2019 Non-Financial Scorecard

During 2019, “Friends of Copey” volunteers continued to have a major role in our success, especially for the Pathway Project. We began to witness the volunteer impact in 2018 and then confirmed its very positive impact in the “2019 Pathway Project”.

Volunteers and their hours of support resulted in a very high quality project and provided significant cost reductions. It is most noteworthy to point out all of our key volunteers have now supported the “Pathway Project” for two or more years.

A key volunteer greets our guests at the Washington DC airport upon Abingdon Concert 1arrival and extends host services during the next 24 hours while in the DC area. Next, a key volunteer travels to the DC area to retrieve our guests and transports them to Emory & Henry College.

Then, upon arriving on campus there are numerous additional key volunteers waiting who have paved the way for room and board provisions, arranged for local transportation, and assist with shopping, educational, and recreational activities. The “Annual Reception” growing in popularity, is a key event voluntarily provided and funded. The combination of the support provided by all these key volunteers is “priceless”. Kiwanis New Image

My local Kiwanis Club located in Richland, Washington at a distance of about 2,500 miles from the college campus, provides annually accounting services for the Pathway Project. This important voluntary service provides excellent documentation on income and expenses in support of the Pathway Project that extends across two countries.

These following volunteers did a “masterful job” providing support for the Pathway Project without charging anything to the project: Dr. Celeste Gaia, Monical Hoel, Zinareception Griffith, Dr. Edward Davis, George Whitley, Jane Rutledge, and Julie Meek. Each of these volunteers are commended for their substantial contribution of personal time and resources.

They are the “extra milers” who routinely go beyond expectations. They each add a unique gift of personalized richness to the experience each Copey student takes back home. 

Additional Areas of Non-Financial Support

All “Friends” in large and small ways contribute non-financially to our support for the Copey Learning Center. Certainly, there are some “Friends” who may think they do not contribute much of anything. I seldom see things that way.

It is always important to remember what “Friends of Copey” actually is. We are simply a collection of people who share a common interest in the Copey Learning Center…and in varying degrees. Some “Friends” pray for our success and others simply pull and push for our success. Then, some “Friends” financially support our success. The vast majority of “Friends” I know contribute in one or more of these areas.

Non-Financial Support Measurement Data

This Post closes out our 2019 year and represents Post #323 issued since December 2013.  The total number of Posts closely tracks to one Post per week for over six years and provides a long history of documentary evidence of our work and success. Much has happened and much has been reported over time.Measurements2

The past four years provides strong evidence of a consistent interest and support for our work. One measurement I watch carefully each month is the frequency of visits to our Blog. This represents each of you opening the Post to read. Only you can impact or add to these numbers each week. So Be Counted!

The year 2017, was an unusually good year. Over 800 visits were recorded over the previous year 2016. Then, in 2018 we settled back to numbers closer to reality but remained  higher compared to 2016. And, the recorded visits for 2018 and 2019 indicate similar and continous levels of interest at the present time. The short message is “interest remains high” among followers of the Blog.

Post Visits

We can be very proud of these numbers since we basically stand alone in the Blogging World and do not fit the profile of traditional Blogs. We do not focus on selling products and services to the world of consumers. We are not set up for profit and our Blog is not political or social in nature. It is closely related to educational. The Blog offers absolute freedom to be or not to be involved. You alone determine without gadgets or some slick sales pitch, whether or not to visit the Blog, read the Post, and be an active “Friend of Copey”.

The Blog also tracks locations and you can see for 2019 the top two or three countries are easily understood. However, Hong Kong SAR China, Japan, Ireland, and others have long been a mystery and show up each year.

Our mission has not changed since the first Post was issued and we have remained true to our vision and principles. To this date, no “Friend” has received a dime of compensation or even reimbursement for either service or time provided. Domain expenses, printing, mailings, travel, and other expenses have all been donated. The only compensation provided has been in support of the salary for the Copey Learning Center Executive Director.

So, this is us…”Friends of Copey”, in 2019. We are at the doorstep ready to open the door to a whole new year. I ask you to remain connected and involved. You are the real story of success and we together can look forward to some wonderful accomplishments in 2020.

Always Grateful for Friends!

 

 

Merry Christmas “Friends”

Christmas Messages from the Past

My very first Christmas Post was December 2013. “Friends of Copey” was brand new and ready to go. We knew very little for certain about the future then and today we celebrate our seventh Christmas Post of joy. Let’s look back at past Christmas messages.

In 2013, I shared the following:

“On this most special of days, I wish all a very Merry Christmas and a joyful New Sunrises 4Year. I am so excited about the upcoming year and the possibilities of great things to come.”

So little did we know in December 2013 what “Friends of Copey” would become.

In December 2014, after one full year of this wonderful experimental journey, I was emotionally inspired to share this Christmas message:

“I am truly blessed and the thrill of hope runs rampant within me as I look back at what we have done and looking ahead to see what we could do. Let go and experience the joy of Christmas. Know you have been part of that “Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Men (and others)” you hear about. You have been an active partner in the “thrill of hope” in a weary world. A small part of the world is rejoicing today because of you.”

O Holy Night

The Christmas message December 2015 reflected my growing appreciation for those who decided to share this very unique adventure with me as we worked to have a  meaningful impact on the lives of children in Copey. The Christmas message included messages from “Friends”:

Outstanding accomplishments, Blessings enumerable.  Christine C.

What wonderful work is happening at Copey. Love the idea of having a student come up for a US school experience.  Cynthia M.

Amazing work! You are an inspiration to us all. May GOD continue to bless you.  Paulina V.

You can count on my positive thoughts and my prayers. I truly believe in your venture and we both know “All things are possible, when God is in the mix”.  Charles J.Christmas Joy 1

In 2016, the fourth Christmas Post reflected the confidence that our work was truly purposeful and successful. I felt so grateful to have “Friends” who shared this vision and had proven themselves dedicated to this work.

“This Christmas Greeting  is my deep and heartfelt message to each of you during this wonderful holiday season. So, please accept this as my Christmas Greeting and my wish for the very best for you and yours and my thank you for all you have done.”

My 2017 Christmas message said;

“It is Christmas Time!  It is the time to celebrate the real meaning of the Christmas season and to share the joy of life. My joy is believing we all come into this world for a reason. Jesus could be the very first poster child for a purpose driven life. His birth, His life, and finally His death were totally dedicated to fulfilling that purpose.”

“So, my Christmas message to “Friends” is that as a group of folks we have a purpose. We are divinely called upon to help Copey and we should consider our work a joy for us and a blessing to others.”  “Don’t miss the joy”.

The Christmas message in 2018 came in a prayer: Christmas Joy 3

“As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquility, and His wisdom!”    By Peggy Toney Horton

This year’s Christmas Post, number seven, ties together all the previous Posts with the message of:

“Thanks for believing and supporting this effort. Thanks for your Service as we willingly extend a hand of friendship and support to others in need…for we are called on to be “cheerful and joyful givers”. And, thanks for the joy that does not begin early Christmas morning and does not end late Christmas night. Similar to the work hours of “Friends of Copey”, this joy is at work 24/7 and I encourage all “Friends of Copey”…stay involved and do not miss the joy waiting for us in 2020.”

Merry Christmas!

 

2019 Financial Scorecard

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”   by  Francis of Assisi  (A repeat…!)

Good NewsDuring a typical conversation with strangers about “Friends of Copey”, I am often asked about money or funds to support this project. I wish I had a more convincing response than the usual “we don’t have membership dues or we just call on people to help financially when needed”.

Year in and year out we consistently raise and spend less than $10,000.00 to honor our commitment to support the Copey Learning Center.

Again, this is true for 2019.

Annual Fund Raising Successes!

Each January we launched the dual fundraising campaign to support the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and support for the Executive Director’s annual salary.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund goal was again set for 15 scholarships or $1,500.00. The actual amount raised with donations was $1,750.00. In addition to this scholarship success, we received a grant from a special friend:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg “The Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation”

Based in Battle Creek, Michigan, the Quido A. and Elizabeth H. Binda Foundation provided a special grant of $500.00 to be applied to Copey Learning Center scholarships. We are very grateful for this one-time grant spearheaded by Robert and Cheryl Binda from Boise, Idaho.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpgThe Executive Director’s Salary was set at $2,000.00 and was successfully achieved with a final total of $2,000.00. As in 2018, this goal was reached nearly a month earlier than planned.

Successful Financial Year for the Pathway Project! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpgThe 2019 Pathway Project fundraising goal was originally set at $6,500.00 to cover round trip costs and related expenses from Copey, Costa Rica to the USA and back home for three students and one chaperone. In years past, we covered two students and two chaperones. Group Photo

In 2018 we paid an unusually high price for airline tickets and put forth efforts in 2019 to seek out better prices. Also, the addition of more “Friends” volunteering their time and involvement provided some additional reduced costs. These various and important in-kind support features allowed us to cautionously reduce the goal from $6,500.00 to $6,200.00.

The final cost of the “2019 Pathway Project” was $4,807.62 due to the extremely favorable prices paid for airline tickets. The total amount raised/spent represents an average of $1,202.00 per traveler on the “2019 Pathway Project”.

 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is check-mark.jpg  2019 Fundraising Summary 

In Summary…for the entire 2019 year, a total of $8,558.00 was officially donated to meet our three major financial commitments in support of the mission of the Copey Learning Center.      thank you

“Friends of Copey” does not impose membership fees or dues. We obtain and provide financial support only on a voluntary basis. And, we only raise funds we need!

“Friends” as financial donors are amazing and generous supporters. Without question, the continuation and longevity of the Copey Learning Center is in part due to the voluntary generosity most (or all) of the similar community based educational programs are lacking in Costa Rica.

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of Joy…!

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”     By Mother Teresa
Thank you for the several comments following last week’s Post. The notes ranged from wishing my uncle Harold Evans well and a quick recovery, giving praise to my grandson Maliek on his final days wearing a Nevada Wolfpack Football uniform, and extending “best wishes” to Ana as she moves on to new adventures.

The Copey Learning Center Update

I have been in contact with the newly hired Copey Learning Center Director and we are excited about the 2020 school year. Ines Sugura Serrano, the new director and I will have our first Skype session next week. She takes on the position having obtained her BA Degree in English from the National University in Costa Rica along with other educational experiences.

She comes on board with several major challenges including helping to find a new location for the Copey Learning Center. The current location is now closed for several months for much needed repairs. We welcome Ines into this wonderful and exciting adventure. CLC Graduates 2019

We are also very happy to show a few of the 2019 Copey Learning Center students (graduates) who have successfully completed their educational requirements.

I should point out I have personally spoken to all three of these students via Skype a couple of months ago. I predict we will hear and see much more of these students over the next year or two. They are excellent students and have a bright future.

Some updates on the news!

Uncle Harold is back home and has some lingering medical issues with his speech and memory caused by his recent stroke. At age 90, he has some obvious challenges ahead but we are all praying for a complete recovery.  Keep praying…Thanks!Maliek.grad.1

Maliek spent this past weekend attending his graduation ceremony at the University of Nevada. This was certainly a huge event and major milestone for Maliek. He now has his BA Degree in Business and we are very proud of his academic success. Only his mother and brother were able to attend since several of us were in Reno the previous weekend to attend the Senior Day football game.  Maliek.foot.2

Maliek also spent time this past weekend attending the annual Nevada Wolfpack Awards Banquet.

We were there in spirit. And, in case the news has not reached everyone in “Friends of Copey” land, the University of Nevada has been invited to participate in the upcoming “Famous Idaho Potato Bowl” scheduled for January 3, 2020.  We have one more opportunity to see #16 just below the name “Broady” on the back of the Wolfpack jersey.

 

“Friends are Family…!

Thanksgiving For Much!

It is December…and the Copey Learning Center (CLC) is closed CLC graduation down for their summer break. Before closing, CLC conducted its annual graduation ceremony Sunday, November 24th. Among these graduates are a couple future “Pathway Project” recipients we can expect to see in June 2020.

The enthusiasm continues among the Copey parents and the community for the work of the CLC. This grass roots level of folks is determined to keep this learning center operating.

Congrats to all of the students, parents, and the Board of Directors and thank you for letting us be part of your success.

Ana Yancy…says goodbye!

Ana Yancy’s final week of work with the CLC ended last week. She has served as the Executive Director and “interim” director for four years. She traveled twice to America as chaperone for the “Pathway Project”, and has been my key contact with the CLC since Angela left. I have enjoyed working with her and will miss her cheerful and positive “can do” attitude she always expressed. Ana Emory 36recently posted her final goodbye on the CLC Facebook page. She says…

“Today I say goodbye after four years of unforgettable experiences. Feelings found, but above all, a deep thank you to all the people who through these years I have known, have helped me, corrected and supported.
To every family father, to every volunteer, to every student I say thank you and wish you growth and prosperity in the most human program I have ever known. Thank you to all the people who provide selfless support of time and money for this program to hold. Thanks to the board of directors.
Ana yancy

Ana Yancy with Daughter

Thanks to Arthur Broady and all the friends of copey, who despite the distance, collaborate and identify with each of our purposes.
I’m following a dream, but with the certainty that these years have turned me not only into a better professional but a better human being. With a deeply grateful heart and with a thousand memories.”
Ana Yancy

From all the “Friends” Ana touched along her journey with the CLC, “Thank You”! 

Maliek Broady…!

My oldest grandson, Maliek, played his final regular season football game for the University of Nevada last Saturday. Game day was also Senior Day and several family members and friends attended the game to share “Senior Day”.  Nevada lost in overtime but still seem to have a great chance of being invited to a bowl game during the Christmas season.  Maliek.xx

Being a grandpa means you can be proud of your grandchildren for anything. And, I am often proud! The past few days in Reno sharing time with family and friends and especially time with Maliek and his brother Mykel have been very special.

Maliek arrived at the University of Nevada as a “walk on” out of his desire to be a member of the football team. After two years of personal determination and devotion to his dream of  playing college football, he was awarded a very precious scholarship which are not just handed out. He earned it and this alone speaks volumes about his willingness to sacrifice, to hold fast to his dream, meet all the obstacles in his path, and have the power of faith. There are many life-lessons played out in Maliek’s journey to “Senior Day”.

Maliek Broady. rev. 2

So hats off to a really wonderful grandson who has completed his college journey as an excellent student, a really decent young man, well-mannered, well-adjusted, and academically successful in spite of all the demands imposed on him as a student athlete.

Maliek reminds me that dreams are powerful and important. Whether on the football field or sitting in a learning center in some remote part of Central America, young people have dreams.

Our job is to care…to motivate…to inspire! We can be engaged to guide young folks through those wonderful life-lessons. Helping in small ways produces big results. I continue to remind us of the motto we adopted nearly six years ago as it seems more and more appropriate to our efforts as “Friends of Copey”.

zzzBanner of FOC

“When many will do just a little…A lot will get done for Kids!”

Family Illness Continues!

Harold Evans (my uncle), who resides in Hampton, Virginia has been reported having experienced a stroke following Thanksgiving Day. He is in need of prayer and I call on all my “Friends” and prayer warriors to get busy with prayers. AMEN!

 

 

 

Dr. Stephen and Ms. Edeltraut Gilgan-Hunt…Key Friends!

Dr. Stephen and Ms. Edeltraut Gilgan-Hunt, residents of Asheville, North Carolina, are the third among the recently named “Key Friends” who have provided unique and significant support to “Friends of Copey”. I am extremely pleased to honor both Stephen and Edeltraut for their devoted support over the full term of our “Friends of Copey” project.

Stephen and I attended Emory & Henry College (E&H) together 50 years ago. Stephen, a 1971 E&H College graduate, continued to earn his Ph.D from the University of Virginia and enjoyed a distinguished career in service to our country. He spent 30 years in the United States Department of Education after a stint teaching and conducting research in the private sector. Near the end of his long and distinguished career in government, he enjoyed a close affiliation with the United States Department of State and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Council of Europe where he was responsible for a 56 country education information network. He worked on projects which deepened his understanding of Third World education systems and their problems.

Stephen.3

Stephen and Edeltraut

Edeltraut’s background is also very unique and impressive. Her career in the World Bank’s Africa Division involved projects across that continent concerning economic development, water resources, project management, and related social issues including education.

Both Stephen and Edeltraut have traveled extensively in Africa and Europe providing them both an up-close and first-hand understanding of Third World education systems and educational barriers challenging people from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Dr. Earl G. Hunt, Jr.EH college

My relationship with Stephen actually has roots before we attended college together. Stephen’s father, Dr. Earl G. Hunt, was E&H College President from 1956 to 1964 and played a key role in the racial integration of the college. President Hunt’s careful and deliberate efforts resulted in Afro-Americans enrolling in E&H College in the mid 1960’s despite much reluctance from the surrounding community, the college’s Board of Trustees, and at great risk to his professional career.

In 1966, two years after President Hunt left the college, I was the first Afro-American male to enroll full-time at E&H College. I benefitted directly from President Hunt’s earlier decisive, determined, and unrelenting commitment to integration during the time most southern and mid-Atlantic segregated small liberal arts colleges showed very little interest. President Hunt was among the very few college Presidents during his time willing to go all in for integration. Stephen.xx

Then, as fate would have it, President Hunt’s son, Stephen and I attended E&H College together. Stephen, similar to his father’s devotion to integration, also embarked on equal educational opportunities throughout his professional career and has continued to advocate for justice and rights even as a current member of E&H College’s Board of Trustees.

The Legacy Continues…!

When the first call went out for support to “Friends of Copey”, Stephen and Edeltraut were among the first to respond. They have been devoted supporters of “Friends of Copey” since day one. Their financial and non-financial support has been consistent and generous.

Stephen says, “when Scrapper invited us to become involved with Copey, we were and remain enthusiastic. The Copey project has enabled us to continue our involvement with the development in poorer societies into retirement. Scrapper’s leadership and the dedication of Copey’s citizens continue to impress us and justify all that we do. We are proud to partner with my old college friend and wish Copey all the best.”

The quality of support we “Friends of Copey” have been blessed with is never in question. “Friends of Copey” has successfully pooled some of the best and most talented “friends” around to support a very uncommon mission. I get to see and to know all “active friends” as we move along with our efforts year after year. In other words, I have the “best seat in the house!”  And, I can fully attest to the fact…”Friends of Copey” are different…and the best!

Stephen and Edeltraut are wonderful “Key Friends”. It is a truly unique history because our history begins before our paths ever crossed and that is not very common. But, I have so many special stories about the devoted “friends” who have remained supportive. I hope to share more of these with you in the future.

Thanks for making a difference!

 

 

 

 

Dr. Celeste Gaia…Key Friend!

Dr. Celeste Gaia, Director of International Education at Emory & Henry College since 2007, is Emory & Henry College’s master-mind behind the now popular “Pathway Project”.

Celeste Gaia

Dr. Celeste Gaia

She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Tennessee and her academic work and body of professional publications are substantial. She is highly respected among her peers, colleagues, students and others within the academic community.

As the Director of International Education and a strong advocate for global citizenship education and cultural exchange, she is the college’s strongest advocate for study abroad programs. Also, she is the campus liaison for international students.

I first met Dr. Gaia in 2012. Several of Dr. Gaia’s students had just returned from their study abroad assignments and were the dinner guest speakers at an Emory & Henry College Board affair, describing their very positive international educational experiences. I was struck by the excitement and enthusiasm the students expressed as each student shared their life-changing experience while abroad.

WOW! During that dinner presentation…the thought/vision struck me! If “we” could bring Copey students to Emory & Henry College, perhaps they also would return home to Costa Rica with life-changing experiences.

Church service

2019 Pathway Project Students

In 2013, I discussed in detail my vision with Dr. Gaia. She agreed to partner with me in an effort to develop such an opporunity for the Copey students.

Necessary authorizations/permissions, room and board, course tuition, hosts, local travel, and other logistical arrangements where needed to host Copey students and chaperones on the E&H campus. Dr. Gaia spearheaded this effort requiring much dedicated time and attention.

My challenges were a little different. I had to help Angela, the Copey Learning Center Director, sell the idea to the Copey community. Culturally, this is not typically a familiar proposition. Getting permission from parents to allow their students to travel to America to unknown destinations and be in the care of unknown “friends” would not be an easy task.

Also, there was the small issue of funds needed to support the transportation costs to America and back to Copey. I had to launch a fundraiser and we successfully raised the funds to cover the costs.

In June 2016, the first two Copey students arrived in the USA as our guests to spend approximately two weeks on campus.

Angela with students

Xavier, Casey, and director Angela

Thanks to Dr. Gaia, there is more to the story.

While establishing the “pathway” for Copey students to visit the E&H College campus, Dr. Gaia went a step further. She also established a process for E&H students to travel to Copey for a four or five week volunteer assignment. The E&H students to make the first journey were Xavier and Casey…very special students!

Today in 2019, nine Copey students plus chaperones have journeyed to the E&H College campus and seven E&H students have served as volunteers in Copey.

Kara Stewart.1

Kara

Kara Stewart, the 2018 E&H “Pathway Project” student, wrote these words on her final day in Copey before returning back to the USA: “This is so bittersweet for me because I miss my friends and family like crazy, but boy I wish you all could just come here. This place [Copey] is truly incredible.”  Today, the “Pathway Project” is a truly amazing success story.

Without question, Dr. Gaia is a real “Key Friend” of Copey! In only four years, sixteen students have had life-changing experiences similar to the Copey experience Kara describes…largely due to the willingness and determination of one “Key Friend” who saw the vision and agreed to help.

Dr. Gaia…you are a Key Friend who “makes a difference”.