a young family, who is a tech-expert. A young man from India, who is employed at Micron has been a huge help by making substantial additions and editing our website. Another friend who is expert in such helps Geoff with computer questions. His wife, who is no less expert, helps Geoff prepare his power-point presentations.

A friend of long-time-standing, who is also a grandmother, heads up a program called “Schools’ Campaign For Smiles”. (Of passing interest: her dentist husband who is Geoff’s friend going back to grade-school days, cleans his teeth free of charge.)

In 2008, our 501c3 tax reports were done, free of charge, by a local CPA, who is also a school substitute teacher and mother of a growing family. Geoff’s on-going personal tax reports and those for ICSF for last year were done, pro-bono, by the CPA who is on our Board of Directors. She is the mother of a cleft-lip Chinese toddler whom she adopted several years ago. A young man who graduated from college last year in media, accompanied ICSF to Pucallpa, Peru last summer and taped our work from which he produced, pro bono, the DVD called “A Mother’s Prayer”. It can be viewed on our web-site.

Our DVD’s are done, at cost, by the owner of a recording studio who was a student at the junior high when I taught there 30 years ago.

One of our volunteers who has been with us since our launch in Jan 2006 has used her expertise in grant writing for ICSF. She donated the proceeds from the sale of an inherited diamond ring that covered the costs of seven surgeries.

There are five hospitals in our valley that donate costly disposable medical supplies. They do so regularly and often on a last-minute basis, and are scrupulous in giving Geoff the items that he specifically needs. (Of note: when Geoff went to Kenya last summer, one of the hospitals, at its own expense, shipped some supplies that had been back-ordered, to him in Nairobi) The United States ambassador to Bolivia has arranged for American Airlines to fly Geoff free of charge on his missions in Bolivia.

In many of the countries that he visits, friends give him bed and board. For example when he was in Karachi last month, he stayed the entire time with the family of a Pakistani doctor with whom he has worked on an on-going basis. As another example, in Kenya, he mostly stays at a hostel run by Catholic nuns.

In short, a lot of people have made, and continue to make ICSF possible.

Beverly Williams

PS When people ask how he lives without a salary, I make mention that Geoff’s living needs are minimal. When he is in Boise, he stays at our home. Being of a frugal nature, he still drives his ’92 Honda. Since he is unmarried, he doesn’t have the costs associated with rearing a family, and he still has savings from his financially productive days.

11/09 update: A printing company in Boise has just started doing our newsletters without charge of any kind, and even *donates the paper! Due to the increasing demands of a growing family, our formatter has taken a sabbatical, and the format is done by a friend in California. (She was Geoff’s baby-sitter of yesteryear)

Due to the increasing complexity of our tax reports, we are now hiring a local CPA firm for that job. Dr. Williams still takes no salary whatever. All of our volunteers are unpaid. Our overhead is pretty close to being non-existent, as even our office, as well as the basement storage for medical supplies, is in our home.

Also we have a different web-master, who when he heard about us, volunteered to re-design our web, pro-bono. **He lives in California. A lady who lives in Texas has volunteered to do the translation of our web into Spanish. She has almost completed her work, and a neighborhood friend is putting it onto the web.

When my friend, our finance chairman, had some severe health problems, I took that job over with the huge and ongoing help of our CPA, who reconciles our finances each month, pro bono.

*As of 5/11, we have started paying the printing company for the newsletter paper that is used.

*Our webmaster now lives in Cambodia. He shares the responsibility with one of our friends who lives in Boise.

Design by Melissa Ventura, Development by Drew Bertola and Walter Martin.