2018 Non-Financial Scorecard…Part 2

“Nothing else in all life is such a maker of joy and cheer as the privilege of doing good.”            By James Russell Miller

The “Non-Financial” Support continues!  

There is still plenty to the “2018 non-financial” story to share that includes general acts of kindness and support for the Copey Learning Center.

Similar to the Utah story, another surprising act of kindness resulted in the purchase of a huge supply of Emory & Henry (EH) College shirts and caps, plus an EH College banner delivered to the Copey Learning Center.

These items were donated by Thomas McGlothlin. Thomas graduated from EH College in 1968 and the McGlothlin family members are rock solid supporters of the college. After Thomas met the Pathway Project students and chaperones last June, his enthusiasm for the developing relationship between the college and the Copey Learning Center inspired him to support even greater visibility of the college inside the Copey community. 

Blog and Post Accomplishments for 2018

  1. Fifty-three Posts have been issued in 2018.
  2. Back in 2015 our viewership was 3,207. In 2016 we reached 3,223. Then in 2017 we sky-rocketed to 4,055. Our 2018 end count is projected at 3,550, a 11% decrease in viewership over 2017. But remember, the 2017 viewership count provided a huge increase over 2016. We fell a little short in matching that level two years in a row.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Posts-2018.jpg
  3. Use of photos continued to be high compared to prior years.
  4. “Comments” responding to Posts increased by 6% over 2017. 
  5. The three Most Viewed Posts were “Have Supplies…Will Travel” Posted March 19, 2018; “The Principal…The Leader” Posted April 9 2018; and “Friends…Are Everywhere” Posted April 16, 2018.
  6. “Friends” remains popular in countries outside of the USA and Costa Rica. There are a total of 56 countries listed who have visited the Blog this year. The USA and Costa Rica accounted for  nearly 3,000 visits alone. The list includes from Canada thru Germany, countries with at least 50 visits each.  

World’s Best Partners!

We have outstanding partners who support “Friends of Copey”. Our success would be impossible without the support of Emory & Henry CollegeThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is eh-college-e1514393430979.pngand the Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Club. Both provide the essential services          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is zzzkiwanis.pngneeded to successfully conduct the annual “Pathway Project”. These two partners are easily 2,500 miles apart in distance in this country.

However, they successfully support the Copey Learning Center located in Costa Rica.  This alone is an amazing story.

Both organizations are integral partners in the “Pathway Project” and provide a wide-range of services including housing and meals, transportation, education, recreation, and accounting. These services are donated and supported by many individuals representing both groups who also voluntarily donate their individual/personal time and resources.

Very Special In-Kind Support!

One of the most unheralded supporters year after year is Carol Barnard. She has been the best “behind the scenes supporter” I can have. Thoughts and ideas can beThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is carol-B-e1545852728229.jpg trusted with her and I can depend on consistent and honest feedback. “Friends” involves many people, donated funds, in-kind support, important business decisions, and certainly the potential for many pitfalls and mistakes. She provides me an extra set of eyes and ears and offers unadulterated feedback that keeps me grounded, humbled, and clear thinking.  

And, she edits my Posts for glaring errors and inarticulate comments I am often guilty of making. And, if you do see such problems with my Posts, most likely she did not do the editing.  So, I extend my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Carol for being such a devoted supporter and extremely valuable “Friend of Copey.” Any success “Friends” has had, without a doubt will have Carol’s fingerprints on it. Thanks!

Some Notable Quotes From “Friends” to End 2018!

Getting notes and comments from “Friends” is similar to a “paycheck” I am fortunate to receive. I appreciate each “Friend” and it is good to hear your thoughts and views on the work we are doing. Here are only a few received this year I want to share:

“Loved reading the letters from Margarita and Amy. They both write English well. I am proud to be a part of their learning experience and will continue to support the efforts of education and cultural exchange with Copey Learning Center. It is one of the joys of my life to know my small effort can make a big difference.”  Kay F.

“Love seeing the students in the Emory & Henry shirts, hats and holding banners. Go Emory & Henry College!!”  Pat W.

“What a joy it is to read your blog and to see your vision grow, you inspire me.” Cynthia M.zzzBanner of FOC

“I absolutely LOVED this post!! It is so true that no matter what we do we make a difference in someone’s life. I love reading this blog, loved my time at the Copey Learning Center, and love all the circumstances that brought our visit about.”  Carolyn J. 

“Your grand vision has afforded so many of us the opportunity to contribute, hopefully, in meaningful and developmental ways. What a treat it was to witness the enthusiasm and excitement displayed by the scholars as we briefly toured around DC.”  Zina G.

“Fantastic job of getting those letters in the blog!! They are clear and easy to read!! Great inspiration!!” Rick J.

“Yes, you are right Arthur, we do make a positive difference. It is important for us to shine a light on the darkness that we see and hear often in today’s world. I sing a few verses of “This Little Light of Mine” often and make up verses of my own. We have hope and light ahead as we witness in these young children already making such a difference. Thanks to Ms. Johnson, the students, faculty, and staff for making a positive difference. Keeping the faith!”  Lisa B.

“Another beautiful post!  Enjoyed seeing the success of your family…both older and younger.  What a great tradition you and your family have!” Eric J.

“Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.  We enjoyed it so much.  I have told many people about our experiences and shared what a wonderful program you have going on down there.  I hope to return someday soon.  Thank you!”  Tamarie M.

What a difference you have made in 2018! Happy New Year to all! 

2018 Non-Financial Scorecard

“I don’t want much for Christmas. I just want the person reading this Post to be healthy, happy, and loved!”

WARNING!!! This report is lenthy and only Part 1 of two Parts needed to cover the full non-financial success experienced this year.

During 2018, “Friends of Copey” witnessed a major display of volunterism and in-kind support. Our non-financial support supplimented by the financial support resulted in 2018 being “best year” yet. Last week we documented the “Financial” side of our work. This week and next week, we will take a look at all accomplished by volunteers and in-kind support.

1. New School Update

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We started 2018 somewhat disappointed because our “New Educational and Cultural Center” proposal was rejected late in 2017. Being a significantly large goal, we decided to place the effort on hold while the Copey community struggled with the loss their church by fire in August 2017. The Copey community’s first priority is to see the church rebuilt. However, “Friends” is still actively working on this project and we look forward to 2019 with optimism.  

2. Surprise…Surprise!

The Meadow Elementary School in Lehi, Utah led by Principal Carolyn Johnson and assisted by Tamarie McMullin, Lisa Watters, and Debbi Christiansen, surprised everyone this year. In early 2018 “Friends” learned about the 400 pounds of school supplies collected to be donated to the Copey Learning Center. The collection effort involved school kids, parents, and school employees all working together. Then, this collection was personally delivered to the doorstep of the Copey Learning Center. UNBELIEVABLE!

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This enormous act of kindness and generosity resulted multiple years of savings in classroom supply expenses. BUT, we should not overlook the additional expense for airline cost, hotel and food expenses, and the unselfish donation of personal time and

energy needed to make this all happen.

And, it should not be lost that this story of generosity extends beyond supplies. The “kids” have been impacted.

Students at Meadow Elementary School became aware and interested in students in Copey. This established a rare international student link. The Utah Team’s visit to Copey and the Learning Center, their time spent with staff, students, parents, and leaders is simply “priceless”. The sharing of information, skyping, and exchanging of pen pal letters can not be defined or measured in currency. The non-financial benefits are lasting. 

3.  The 2018 Pathway Project

Amazing Support! The “extra mile” became standard practice when the “2018 Pathway Project” followed the Utah Team. Matt and Kara, students from the Emory & Henry College journeyed to Copey to volunteer for five weeks. Upon their volunteer completion, they returned home to the USA with two Copey students and two chaperones.

The Copey students and chaperones were welcomed to the USA by my cousin, Zina. A retired educator and life-long resident of the DC area, Zina was the ideal “host greeter” providing our guests transportation to their

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hotel, then to a restaurant for dinner, and returned to their hotel for a much needed rest.

Zina provided our guests a tour of our nation’s capital the following day and she treated the guests to a meal at a wonderful restaurant before completing her host service.

Monica, Emory & Henry College’s Alumni Director, drove nearly three hundred miles to DC to meet Zina and our guests and then transported our guests to campus. Zina and Monica working as a team, accomplished all this during first 48 hours our guests were in the USA.

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During the first week, we witnessed this level of support many times. George Whitley opened his home and covered all costs for the 2nd annual “Friends” reception attended by “Friends”, some traveling from North Carolina.

Jane Rutledge and her family hosted a family picnic for our guests to enjoy.  Ed Davis and his wife treated our guest to bowling. Robin Grossman and her family shared their wonderful home and comfortable accommodations for our guests to stay and enjoy during their first week on campus. 

During the second week, the generosity and support continued. Tuition, dormitory rooms, and on-campus meals were provided to allow the guests to participate in the Young Scholars and Leadership course.

These noted “Friends” performed examples of the many ways kindness, consideration, concern, and support took place. There are many others such as Dr. Celeste Gaia, the college’s Director of International Education, who was key to establishing the “Pathway Project”. All these supporters have the “heart of servants” and voluntarily support each of the areas listed below with little or no fanfare.

The actual financial price tag was about $5,900.00 or $1,475.00 for each of the four guests. Each dollar donated was needed and critical to the success of this project.

But, the true price tag for the “Pathway Project” would be closer to $9,000 or more without the wide -range of in-kind support and voluntarily assistance provided.  

4. More In-Kind Support To Be Continued

There is much more to share about the 2018 supportive volunteers. But, this will be continued in Part 2 of the Non-Financial Scorecard next week. This story is bigger than life and very important to share…and share well.

“Enjoy the Holidays…there is much joy to share!”


2018 Financial Scorecard

2018 Financial Scorecard

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”                                        By Albert Einstein

When we began the 2018 year, our expectations were just as high as in previous years. Our historical success provided good reasons to look forward to 2018 with confidence.

Annual Fund Raising Successes!

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Kicking off January 2018, we launched the dual fundraising campaign to support the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and support for the Executive Director’s annual salary.     

 The Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund goal was again set for 15 scholarships or $1,500.00. The actual amount raised with donations totaled $1,750.00.  

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The financial goal to support the Executive Director’s Salary was set at $2,500.00 and was successfully achieved with a final total of $2,600.00. I wish to note this goal was reached nearly a month earlier than planned.

Copey Learning Center is grateful for the level of financial support provided by “Friends” for both of these financial goals. We now have five years of scholarships (100 plus) donated and our support for the Executive Director’s salary has been in place for four years.

The investments in both areas of funding support have resulted in more students learning English and the Copey Learning Center enjoying competent and consistent leadership.

Successful Financial Year for the Pathway Project! 

The 2018 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 two students and two chaperones.

During the fundraising campaign, some planned travel and food costs where eliminated when “Friends” offered to replace these costs with valuable in-kind support. The goal was cautiously reduced from the $6,500.00 goal to $6,200.00.    

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The total amount of donations received was $6,180.00 and the total expenses were $5,907.72. The airfare alone made up 75% of our total expenses. This left $272.28 unspent and these funds are being held over for the 2019 Pathway Project. 

One key observation this year was the growing amount of in-kind support we experienced for the Pathway Project. This kept our overall financial need very reasonable. 

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Each year, we have donated funds for school supplies and we have supported the annual “Spelling Bee”. Fortunately, this year the Copey Learning Center received an unbelievable donation of school supplies. There will be more said about this in next week’s Post.

The “Spelling Bee” was canceled in 2018 due to the Costa Rican “employee strike” which involved public schools and teachers. No funds were needed for the “Spelling Bee”.

“Friends” has an important role. We actively help provide opportunities so more students can attend the Copey Learning Center. We support keeping quality and consistent leadership in place to manage the Copey Learning Center. And, we support recognizing, rewarding, and encouraging student success. 

“Friends” continues to strive to make a practice of requesting donations only when we are supporting one of the general areas covered in this report. And each time there has been a call for support,  you have responded favorably and generously to the opportunity to “make a difference”.

Thank You and Happy Holidays

Mingling With Magic!!!

“Love and enthusiasm and hardwork can mingle to make magic!”   by Monica Hoel

Looking Back!

It is December…the back end of another year. How does time go by so quickly? Also, we just watched five years fly by since I published my very first Post on December 15, 2013. It was a very short message with only the photo of the Copey Learning Center pictured here. This Learning Center was in use when the Blog began…but the Learning Center is now located in the different facility now seen on all my Posts. 

Who knew on December 15th what would follow?  Today’s Post will be # 267. Admittedly, I never anticipated we would be where we are today and still going strong.                                                                                                        

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The journey has been absolutely amazing and fortunately the compilation of the 267 Posts serve to document the events and our successes over the years. And, you can find each of the 267 Posts on this Blog to read. 

This is not often mentioned but very important. Over the five years I have been reunited with several old friends and strengthened relations with casual friends. Plus, I have experienced connecting with many “new” friends. In short, I am “friends rich” and blessed we are all joined together as “Friends of Copey”.

Time To Be Accountable!

I look forward to next week’s Post when I share Part One of our scorecards. I am gathering the information and it causes me to constantly stop and remember the details. There are two main conclusions I reach from reading these Posts. F

First, what we do is extraordinary. Connecting with a community for the only purpose to support that community’s efforts to achieve its goal is not typical. Other organizations helping with scholarships, salary support, and other educational enhancements totally dedicated to one community is essentially unheard of.

Then, how we do what we do is also extraordiary. We are a devoted group of “friends” uncompensated and fully committed to doing what is within our ability. We do not look or conduct business in any way similar to the established organizations. More on both of these conclusions in the upcoming “scorecards”.

“From Whom All Blessings Flow”

“Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last.”    By Lawrence Welk

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

The Thanksgiving turkey is mostly gone and I consumed far too much of it. But, it was a wonderful time to reflect on the many things I know I am personally thankful for. I hope all “Friends” took time to enjoy similar reflections. For “Friends of Copey”, everyday is a day of “Thanksgiving”.

Graduation at the Learning Center

Graduation at the Copey Learning Center was held Friday and just look at these precious photos and the smiles. Several are AGB Scholarship recipients. Another year is complete and school is out until February 2019. But…work continues! 

We enjoy seeing the joy and pride on the faces of many of these students. “Graduation” day is a very important day in the lives of these students and it flows over to the parents as well. The unique opportunity for these students to attend the Copey Learning Center to learn English does not go unnoticed by nearby Costa Rican communities. Today, most parents and students living away from Copey can only observe this unique opportunity and hope one day a Learning Center will come to their town. 

Scorecard Time

Next month…I will begin wrapping up the information to provide all “Friends” an accounting of our efforts and performance during 2018. Those following closely this year already know there has been some absolutely amazing accomplishments. 

Celebrating 5th Year “Friends”

Next month, we will completed five full years of support under the banner of “Friends of Copey”. So much has happened. So many old and new “friends” have become involved. So many stories have been born and have been shared. Lives have been impacted and as it has often been said…“the giver is often the receiver”. One of my favorite things to do is to go back and just read the titles of Posts I have written. And, as time permits, I will read the quotes I included hoping that if the Post itself does not touch you, perhaps the quote will convey a message of purpose and meaning. Both together, the title and quotes provide a trail laying out this unbelievable journey we have shared. 

I have never approached a job or a task before where I was completely dependent on another’s trust and confidence, willingness and generosity. As we started this journey, “friendship” was the foundation and glue needed to give this a chance for success. Five years later, we know that “friendship” and all this entails has been the driver sustaining this project. So, when I reflect on “Thanksgiving”, I know this project has been BLESSED...and I know our “friendships” have been the driving force.                                                                                               For you…I am Thankful!


Being Change Agents…!

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”– Wayne Gretzky

Emory & Henry College

I have returned from the east Tennessee and southwest Virginia area of our country. I thank the many “Friends” I had the opportunity to visit during my short stay. The interest continues to be very high among “Friends” back there and specifically the Emory & Henry College’s support for the “Pathway Project” is solid.

Emory & Henry College is consistently ranked among the nation’s best private liberal arts institutions. The College’s many accolades include the Presidential Award for Service Learning, the highest national recognition for community service and service learning; top tier recognition in Washington MonthlyUSA TodayNewsweek and is also listed among the top 40 schools in Colleges that Change Lives…just to name a few. 

“Virginia has no shortage of familiar schools with robust reputations. But, Emory & Henry, in the colorful hills of the state’s southwest corner, does the finest job of them all of producing contributors to society.“
– Colleges That Change Lives

“Friends of Copey” is extremely fortunate to be affiliated with an institution that is among the best at “changing lives”.  

Another Student Letter from Copey

I still hear from “Friends” about the student letters I have posted. Yes, they are very special and there are still more letters I could share. But, I will only pass along one more. This letter from nine year old Antuan struck me for a variety of reasons. He shares information about his family and his youthful interests. Sounds much like a typical nine year old who enjoys computer games and movies. This is Antuan’s time as a youth but as he grows a little older, serious challenges will confront him as he contemplates his future. Will he graduate from high school or dropout?

We are hopeful learning English and being involved with the Copey Learning Center will make a significant difference for Antuan and others. Please know our help “makes a difference”.

2018 Copey Learning Center Graduation

This is graduation week in Copey at the Learning Center.

Congrats to all the students!

I am very sad to miss graduation this year but I have some very happy memories left over from last year. I will do all I can to return to Copey for next year’s graduation.

And, I hope some “Friends of Copey” will attend the graduation with me and visit that magical and generous community where amazing things happen.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Soon we will enter our final month of our 5th official year of devoted support for the Copey Learning Center. There is a lot to reflect on. The year has been full of achievements and amazing surprises. The end of the year “scorecards” will be prepared soon and we will take a very close look at our performance. Thanks to All of You!


Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

“He died to make men holy, Let us die to make men free;
While God is marching on.”   Battle Hymn of the Republic

Honoring the Vets

To all the veterans in my world, I thank you and share the day of remembrance for your willingness to serve our country. As is my custom, I am again highlighting four of my fallen friends who died while serving in the late 1960’s during the Viet Nam Conflict.

Michael Charles, Kenneth Delaney, Frank Campbell, and Danny Watkins were all friends and schoolmates who served well and died young. “Gone but not forgotten!” 

veteran-daysOther friends who served include Lou, Charles, Skeeter, Stevie, Carlos, David, Gene, Fred, Jim, Adam, “Duck” Montgomery, and many more. I salute each of you and continue to stand proud to be associated with these veterans.

More Students Letters

Several of you commented on last week’s letters placed in my Post. Thank you fCLC.2or recognizing the progress and the educational challenges the students face. We all seem to be in agreement that our support is helping make a difference.

I am adding a couple more letters for your reading pleasure.

Margarita is eleven years old and I have met her. She is truly a very talented young lady with a great deal of promise and potential. She is also a star performer in the Spelling Bee world.

Amy is younger and shows a lot of promise as well. She is only eight years old and her penmanship is really very good.CLC

The impact the Copey Learning Center is having on their students is remarkable and the development of an upcoming generation of English-speaking citizens will produce amazing results.

Pathway Project 2019

Being around the Emory &Henry College campus this past week was very enjoyable and rejuvenating. The number of “Friends of Copey” continues to grow among alumni and those already on board remain solidly committed to the “Pathway Project”.

Just by pure chance I met Matt as we were walking along the sidewalk across campus. We just happened to notice each other. Matt was the E&H student volunteer who spent this past Spring in Copey CLC.3with Kara. He is still so enthused about his time spent in Copey and it is wonderful to see the after-glow of excitement and his wonderful memories still living on.

On campus, the college recruiters have included Copey as part of the information used to attract new students. Kara is featured in the latest material produced.

All this points to the journey we have traveled building a strong and meaningful partnership with the college. We may be one of a very few partnerships with this type of “on the ground” relationship. This is just one more thing to be extremely proud of as “Friends”.

God Bless America!