“The Joy Is In Serving…!”

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”                                    By  Mahatma Gandhi

Anne G. Broady

On this date in 2013 at the age of 87, Anne (Elizabeth) G. Broady quietly passed away. To honor her memory, we established Marty Pics 097the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund. Scholarships have been funded for five years now and we are very grateful for the many “Friends” who have supported this scholarship. It has served us the givers as well as those who have received by making a difference in the lives of children in Copey.

Mom’s name has become very familiar in this remote area of Costa Rica and many families expressed their deep and sincere appreciation during my visit there last November. It has also been very personally rewarding getting to know well several of the recipients. Some of them have traveled to the USA under our “Pathway Project”. We all have been blessed.

Can You Go To Copey?

Fall is starting to show up as the kids in my area are ready to return to school this week. The Copey schools and the Learning Center have been open all summer and now they are focused on getting to November when schools close for their summer.

Jane with students

Jane…True Volunteer

I am using this platform to help the Learning Center connect with qualified teachers. I “know” there are many of you “Friends of Copey” with teaching experience and have many friends in the teaching profession.

If you are available or if you know of anyone interested in a very unique and possibly life-changing volunteer experience in Copey, Costa Rica, please let me know. It will be an extremely rewarding experience and I think we can get things set up very quickly.

This reminds me that on September 14, 2017, my friend Joe Thomas wrote this note to me… “Art, this project–a “project of the heart”–continues to be a witness for the topic of this post: divine intervention. All of the things that have happened in the past four years to make these transformational moments possible for the Copey students could simply not have happened by chance!”  There has been other transformational moments since Joe’s note was received. I am in full agreement with him. “Divine Intervention” is alive and well!

Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee report indicates there has been a major change in the spelling competition this year in Costa Rica. In the recent past, winners at the different levels moved upward to the national Spelling Bee level to compete. I am informed there will not be a “national” competition this year…but the lower level competition will continue.

Spelling Bee. 2

Margarita

After the first round, Margarita won both the Impromptu Speech

Spelling Bee.1

Melany 

and the Impromptu Conversation competition. Melany won the Spelling contest. Both have an excellent chance of winning at the next round.

Also, you may recall Margarita’s older sister Mariana in the past has been a consistent winner at all levels and competed at the National level last year.

Mariana, apparently is not eligible to compete in this same competition now that she is in high school. However, she is participating in another contest and we will keep you updated on her progress.

We are very proud the students are competing and continuing to demonstrate to others that their English education provided by the Learning Center is a true benefit.

Happy (100th) Birthday!

Katherine Johnson

I wish to use this Post to say once again…”Happy Birthday…!” to Aunt Katherine. All the “Friends of Copey” wish you well and extend our love and admiration.

 

Just Do It…Till It’s Done!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  by Nelson Mandela

The Weather

Today, we have experienced some welcomed and positive changes in our weather here in southeast Washington. The map shows much of the smoke has moved eastward to Idaho and Montana.  This follows several days of heavy smoke and ongoing fires. Weather map Washington

Last week our smoke was mostly from fires in western and central Washington, Oregon, and Northern California including our own small fire locally.

Now, most of the recent smoke has been coming down from Canada where there are several major active fires.

I am only reporting more than I am complaining. It is certainly far worse for those living closer to the fires, those in danger, and those who have experienced losses because of the fires.

Rebuilding the Church

My comments about the Copey church that burned down a year ago prompted some new information about the current efforts to rebuild. Larry Windes, dear friend and architect living nearby Copey, shared the news about the Copey community now working on a new building design. This indicates at least the community’s interest and desire to re-establish a local worship center to serve the Copey community. (Larry shown with his wife Cindy)Graduation 10

It is uncertain how much assistance and financial support the community will receive from the upper levels of the Catholic hierarchy even though the community is a predominantly Catholic community in need of a replacement church.  Hopefully, support will be provided and sufficient to meet the needs of the local and faithful community.

“Friends of Copey” has been patiently waiting to see if the community would decide to rebuild. To rebuild is a very important decision and will take most of the community to work together to accomplish. The other major building interest is the “new” Learning Center which was in the plans before the church burned down. We (Friends of Copey) determined it was unwise to interfere or impact the community’s interest and decision regarding the rebuilding of the church.

Special Birthdays 

Today, one of my dearest cousins celebrates her birthday and on August 26, we will all aunt-katherine-posterpay special congratulations to Aunt Katherine Johnson. She will celebrate and enjoy her 100th birthday.  Best wishes and love to cousin Anna and Aunt Katherine.

Other Learning Center News

All appears to be going well with the classroom instruction in the Learning Center. Typically, not much news is really great news. On my end I am eager for our schools to return from summer so we can renew our efforts to get more American students connected to Copey students. We have plans in the near future to attempt a skyping session and there is one school who has expressed interest in setting up a “Pen Pal” arrangement. We fully enjoy our success getting students to talk to students. Stay tuned in for more on this over the next several weeks.

 

“Lord…We’ve Seen Fire and Rain”

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”                                   By Ferdinand Foch

On Saturday, a large local fire helped contribute to the enormous smokey conditions from various fire locations originating from western and central Washington, Oregon, and California. These smokey conditions stretch all the way to the east coast according to today’s weather reports. US Fire MapEastern Washington has not had rain in several weeks and with temperatures in the 100’s at times, this is a near perfect recipe for more fire and smoke. I hope “Friends” east of Washington state are having better weather conditions. However, I suspect there will be a lot of smoke in the near future since many of the active fires are not yet contained.

Our local fire reached and destroyed several homes but mostly it was a dry-land fire that burned rapidly with the help of strong winds. All in all, our community was very lucky given the weather conditions and the shortage of resources available to fight the fires. No fatalities have been reported to the credit of quick responses and reactions. Kennewick.5In Copey, I believe the weather conditions are much better although Copey is likely experiencing a daily rainfall since its region is now in the wet season.

It was August 2017 when the horrible fire caused the total destruction of the Copey community church. This was a devastating blow to the small community and little progress hasUtah team church been made to rebuild. We suspect available financial resources is one of the key reasons for the delay. The site continues to stand as a sober reminder to all those connected in the community who have strong historical and family ties to the church. This is our latest photo of the church location taken during the Utah team’s visit to Copey in March nearly eight months after the fire. Spelling Bee

In the near future we will begin reporting on the annual “Spelling Bee” competition. The Copey Learning Center has been represented the past several years with students doing well competing against stronger opponents from more urban areas of the country. This could be the year for a national champion from Copey.

As we now move into the final months of school scheduled to end in late November, keep the students in your thoughts. We are hopeful the support provided by “Friends” this year will be a major contributor to a fully successful year. Scholarships, supplies, and other various types of financial support will allow this to be a fully successful year.

“Thanks to all the Friends!” 

 

 

 

“Teachers…The Heart of Education”

“I absolutely LOVED this post!! It is so true that no matter what we do we make a difference in someone’s life.”         by Carolyn Johnson

I received several comments from “Friends” who commented on last week’s Post. Such comments are both reassuring, encouraging, and certainly very much appreciated.

Carolyn Johnson, now the retired elementary school principal from Lehi, Utah (refer to:   https://friendsofcopey.com/2018/04/09/the-principal-the-leader/, speaks with authority

Utah Team w Carolyn

Carolyn Johnson

regarding lives being changed by what we do. Principal Johnson has worked with students on a daily basis throughout her career and has seen first-hand her actions making a difference. As the top school administrator, she has been the leader of others working on the “front-line”. We are very honored and happy to have “Friends” supporting the Learning Center representing this profession.

I want to highlight “educators” this week because of the overall impact educators have had on the work and success of “Friends of Copey” since its beginning. To make this point, I can highlight a few significant examples of educators contributing to our overall success over the past twelve months alone.

  1. The 400 pounds of school supplies collected and delivered to the Copey Learning Center was spearheaded by educators.
  2. The “Pathway Project” support base is centered around the interest and commitment of several educators along with the E&H College (education) staff and faculty.
  3. Jane Rutledge, retired educator volunteered three months as a teacher at the Learning Center…a true “difference maker”.

    Jane Kitty

    Jane Rutledge

  4. And, more than 50% of the overall donor support comes from the education community for all three annual fundraising campaigns.

Clearly, educators are deeply involved. The second week of November is “National Education Week” and I plan to mark my calendar to remind me to observe those who have been and those who continue to make a difference on the “front-line”.

Follow Up to Last Week’s Post

I received a couple of comments about the challenge issued to “share” the story with friends news about the Copey Learning Center and become a more active “Friend”. One comment suggested “Friends” could respond to my challenge by adding the link to my Post to their Facebook Page each week. Apparently, this is not difficult to do and is a very efficient way to share the news with your friends. With little effort, this would/could be a very positive way to help and support the Learning Center. As I learned by sharing the news with a total stranger on an airplane, the unimaginable could happen!

You are doing something very special and very unique. There is no good reason to not share with others how well the project and support is going. It is well worth sharing when appropriate.

“Go Tell It On The Mountain!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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!