“This is your time … you’d better not miss it" Those words rang through Latonya’s head. Her recent decision to leave New York City and return to the place she once called home — Raleigh, North Carolina — hadn't been easy. But she knew it was the right choice. Fleeing an abusive relationship and a soul-crushing job that barely enabled her to pay the bills, Latonya and her nine-year-old son arrived in Raleigh on a bus. She knew that she needed to find housing for them both, and fast. When she saw several homeless people, she boldly asked them: “Where do you go for help?” They pointed down the street to Raleigh Rescue Mission. That night, Latonya and her son were welcomed into the Mission’s emergency shelter. It was a huge relief. “We ate, we took a bath, and had a nice warm spot to sleep,” Latonya said. “It was a good place to be." That first meal and night of shelter led her to be part of the Mission’s recovery and rehabilitation services, where she began participating in Bible studies, life skills classes, job skills training, and other help to get a fresh start. “You remember those who lent you a hand when you were down,” she said. “I told my son: there won’t be a Christmas that we won’t come here and volunteer.” For over 50 years, the Raleigh Rescue Mission has been serving people in need of a hand up, like Latonya and her son. The need is significant: On a given night in Wake County, 1,115 men, women, and children are without shelter. The Mission serves them, providing 2,646 meals each week to individuals who otherwise might be forced to eat out of garbage cans. "There is something special about the Christmas holiday — celebrating the birth of Jesus, exchanging gifts, visiting with friends and family, and always great food. For some, this is a time of loneliness, broken promises, distant relationships, and just pure hopelessness. Many who we serve fall into the latter. The Mission is here to meet many needs and the holiday is no exception. We provide the love of Christ, great meals to many, and we also have special gifts for those we serve. In the end, we see happy faces, new friends and relationships, and restored faith, hope, peace, and joy. Merry Christmas!" — Lynn Daniell, Executive Director of the Raleigh Rescue Mission This Christmas, the Mission is busy serving the most needy in our community. Through its “Gobbles to Go” outreach on Christmas Eve, staff and volunteers will deliver 750 meals to the elderly, infirm, and low income. Because no Christmas is complete without the exchange of gifts, the Mission also is sponsoring a “Christmas Blessings Gift Program” that provides gifts for its clients. Around the holiday, the need is always significant for coats, blankets, gloves, and scarves — anything that will help keep men, women, and children warm during the cold months. To learn more about the Raleigh Rescue Mission, visit their homepage or read our Grantee Profile. CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
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The little fighter Only days old, eyes not even open yet, and all by herself — that’s how a cleaning crew found Swiffer, a short-haired tabby cat stuck in a bush. Taking time out of their busy workdays, the unselfish cleaning crew brought Swiffer to SAFE Haven for Cats, a nonprofit in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose mission is to end the suffering of cats and ensure the well-being of every animal. From the moment of her rescue on, Swiffer began a journey toward a permanent, loving home. Although completely helpless, Swiffer quickly caught on to bottle feeding, using the kitty litter box, and keeping warm on a heating pad. Her eyes opened at 10 days, and she started learning how to play, socialize with other kittens, and eat solid food. Today, thanks to the generous support of individuals and foundations in our community, Swiffer is healthy, happy, and ready for her new home just in time for Christmas. SAFE Haven for Cats is Raleigh’s “no-kill” shelter and spay/neuter clinic. Annually, SAFE Haven shelters and adopts 550 homeless cats, sterilizes 3,000 cats and small dogs, and provide 10 tons of free dog and cat food to community members. Volunteers provide much of the labor and love at the shelter. This Christmas season, a group of anonymous donors has offered a matching challenge of $118,310 for SAFE Haven. Every dollar donated through Dec. 31, 2013, will be matched dollar for dollar. “As the weather turns cold and damp, we must step up our efforts to rescue strays in our community. The Holiday Matching Challenge allows us to have the funds to provide immediate shelter, unlimited veterinary care, and loads of love to strays that would not make it through the winter.” — Pam Miller, SAFE Haven Founder and Executive Director During the last 20 years, the clinic has adopted out over 5,900 cats and sterilized over 15,000. Their goal is to ensure that animals will only be euthanized due to fatal illness, and then only by lethal injection. SAFE Haven also has a food pantry that provides temporary, supplemental assistance for up to three months. The mission is to help people keep their pets who otherwise might have to give them up for economic reasons. To learn more about SAFE Haven for Cats, visit their homepage here. CLICK BELOW TO READ PAST STORIES FROM OUR 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!
Jack Hawke, a mainstay of Republican Party politics in North Carolina during the past five decades, passed away on Monday at the age of 72. Since he first entered politics in the late 1960s, Hawke played an instrumental role in shifting North Carolina from one-party rule to a competitive, two-party state. In addition to running for Congress, heading up congressional and gubernatorial campaigns for other candidates, and serving as N.C. Republican Party Chairman, Hawke was the first executive director of the John William Pope Civitas Institute. Art Pope, Chairman and President of the John William Pope Foundation, recalled Hawke's optimistic outlook on life, as reported by The News & Observer: Hawke’s style was always the happy warrior. He was a natural extrovert with a ready smile, a sunny disposition and a quip. His trademark expression: “Fan-tastic.” “He was always so positive and enthusiastic, even in the face of adversity, in bad results as well as good results,” Pope said. “He was knowledgeable. He was able to present advice, even when it was not appreciated, in a positive fashion. He can tell the bad news along with the good news.” Even when he delivered bad news, Pope said, Hawke always had a plan of action. Francis De Luca, current President of the Civitas Institute, commemorated Hawke as a cheerful emblem of North Carolina's progress: In many ways Jack was emblematic of the transitions North Carolina has gone through in the past fifty years. He came to North Carolina to attend law school at Duke, and he stayed. Jack was involved in most of the state’s political and policy developments from the Sixties on, and was on the leading edge of the movement to take North Carolina from a stagnant one-party state to today’s robust two-party system. Claude Pope, N.C. Republican Party Chairman, issued the following statement after Hawke's passing: The North Carolina Republican Party extends our deepest condolences to Jack’s family and the many friends he made throughout his life. Jack’s tremendous devotion to North Carolina, his sheer political brilliance, and his legendary sense of humor will be sorely missed. Jack was the longest serving chairman in the NCGOP’s history, and he was instrumental in building the party from the ground up. Without Jack’s enormous contributions to the NCGOP over the last several decades, we would not have a Republican Governor and Republican-controlled General Assembly for the first time in more than 100 years. John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation, shares several anecdotes from Hawke's political career here. Photo credit: Don Carrington, Carolina Journal.
Just in time for Halloween ... When it comes to a free-market economy, Venezuela and Myanmar are the two least free nations in the world, according to the latest rankings from the Canadian-based think tank the Fraser Institute. The Fraser Institute's index of economic freedom, called Economic Freedom of the World, measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. Five metrics are used: Size of government, the legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation. The results for 2013: Hong Kong and Singapore, once again, occupy the top two positions. The other nations in the top ten are New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Finland, Bahrain, Canada, and Australia. The rankings of some other major countries are: United Kingdom (12th), United States (17th), Germany (19th), Japan (33rd), South Korea (33rd), France (40th), Italy (83rd), Mexico (94th), Russia (101st), Brazil (102nd), India (111th), and China (123rd). The ten lowest-rated countries are: Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Angola, Chad, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Myanmar, and, in last place, Venezuela. Eight of the countries in the bottom ten are located in Africa. Access a PDF executive summary of the report here, or the full PDF download here.
Dr. Peter Frank, the Free Enterprise Fellow for the Jesse Helms Center and an economics professor at Wingate University, has authored a new report on the consequences of family breakdown in the United States (PDF download here): Researchers from multiple disciplines have investigated the impact of family breakdown on society. The effects on children have garnered attention as research examines the psychological impact of one versus two parent families, the incidence of teenage pregnancy, juvenile crime rates, a drop off in educational attainment, and declining birthrates in advanced industrial countries. Additional research indicates family breakdown has economic consequences in terms of increased poverty which often manifests in significantly lower income for female single-headed households. While both the definition of marriage and family and the economic impact of family breakdown remain fundamental policy issues, two principal questions require further consideration: 1. What constitutes marriage and family, and does it matter how this institutional arrangement is defined for society as a whole? 2. To what extent has government policy contributed to family breakdown, and what is the economic cost of this breakdown?
The Daily Dispatch, based out of Henderson, N.C., yesterday reported on the Pope Foundation's $35,000 in grants to food pantries in Vance County. The grants were part of a larger $185,000 given by the Pope Foundation in October to humanitarian charities. LifeLine Outreach Inc., a nonprofit based in Vance County that alleviates homelessness and assists women and children in crisis. (Photo credit: Daily Dispatch) The Dispatch reported: Local non-profits and faith-based organizations took a hit when the federal government closed for 16 days. The John William Pope Foundation made its yearly donations to Vance County charities a few months early this year to help offset the impact of the shutdown. “We heard on the ground that the federal government shutdown was having an effect on these charities doing this humanitarian work and what we decided to do was to expedite our end of the year funding to cover the shortfall caused by the shutdown,” said David Riggs of the Pope Foundation. The foundation is a private family foundation focused on humanitarian charities in Wake and Vance counties. The foundation donated $5,000 to Area Christians Together in Service, $10,000 to Life Line Outreach Inc. and $20,000 to the United Way of Vance County. Twanna Jones, executive director of ACTS, said her organization has not received a Pope Foundation grant in the past. “They heard about the great work that we were doing in the Vance County community,” Jones said. ACTS provides a daily soup kitchen on weekdays, a food pantry, backpack buddies, and Meals on Wheels for the disabled and elderly. Jones has plans to expand her operation with a mobile feeding program that supplies meals to all areas of need. She said the grant money would help with the expansion as well as day-to-day operations. “My goal is to have a seven-day a week soup kitchen that feeds twice a day,” Jones said. For the first time this year, ACTS will serve lunch on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to noon. (Note: A subscription is needed to view the entire article, but there is no cost.)
An unfortunate legacy of modern philanthropy is the forsaking of donor intent. Foundations that exist in perpetuity often abandon the principles of the original wealth creators — and frequently, staff and boards steer the foundations in a left-wing direction. There are examples of donor intent triumphing, however. One of those is the Daniels Fund, based in Denver, Colorado. Martin Morse Wooster writes about that success here: In November 2003, the Daniels Fund, a three-year old Denver-based charity, announced a dramatic downsizing, closing regional offices in three states and sacking 21 employees—a third of its staff. “We have to operate more efficiently,” foundation president Hank Brown said at the time.1 Three months later the liberal establishment fired back. The New York Timesreported on the turmoil. “Had his ashes—combined at his request with those of his beloved cat, Sydney—not been scattered over the Pacific three years ago, Bill Daniels would probably be turning over in his grave.”2 Denver Post columnist Susan Barnes-Gelt also objected, noting that the fund’s creator, Robert William “Bill” Daniels, gave millions of dollars in his lifetime to the University of Denver to establish courses in business ethics. Daniels was so generous the university renamed its business school after him. “Daniels believed that rigorous training in leadership and values were the key to business success,” Barnes-Gelt observed. “Meanwhile … the Daniels Fund struggles to emulate the charitable struggles of its namesake. The fund’s behavior appears more appropriate to a compliance-based widget factory than a charitable foundation.”3 “I think there is politics at play here,” protested Georgetown University philanthropy scholar Pablo Eisenberg. “This is sort of like a right-wing coup.”4 Given that Bill Daniels had explicitly told his foundation he never wanted to support liberal causes, it’s silly to imagine that the Daniels Fund could be “taken over” by the Right. If the foundation was to respect its benefactor’s intentions, it could not continue to drift leftward. Consider that Daniels was a life-long Republican who ran for governor of Colorado in 1974, losing the primary. He gave six-figure contributions to the GOP in at least two presidential contests, and in 1991 hired Neil Bush, son of President George H.W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush, to work in his company’s Houston office. In addition, Daniels held a campaign fundraiser for the elder Bush in 1987 and in 1990 sponsored a charitable fundraising event hosted by First Lady Barbara Bush and Neil Bush’s wife, Sharon.5 In 2003, President George H.W. Bush wrote a preface to a biography of Daniels commissioned by his estate. “If one were to ask me to name someone who exemplified the dynamism of America in the twentieth century,” he said, “I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better example than my old friend, Bill Daniels.”6 The true story of the Daniels Fund is that rarest of things—a foundation that has recovered its donor’s intent.