OK… one week to go. It’s almost time to pack up that 18 gallon Rubbermaid bin, the big rolling suitcase that I’ll be checking and also my carry-on bag. I did start packing up the bin today. So far, it’s got 20 lbs. of ESL books in it, 13 potholders & an apron for the cook, the Oakland Raiders folders and stickers, two sets of the Oakland Raiders flag football games (along with two footballs), two pumps for balls, day timers for Nico and Karen and various other assorted items. I drilled holes in the snap lid and the lid will be secured with plastic zip ties. I used duct tape to tape extra zip ties on the outside of the bin as TSA might want to look inside of it. They’ll be confused by the variety of items that are in there. Hey… what can I say? It’s a multi-tasking bin! And the best part is, the bin doesn’t come back with me. The cook has already called dibs on this bin. She’ll get to keep it in the orphanage kitchen or the bodega for storage.
Yesterday was a fun day as I picked up the first printing of the Orphan’s Hope Project shirts. I hope to sell some of them before I go next week. Yes, next week. Sunday morning I’ll be on an airplane. Brian, the volunteer coming from Vermont, will arrive in Guatemala Aurora Airport one hour after I do. He should be able to spot me quite easily… I’ll be wearing my Orphan’s Hope Project shirt. Hey…. do YOU want one? Let me know and we’ll get one to you. They’re sharp!
Legal stuff…. we made progress on that this week also. The federal application papers are complete and they’re ready to go to IRS. UPS will deliver them to me on Monday. I’ll look them over, sign them and then they’ll be on their way. I expect the State to incorporate us as a non-profit around mid-May…. about the time I’ll be back in the US. Federal status might take until September or so. But we’ll do it.
RUN! Yes, I said run…. as in start running. Yes, we’re planning a fundraiser. A few of us have been brainstorming this week and we came up with the idea of a 5K (3 mile) walk, run, stroll event. It is tentatively set for October 6, 2007 and will be held in Pinole, CA. We hope to get corporate sponsors and we also hope to get the support of the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Youth Commission and local businesses. There will be more on that later but it’s a good way to get our name our there, get some exercise and also make some money for the orphanage. And it’s a good way to get an Orphan’s Hope Project 5K T-Shirt. Maybe we’ll make it an annual event.
Who knows how to play flag football? Well, I don’t really remember so I contacted some organizations… looking for the rules in Spanish and in English. The IFFF (International Flag Football Federation) sent me the flag football rules… in Spanish, of course. I printed them out and made some copies to give to the older boys. I figured that the boys can read the rules, learn how to play flag football and teach the game to the younger boys. That was what I had in mind. Well, guess what? IFFF is interested in getting some of our boys (yes, the hogar boys) to the February 2008 IFFF World Cup Games in Costa Rica. They said they would look for sponsors and I guess we need to talk. I don’t know if anything will come of it but boy… wouldn’t that be something for the boys? Can you imagine taking 4 players (for 4 on 4 games) plus a few alternates on the trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica? Hey…. I would go to Costa Rica in a heartbeat. I guess I could go as one of the chaperones. Anyway, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this isn’t just a dream. It would be wonderful incentive for the boys… study hard and get good grades, get some exercise practicing a few times a week, play well, maintain good conduct and your reward is a 5 day trip to another country. Sweet! If I hear any more, I’ll let you know.
And so it goes and grows. Every contact, every mention, every talk, every t-shirt sold brings more awareness of our project and the things we’re trying to do for the boys. It’s fun to hand out my business card and have people ask me questions. They are really interested. You never know who that conversation will lead you to. We’re now at over 425 hits on the web site. And that’s in just 3 weeks time…. I say that’s pretty good.
This is how we do it !