11/3/05 Birth of an Organization--Follow-Up
Within days, we had 2 very generous readers come through and donate more than enough for the start-up costs. I felt "right" about the story, and that something good would happen because of it. Shelley agreed, but thought the story might get a few smaller donations and put them within reach of the start-up fees. Needless to say, she was shocked speechless when she received not one, but two responses to the story.
This is what she had to say about this chain of events:
"To say that I am completely stunned by the generosity of our "earth angels" would be an understatement. I was and still am in a complete state of "euphoric shock"--if in fact that is an actual term !! Kelly can vouch for the fact that I was a blithering idiot when I spoke to her the other night about the gifts we were given ! When it occured to me that we would have the money needed to get our organization off the ground, I sat down and cried. This means so very much to us. These funds will help us achieve our second goal ( first being to get our website up and running )which is to get our non profit applied for, and get all legal paperwork done for state of Tennessee as well. Also to pay for our website for a year at a time as opposed to month to month, which ultimately costs more at years end by doing it month to month. Our P.O.Box will also be paid for a year.
We as a group realize that all goals can be achieved if we work hard enough at it, and accept that they will come one baby step at a time. We just didn't realize that it would be possible to come this far this quickly ! Our ultimate goal is to become the Clearinghouse for the state of Tennesse, in which ALL missing will be listed, not just the missing children--adults and runaways will be part of our site as they are now.
We do not now, nor will we in the future make a distinction between missing teens through abduction or runaways, they are all missing and deserve a place to be seen. It is also our view that children abducted by a parent are no less important than those abducted by a stranger. A missing child, is a missing child. Missing adults are not given the attention that they deserve by police depts and the general public, and we hope to change that. The number of missing adults in Tennessee far outweigh the missing children. Probably because their cases are not worked with the same urgency as a missing child.
At some point in time we hope to be able to assist families with the most pressing financial issues, food, phone bills and gasoline. Often one or both parents cannot work in the early phase of their nightmare, and with less money they can do less to help find their loved one. A gas card, a phone card and a gift card for groceries at a local store would help with this.
Our more immediate goals are to be able to give families fliers to distribute, assist them when possible in doing so, and to aid in searches. Telephone, and/or email emotional support is also a great necessity. We feel that to allow them the opportunity to voice their fears to someone who understands exactly what they are saying is of great importance.
We would also like to establish a rapport with police depts, sheriffs depts and the media etc so that one day they will refer people to us because they know our desire is to offer help to these families. This one may take some time. We hope to do a packet which will be sent to all police agencies with in the state, explaining who we are, what we do, and asking for their help.
We have a lot of goals, all will take time, but we are all dedicated to what we are doing, and know in our hearts that these goals will be achieved in time.
The day to day running of a non profit consists of time, working with our families, and lots of printer ink !! It is our hope to someday have a partnership with a couple of printing companies to supply us with fliers at a reduced rate that they can write off as a tax deduction at years end. But until that time ink will be a big cost for us.
So, I hope that all can see that we have goals we WILL achieve one by one, and that these gifts will allow us to get a great start.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity shown to us and can never really say thank you enough (to our earth angels) for these gifts. I cannot end this without a special thank you to our "special angel" Kelly for coming up with this idea, and making our dream a reality. Kelly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a gift to me, and to Tennessee Alliance !
I am merely passing along the kindness that was extended to me. Thank you to the two earth angels. (You may not yet realize what this will mean for the countless individuals and families who will seek assistance from TN Alliance.)
What would the world be like if we all followed suit?