Small Acts of Kindness…continued!

“Friends”… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”               by  Henry David Thoreau

There are still many photos documenting the “Pathway Project’s” two weeks of activities.  Imagine how different things are in America and the many impressions the students experienced and carried home. The project is blessed to have so many “Friends” involved and devoted to making this a life-changing experience.

Emory 28  emory 44  emory 42emory 34emory 40      emory-45.jpg  emory 43 Emory 22

And then, consider the reactions and feelings of those in Copey who welcome home these returning students. The potential and positive impact Brian and Lourdes will have on students wanting to be the next ones selected for the “Pathway Project” will be tremendous.

                                  Again…thank you “Friends”!

 

Thanks to Friends

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

It has been one week since the Costa Rican guests landed in Washington, DC. Neither space nor time will allow me to cover all the many different places and experiences they have enjoyed since their arrival. No exaggeration! Each day has been a full day of planned activities.

One highlight was the (now) annual reception which involves many “Friends” gathering to officially welcome our guests. Our guest host treated us with emory group 11a sumptuous meal outside in wonderful country evening air. There were short presentations spoken in very good English provided by the students and a cultural dance routine the students created specifically for their trip to America.

Trampoline jumping, bowling, the theater, shopping malls, constant eating, and other activities made up the week. Places visited included site-seeing in DC, the Natural Bridge, the Luray Caverns, two church services, a concert, and Hungry Mother State Park to mention a few.  Emory group 10

Starting today, they all are on a different plan.  They are enrolled in the Summer Scholars Institute and Leadership program on the Emory & Henry campus. Lourdes and Brian will join other students from area schools and schools from other states in course study work on a variety of activities designed to broaden academic interests and building leadership skills.  emory group 12

Ana Yancy and Dihiana will participate in the Summer Scholars event by conducting classes on Costa Rican culture, history, and customs. More reports to follow.

Health Report

On a completely different note, several “Friends” are aware Braxton, my 10-year-old grandson, underwent a serious surgical procedure last Monday to correct a bone development problem in his chest. The operation went well and there has been no after surgery problems to speak of. Now, he is working to get his body healed and back to being a 10-year-old. Just slow going but we are certain he will soon be 100% back to normal.

Gratitude! 

There are no limits in gratitude I have for this life, my family and “Friends”, and the opportunity to see visions become reality. This past week alone I have said more heartfelt “Thank You’s” to others than you can imagine and came nowhere close to saying enough. I am very grateful.

“Thank You “Friends”

The Eagle Lands Again…!

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.”   by  Zig Ziglar
The “Pathway Project for 2018” is officially underway. Ana Yancy and her students arrived in Washington, DC Saturday afternoon. Zina Griffith, my cousin and life-long   zina and guestsresident of the DC area and retired public school teacher, greeted them upon arrival. Since retirement, Zina spends her time teaching English in DC to Spanish-speaking students. Being a devoted “Friend”, she stepped in to those big shoes Angela filled for two years. Thank you.

The Pathway Project Fundraising Campaign is over. With a very small number of promised donations pending, we expect to meet our goal. Some of our planned costs have gone down because of very generous in-kind support. For example, the wonderful meals being enjoyed by our guests as shown in the photo was covered by Zina. The hosting support provided by Zina also cut local DC transportation costs.

Monica Hoel, our college’s famous Alumni Director, provided significant in-kind support by personally transporting our guests from the DC area to the campus which included site-seeing tours and meals along the way.  During the previous two years, we emory Group 2had rental car and other expenses as our guests made their way from DC to our campus.

When the “Pathway Project” is complete, I will provide a detailed report on the financial results of our efforts. Based on today’s info, we are in really good shape.

In the past, I have shared my thoughts about “partnerships”. Getting folks and organizations engaged to work together for a common purpose is vital and can be seen most vividly in action with a project such as this. When it is all said and done…we have clearly five organizations along with all the donors, and those many others providing in-kind support from Copey to E&H College, all engaged making this happen.  So many of you in so many different roles to thank…!

We are all now set for a couple of weeks of full and complete enjoyment, learning, and making differences. Stay connected for more updates.

 

 

 

 

“The Pathway…Is The Way”

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”            By  Harriet Tubman

“Pathway Project for 2018”

This is the final week before the Copey Learning Center guests depart for America. There is a tremendous sense of excitement flowing from Washington state, across the country, and then down into Costa Rica. Can you imagine the thoughts of the proud parents of our guest students, the feelings of accomplishment by the Learning Center’s Board of Directors, and the sense of pride felt by the Copey community? And, all the “Friends of Copey” should also be excited. The Pathway Project could easily be a one of a kind since it is not spearheaded by any official organization, business, government, or agency. Just old everyday “Friends” sharing a common belief that when a few commit to doing even a little to help kids, then much can be done for kids. Such a bold concept!

Goal  $6,200.00      Actual Income=$5,200.00    Deadline:  May 25th, 2018 (extended)

Last week I sounded a gentle alarm regarding our fundraising campaign situation. We were running a little below our expectations for the funding needed to fully support this project. Many of you answered the alarm and now our funding situation is much more Tracking 10positive. We still have a short distance to go to completely meet our goal. We are at about 84% of our goal today with several donations still expected to show up soon.

So, if you have not yet sent your donation but plan to, now is the time. Even if you send $5.00 or $10.00, you will have made an investment in one amazing experience for two students…and an entire community.

We have tightened our plans a little, reduced our goal some, and now more certain all will work out. We are “good to go” thanks to all of you.

Following the students’ two week experience in America, they will return home to Copey as “education ambassadors”, obligated to be inspirational student leaders for other Copey students to follow. Soon, there will be a total of six ambassadors in the Copey community who have participated in the “Pathway Project” sharing this obligation. Keeping students excited about education is one major element of the “Pathway Project” and one reason it is growing more popular each year. We are making a difference.  Instructions for donating provided below

Lest WE Forget…!  There is the other half of the Pathway Project we should not lose sight of. We have two Emory & Henry College students (Kara and Matthew) at the Learning Center now and completing their 4th and final week on Friday.

Matthew and Kara

Ana Yancy, Kara and Matthew

All reports on their participation and involvement as volunteers have been outstanding. I personally met Kara and Matthew during my campus visit in March and knew then these two students were ideal volunteer candidates for Copey. Both have exceeded all our expectations and have become special friends to the Copey community and the students. We can see a trend of excellence developing as we can now account for six E&H College students (Including Jane) who have made their mark on the community and the Learning Center. Our college has become a household name in the community and is well thought of as a caring and devoted college with high ideals and amazing representatives who come to their community to help.

In my opinion, Kara and Matthew have maintained those excellent standards of excellence set forth by Xavier and Casey, our first E&H Pathway students in 2016 and Melody who represented us in 2017.  All these students have represented E&H College, “Friends”, and even American students in general, most honorably. Thank you for your service!

I firmly believe both Kara and Matthew will leave behind Copey a little better than they found it. And I am convinced Kara and Matthew will return home understanding better the challenges of our world and are better prepared to take them on.

Just One More Thing!

I really love receiving photos from the Learning Center. And, every now and then I will get a photo that will just shock me. This week Ana Yancy sent the photo below and it was really a Angela Karashocker! Angela (far right) is in Copey now on vacation from her job in Boston. She has impeccable timing since she has been around to meet Kara and Matthew (also pictured). And, she is available to wish her prior students well as they depart for America.

Angela helped set up the “Pathway Project” and is the 1st to have brought the “Pathway Project” students to America in 2016. She led the way back to America with Ana Yancy by her side in 2017. This year Angela’s work and schedule would not allow her to be involved. So Angela travels with us in spirit. “Friends” has been fully blessed with two wonderful Directors leading the way at the Learning Center.

Next Week…! We Roll!

Please send your donation to my Kiwanis Club:guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the Pathway expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status.

THANKS “FRIENDS”

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend…Remember Them!

“Real courage was what our troops…my heroes…face everyday. Real courage is being willing to give up your right to everything you want for your future, your memories from your past, and even, if need be, your life to make a better place for others.”                      By  Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee

Again, we observe Memorial Day and take time to thank those who have served our country by giving the ultimate for our freedoms. One of my practices is to go back and read previous Posts I have written on Memorial Day Weekend. The messages are generally the same and are reminders of sacrifices made by many. If you have family or friends who served and died in battle, there is not much you can do but observe and honor their willingness to serve. There is one more thing we can all do…respect and appreciate the freedoms that have been paid for in full.  4th of July

This Memorial Day Weekend, again as is my custom, I pay my respects and salute those close friends of mine who died while serving our country. My high school friends included Danny Watkins from Meadowview, Virginia; Michael Charles and Kenneth Delaney from Bristol, Virginia; and Frank Campbell from Chilhowie, Virginia. There were several others who also died while in service. I have added Curtis “Duck” Montgomery, a World War II veteran and my long time friend who passed away last year at 101 years of age. And, this is a special time to remember my cousin “Marty” Clark who passed away on Memorial Day in 2016. All of these were great folks who deserve to be remembered each and every Memorial Day.

“The Pathway Project for 2018”

Goal  $6,500.00      Actual Income=$4,250.00    Deadline:  May 25th, 2018 (extended)

Time is getting very short. In two weeks our Copey Learning Center guests will be Graduation 8heading to the United States. We are nearly 95% complete with the planning for the trip and from all indications, things will be just as exciting and productive as the previous two years. We are very eager to see Maria Lourdes (Left) and Brian (right) arrive in America and experience our culture for the first time. And, eager to have them share their culture with us.Brian and Lourdes. 2

Thank You!

“I thank each of you who have already made your donation. Your funds have us well on our way to covering our immediate financial needs.”

However, we do still have fundraising challenges yet to contend with. The official end date for the fundraising campaign is today but I have unofficially extended the campaign another week to provide “anyone and everyone” the opportunity to support this project with large or small donations. Based on my best count at this time, we are just under 66% of our goal. And, this includes both the funds I have received and the funds I have not received yet but have firm commitments.tracking 9

It would be great to hit our target of $6,500.00 and be assured we can financially support all the plans we have for our guests during their visit. However, if funds are short, some plans may be curtailed or even eliminated. I have not eliminated plans in the past, but I am prepared to apply any adjustments needed to make this project as financially successful as possible.

If you intend or feel inclined to support this project financially, please send me a short note to confirm the amount and expected date the funds will  be mailed. This will allow me to avoid making unnecessary changes.

I ask you to consider being a financial supporter of this very extraordinary project. It is certainly worthy of your support. Based on current donations, it will take more past “Pathway Project” donors and some first time “Pathway Project” donors to make our goal. Thank you and please send your donation to my Kiwanis Club:guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status.

Finally, make plans for the big “reception” scheduled for June 15th in Abingdon, Virginia. You can let me know if you plan to join us and I will arrange for you to be placed on the list of invitees. There is still room. The guests and I certainly would enjoy having a large group of “Friends” attending to meet and greet our guests and experience first-hand their appreciation for our support.

“God Bless America…land that I love!”  

 

 

 

 

Dream Big…Fear Small!

“An act of goodness is of itself an act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it.”   by  Maurice Maeterlinck

Over the years of my involvement with “Friends of Copey”, I have noticed that just when I start thinking things could not get better…it somehow does! This is one reason I really love this work. You can dream as big as you like…and fear little!

I had the pleasure of reading some of the early impressions Kara Stewart has shared on her website. Kara and Matthew (pictured on far right below) aKara Matthews student photore the two newest E&H College students volunteering time at the Copey Learning Center as part of their course work under the “Pathway Project”. As expected, Kara is enjoying the entire experience including the young kids, adults, host family, food and the work. Ana Yancy reported earlier today that both students are doing very well and the community has already opened their arms to them.

“Pathway Project for 2018”

The Goal  $6,500.00         Actual Income=$2,850.00        Deadline:  May 25th, 2018

The other side of the Pathway Project” is also in full speed. The fundraising campaign is plugging along and we continue to have funds come in. We are still trailing a little on our

Tracking 8

tracking schedule but several donors have sent notes saying the check is in the mail. Our current progress is shown on the chart indicating we are almost 44% of our goal…lower than expected.

I certainly urge “Friends” with intentions of financially supporting the “Pathway Project for 2018” to do so quickly. The official end date for the campaign is this Friday, May 25th but will be extended a couple more weeks. Some of the planned expenses will happen later. Most of the costs for the trip happen early such as purchasing plane tickets. This provides some flexibility for managing later plans based on funds available. “Friends” want to provide a high quality travel experience with hopes the travelers will return to Copey as strong and inspirational ambassadors for learning.

Please send your 501c3 donation to:

guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status. Thanks in Advance

Remember….our goal is to provide the highest quality experience possible within budget. Prayers, great positive thoughts, and money are all welcomed for this project.  Thank You!

zzzBanner of FOC

“Just Reach Out and Touch…!

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”     by Denis Waitley
Thanks to all who commented last week on my very short Post. It is wonderful to have “Friends” who appreciate and understand when some detours are needed to get to where you have to be. Although I am still extremely busy, the pathway to get all things done is much clearer.

Today, I am officially announcing the three-week fundraising campaign for the “Pathway Project for 2018”. For many “Friends” this will be the first invitation to help

Partnership slide. 1

support this project. During the previous two years, only selected Emory & Henry College affiliates were asked to support this one a kind project. It was my decision to limit donors to E&H folks because I simply wanted E&H College to be the first primary supporters of a project that would highlight the special place our college is. The recent E&H College Alumni story points out this special place and special people. Then, at times, non-E&H College members expressed disappointment in being excluded. Now, everyone and anyone can share in this one of a kind venture. Here are the details:

Pathway Project for 2018

The Goal  $6,500.00         Actual Income=$850.00        Deadline:  May 25th, 2018

The project will provide transportation for two Copey Learning Center students and two adult chaperones traveling from Costa Rica to Washington, DC on June 9th. Then, on June 11th, the guests will travel to E&H College for an approximate two-week stay which will include attendance at the annual Young Scholars and Leadership Program held on campus. Nearly two-thirds of the funds will be applied to airline travel expenses. Over the next few weeks, more specific information will be provided.

I invite “Friends” to join in from all over and support this outstanding partnership effort being undertaken by E&H College, the Learning Center and the Copey community, Kiwanis of Tri-City Industry in Washington state, and of course “Friends of Copey”. Below are the guidelines to follow for making a donation in support of this project.:

Make check to TCI-Kiwanis Foundation and include in memo section: “Pathway Proj. FOC”.  Then please mail the check to the address below not later than May 25th, 2018.

guidelines for Pathway

And, please do not make the check to “Friends of Copey” or to me personally. All funds will go into the TCI Kiwanis Foundation account to pay the expenses. The account will be managed by the Foundation’s Treasurer, Ms. Julie Meek, CPA. The Foundation has 501c3 status. Thanks in Advance

Other News

There are a variety of activities underway including some pen pal letters from one or two elementary schools and a skype session planned for students in Copey and Richland, Washington, Also, another fantastic “Welcome the Pathway Project 2018 Guests” reception is planned and scheduled for June 15th. If interested, please let me know so you can be placed on the guest list.

Other news but no time to share. Just keep reading the Posts and stay informed. This is as much about you as anything.

Thanks for being a “Friend”