Annual Report ­ 2007-2008

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Here is a snapshot of our 2007-2008 activities:

  • Romania Trip ­ Due to failed attempts during his May '07 trip to wire the money from the sale of their Romanian apartment, Dave had to make an unanticipated trip to Romania in September '07. It was Dave's special joy to successfully find Petra's Village. Weather permitting, he intends to make this a regular part of any future trips to Romania. Our surgical burn intervention in 2000 for Petra proved to be rather unsuccessful, but God did a huge work in Petra's heart while he was in the USA, and the fruits are still evident.

The one other accomplishment during this short trip was the opportunity to visit what used to be the Baby Orphanage; Dave does see possibilities for future involvement here. During his visit to the Holding Center for Street Children the friendly staff assured him that he is welcome to continue to visit both facilities anytime he is in Romania. The dynamics of the older children's orphanages has changed significantly since Romania entered the EU; volunteer opportunities have been minimized. Considering the ongoing difficulties in working with that director, Dave feels our involvement at the Orlat girl's orphanage has ended.

Dave did one food packet distribution to approximately 35 peasant families and he left money to provide for a Christmas '07 distribution. As this trip was unanticipated, he didn't feel he could afford the expense of making a Christmas trip ­ that was a very difficult decision for him.

  • Poinsettia Project ­ The first project following our December meeting was our annual Poinsettia project. We purchased eighty Poinsettias, and with the help of 4 local friends we were able to bless each resident of Eagle Meadows Assisted Living Center in College Place, WA. Most residents were truly blessed by the flowers, and they were even more blessed that we would spend a little time visiting them. We would like to apologize for not contacting any of the board before doing this project to give them the opportunity to join us - we will not make that mistake in the future. If the board desires, we encourage you to do a similar project in Hermiston this year.

 

  • Roatan (Honduras) School Project ­ Dave did 3 clown shows at a small local (private, English-speaking) school in Roatan in April. We hope this is a beginning of opportunities for Dave to be more involved on future trips to Roatan. We have some concerns about how our donation of supplies is being distributed and used in the public schools there; we will continue to observe the local facilitator's progress to determine if we want to continue involvement with the public school system on the island.

 

  • Scholar-Athlete Scholarship ­ This $50,000 scholarship fund is the profit on the sale of our apartment in Romania. We are still working out the details of this new project. The colleges failed to contact us when the 2 spring '07 recipients registered for school in the fall. Learning from this experience, the burden of 'proof of enrollment' will now be on the recipient(s).

It was a pleasure to be able to award 3 Athlete Scholarships in spring '08. The recipients are all from the Hermiston Cross Country Team: Leslie Macias, Terry Johnsen and Alex Ringe. The amount of the scholarships will be determined by the amount of interest that the $50,000 principal earns by the end of September '08 when fall quarter begins.

  • Tourette Syndrome Grant ­
    • Russian Book Distribution ­ Distribution of the Russian edition of Jean's advocacy manual, Music in the Midst of Chaos, to Russian libraries and other Russian organizations is underway. Approximately 600 books remain to be distributed.
    • Educator's Awareness ­ There has been virtually zero progress on utilizing the TS Educator's Awareness Grant since '03 when the Neuro Center in Richland, WA, offered to implement the program. Jean recently pursued a Walla Walla group about taking over the program, but there appears to be no interest. Jean visited with the donor of the grant concerning the waning Educator's Awareness Program; the donor is supportive of terminating the program and transferring the remaining uncommitted grant money to the VRS Employee Appreciation Fund.
     
  • Valley Residential Services (VRS) Employee Appreciation Fund ­ The initial funding for this new project was a designated contribution of $20,000. Plans are underway to purchase and distribute our first annual cash appreciation-gift for each employee of Valley Residential Services in Walla Walla. VRS is a Washington licensed non-profit service provider which serves 66 adult clients with developmental disabilities. The 121 staff who provide the daily client support services are generally under-educated, underpaid individuals who work for VRS because they love and are committed to their special-needs clients. Jean will purchase $25 gift cards to be given to each VRS employee at a special VRS Employee Appreciation event in July.

 

  • Tango Machine ­ Taylor Jordon, 10, a fourth grader at Desert View Elementary School in Hermiston has a form of cerebral palsy that limits his verbal communication skills. Through a designated gift, Heart for Hope purchased a kid-friendly form of speech technology called a 'Tango' machine. The computerized device has enabled Taylor to interact with his peers and communicate with his family and teachers.

 

  • Cadena de Amor (Chain of Love) ­ This Honduran NGO operates several projects that serve the children of Honduras. Cadena sends children to USA who need special surgery. The group also sponsors several national dental programs with volunteers provided by, among others, Medical Teams International of Portland, OR. MTI provided all the funding for Cadena for many years after Hurricane Mitch, but MTI has now cut their support in half. Cadena's annual budget is approximately $26,000. With some help from new director John Spomer and a few other individuals, The NGO has received needed funds to keep them in operation. Cadena is working on plans for additional funding, but that is not easy in a very needy 3rd world country. Last year John took 1 dental team to assist Cadena; in mid-March '09 he plans to take a team for both a dental project and a construction project. That group will go primarily through Heart for Hope as the U.S. component. John can provide information for anyone interested in joining the '09 team.

 

  • Ronald McDonald House ­ Room 104 at Portland's Ronald McDonald West House is one of their most favorite, most-occupied rooms. Our initial room sponsorship commitment in '03 resulted in a total makeover, and with Becky's wise advice we purchased duplicate linens at that time so we could spruce up the room later without having to change the theme. So when we arrived in the July '07 to refresh the room, it was mostly a matter of 'out with the old, in with the new' while we fixed or replaced a few other items that needed attention. The room does need repainted due to water damage caused by upstairs plumbing problems (which have been fixed). Portland volunteers have been contacted; now that the long-term tenants have vacated, hopefully the painting will be completed in the near future. Heart will provide the painting supplies. The House is pleased at the prospect of getting the painting completed, and they are very appreciative of Heart's continuing sponsorship. The room should be in good shape until 2010; at that time we can evaluate whether Heart wishes to continue room sponsorship.

 

  • Future Projects ­ In addition to our regular annual and ongoing projects (including the scholarship & VRS Appreciation Gift, and poinsettia project), our plans include Dave's September trip to Romania, a possible Christmas trip to Romania, and Doctor Spomer's ambitious Honduran project(s). We will keep in touch with all of the board about any other projects that surface. As always, we welcome your ideas for activities that could make a difference in someone's life.

Summary ­ Thank you for your commitment to Heart for Hope. Without your faithfulness, Heart for Hope would not exist. We appreciate our volunteers more than we can ever express, as do all those who are touched by the varied projects of Heart for Hope.

With sincere appreciation -

Dave and Jean Conklin

Our work is not done. In fact, we feel like we have hardly begun!
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 Heart for Romania

a 501(c)(3) Corporation
 
225 SW Butte Drive
Hermiston, OR 97838 USA
(541) 567-1566
FAX (503) 905-6492