“Light Up Your Candle…!

“At the end of the day, people will follow you or people will be energized by you if they buy into your vision or purpose. So the most important thing is to be true to yourself.”                     by business leader Paul Polman. 

Following the Vision and Purpose

This profound quote by Polman is significant in its simplicity. As we continue working on documenting the “in-kind” service we [“Friends of Copey”] enjoyed during this year’s  “Pathway Project”, it is impressive to see how energized many “Friends” were with their support. I blame this on “Friends” buying into the vision or purpose of the “Pathway Project”.   emory group 11

In my past employment life as a manager, it was difficult at times to get people to do their job…a job they were being paid to do. There were many reasons but some employees’ lack of energy was a failure to embrace the vision and purpose of the business. Far too often, it was “just a job”, simply a means to an income, with little or no passion felt for the work, the purpose or the business. Who knew people could be highly motivated, dedicated, and committed to doing something that provides no compensation or without any very personal connections or convictions?

“Friends of Copey” is not “just a job” but a mission with a strong passion many of us share. Uncompensated, we are energized by our belief or knowledge that we can make aEmory 28 difference if we make the effort. Our support helps keep a small and not so affluent community excited and believing they can have a positive impact on the lives of their children and their children’s future.

From my vantage point, it is truly a joy to see others willing to follow and support a vision and purpose. Remember always the three ways you can connect as “Friends of Copey”: 1) pray for our success; 2) share your positive energy/enthusiasm for our success; and 3) when so moved, share your finances when there is a need. These three connecting points have consistently provided us successful results.

Two New Challenges for You!

I ask you to challenge yourself with two other ways of connecting.

1.  First, allow yourself to fully enjoy the results of your efforts. Accept the fact that you do make a difference regardless of the way you may connect. Conversations I have at times with some “Friends” indicate to me there is a disconnect with any of the successes we enjoy.  Unless, the “Friend” makes a direct contribution or does something deemed useful, the “Friend” does not personally feel or experience the success.   check mark

Is it true the sports player who did not get to participate in the winning game, is restricted from enjoying the team’s success? Of course, this is ridiculous! A team is a team and a team of “Friends” is a team of “Friends”. Something as inane as a passing positive thought by a “Friend” could be a lightning bolt of encouragement for the team. The challenge I offer you is to wrap your arms around the fact that you, me, and others are making a difference regardless of the type of connection being made.

2.  The next challenge is important as well. I challenge you to share the story of the Copey Learning CenterUtah Team and kids. Let others know some of the amazing side stories you have witnessed. I try not to bore others with unending conversations about “Friends of Copey” but there are times when sharing such unimaginable news is unavoidable.

A case in point relates to the Utah team of educators. A short conversation with one person resulted in hundreds of kids in an elementary school collecting 400 pounds of school supplies, four adults traveling to Copey, and life-changing experiences had by many.

There was nothing special about that one short conversation, no magic or special effects. It was only a casual conversation with a stranger anyone could have…including you. The challenge to you is to share the news, share the Post with friends/relatives, and share the news with your schools and churches. You just never know who may be helped.

This all reminds me of the song with the lyrics:

“And if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be.”







“Good News Makers…Friends!”

“Everyone has inside of him/her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! ”     By Anne Frank

What a wonderful Monday! Two very good news announcements make up this week’s Post.

“Pathway Project for 2018”

Each of our “Pathway Project” objectives were met this year including meeting our financial objectives. I have provided news of our program successes over the past several weeks with photos included and today I am reporting on the donations and expense results.

Recall, we originally set our fundraising goal at $6,500.00 and during the final couple of weeks of the campaign the goal was adjusted down to $6,200.00. A few of the planned expenses were Tracking 12replaced with “in-kind” services. The total amount of donations received was $6,180.00 and the total expenses amounted to $5,907.72. This left $272.28 in unspent funds which is being held over for the “Pathway Project for 2019”.

The average total cost per each of the four guests is $1,476.93. It is significant to note the airfare portion made up 75% of the cost for each guest. The 25% balance ($372.00) covered three nights of hotel lodging, numerous meals, recreational/site-seeing activities, and some miscellaneous expenses (times 4) during their two-week visit. Hopefully, you will appreciate the benefit and use of the donations provided in support of this project.

The Other Half Of The Story

This year we began tracking better the level of “in-kind” support provided to the “Pathway Project”. The final report is not complete but there is sufficient evidence to seeemory 34 the enormous benefit resulting from this form of support.

To date we have documented 15 “Friends” who have donated their time hosting the guests. One “Friend” volunteered to greet the four guests upon their arrival in Washington, DC, transport them to their hotel, to dinner, and site-seeing. Another “Friend” spent over 12 hours driving to pick up and return the guests to the college while stopping along the way for site-seeing activities. Upon arriving on campus, a different “Friend” opened her home to provide the guests a comfortable place to stay for one week. Another “Friend” covered the full cost of the catered “Reception”…and other “Friends” shared time taking them shopping, to lunches and dinners, and participated in various recreational events/activities and often paying the way. This is an extensive list of “in-kind” support that should not be overlooked.Good News

This “in-kind” service report also includes the support our partners provide. The accounting service provided by Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Foundation (WA) was donated and critical to our project. Then, there are many hours and financial support provided by Emory & Henry College providing the opportunity for our guests to participate in the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program.

It is very difficult to put an accurate dollar figure on the overall value of the “in-kind” support but we project the potential value is significant and necessary. Both the financial support obtained from the “fundraising” efforts and the “in-kind” support combined to make this the tremendous success it has become.

Huge Donation Provided

The second announcement pertains to a large shipment of E&H College articles arrivingEmory group9

in Costa Rica. This shipment contains a major supply of E&H College clothing items donated to the Copey Learning Center and the community. More information on this shipment will be forthcoming but in the meantime, we are excited to have a major E&H College benefactor demonstrating a strong interest in the Copey Learning Center.

We continue to see the footprint of our college grow bigger because of the increasing awareness and support for the mission of the Copey Learning Center. We are optimistic and believe there are several opportunities to build the relationship between Emory & Henry College and the Copey community. The yearly “Pathway Project” helps build the educational relationship between students and the college.

Do we dare dream of a Copey  Learning Center student becoming an Emory & Henry enrolled student some day? As Anne Frank stated… “You don’t know…What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”  

Starting Point…Desire!

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”   By Pele

The Copey Learning Center reopens today after a two-week break. Consequently, there is very little news about things going on at the Learning Center.

I will share a few more photos for your enjoyment. Also, the financial portion for the recent “Pathway Project for 2018” is not officially closed at this hour, but I can report the

Emory 36

Reception Host George Whitley

project is a financial success. We have received sufficient funds via donations to cover all of the expenses for this project. All of the financial side of this project went very well although some of the donations came in later than planned. I will have more to report next week on the finances. For now, I thank each of you for your very generous support.

I also plan to provide a summary report on the Emory 20non-financial support I call the “in-kind support”.  This year’s project really thrived on this kind of support. Certainly, “in-kind support” has always been there. However, this year it was vividly clear the project would not have been this big success withoutemory 33 supporters contributing their time and non-financial resources. I will highlight and celebrate both the financial and non-financial efforts in upcoming reports. emory-56.jpg

“Friends” has just ended the first six months of this year and we have been very busy accumulating successes and victories. In short summary, we successfully completed three fundraising efforts, assisted in the Utah team’s visit to Copey, and successfully completed the “Pathway Project”…to mention only the major highlights.

I will now locate my fishing gear and go find a quite river bank to spend some quiet time. There is still plenty to do over the next five months but I need a short break.

You all are an amazing group of “Friends”. I thank you!



Travel Well Your Journey…!

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.”    By  Oliver Goldsmith

It seems difficult to imagine it has been two weeks since Ana Yancy and the rest of the Costa Rican guests returned home. Their two weeks in America visiting us also went by just as fast.

I have visited with Ana Yancy via Skype and it was a very fun time reminiscing and recounting the many diverse experiences she and the others enjoyed. We focused much of our attention on the first week when most of the recreational activities were planned. During the second week, the two students were very busy participating with other students as members of the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program while Ana Yancy and Dihianna were conducting classes on Costa Rica.emory 52 Capturing class photos and detailed information is more challenging when everyone is participating in classes.

But, we have a few photos to share. And, the news is very positive regarding the success both students had interacting with their peers during the week. (Brian is on far right.)

We have learned that Lourdes and Brian met many new friends and became popular for adding a unique cultural experience for other students. Also, they experienced new cultures and had the opportunity to utilize their English communication skills while enjoying possibly a once in a life-time experience. All this is “priceless”. By all accounts, Lourdes and Brian left the campus much different from their arrival two weeks earlier. (Below Lourdes in the center back row and Brian third from far right.)emory-48-e1531064018914.jpgemory-32.jpgEMOry 37emory 39emory 38

One of the reoccurring revelations I have had over the past several weeks (and there has been many), is just how many lives are touched in many positive ways by the “Pathway Project”.

We can start with the students of the Learning Center, then the Copey emory 40community and parents, financial donors and college affiliated supporters stretching across our country, my Kiwanis Club, and many personal friends and family.

Then, as I look at these photos, even the students attending the Summer Scholars and Leadership Program have been touched in ways we will never know.  We now have six Learning Center student ambassadors representing the “Pathway Project” positioned in the Copey community to provide positive influences and encouragements to those wishing to follow the ambassadors’ footsteps to America.

For you as it is for me, the total impact of our collective work and support for this project is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. It all works…thanks to you “Friends”.

Sad News!

I wish to dedicate this Post to a dear friend and a devoted “Friend of Copey” who passed away suddenly this past week. Winton Lackey was a 1955 graduate of Emory & Henry College, long-time strong college supporter, past E&H Trustee, member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame, successful business and family man, and much much more as a kind, loving, and generous person.Lackey

When I became an E&H Trustee seven years ago, Winton was the first among the Trustees to welcome me with a big smile and his arms wide open. He served as my mentor while I watched him demonstrate in meetings his commitment and devotion to the college by serving in accordance with the principles he lived by. Without question, Winton’s love for E&H College was evident every minute I had the pleasure to be in his presence. We enjoyed sharing our political views and our perceptions of the world. In addition, he and his wife Donna have been very strong supporters of “Friends of Copey”. The “Pathway Project” would have never become what it is today without their support.

Winton’s life-journey was rich and full. This is a true loss of one of the “good guys” and on behalf of the many “Friends of Copey”, we express our sincere condolences to Donna and the family.