ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD
August 27, 2004
Mr. Bob Vickers, Program Officer
The Robert J. Vickers Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Vickers:
Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships.
"The true measure of society is in how it cares for those who cannot care for themselves.
Those in the dawn of life–the children. Those in the twilight of life–the elderly.
And those in the shadows of life–the sick, the needy, and the handicapped." Hubert H. Humphrey
We face a critical problem nationally/internationally. . . Parentless children and childrenless parents. In the United States, thousands of children are born each year for whom, because of ethnic background or disability, a permanent home is an illusion. Years in foster care shuffling from family to family, or from one residential treatment setting to another, lay ahead.
The Need is Tremendous. . .
In Romania, there are an estimated 120,000 children in public orphanages. The numbers continue to increase despite the many adoptions being completed, and despite the dawning of capitalism that are beginning to take hold in that country. Children are born to alcoholic or drug-addicted parents and abandoned in hospitals across Romania on a daily basis. In India, millions of children are homeless and in need of food, care, nurture, and family. More are born each day who are abandoned on the streets, in medical facilities, or placed in orphanages such as ours for eventual adoptive placement.
One of the answers to addressing these dilemmas is found at. . . Bundle of Joy, Inc. Review of the current public discussion on these issues reveals that significant energy is focused on the negative aspect of the industry. There seems to be a void of "encouragement" and positive solutions to these dilemmas.
Bundle of Joy has been involved in ongoing presentation of positive solutions to these problems in our society and internationally for almost 20 years. We have reviewed documents, conducted interviews, transported national and international children to meet prospective parents, and matched children to parents one-by-one-by-one-by-one since our beginning. Our efforts have changed attitudes of parents and children, and have given hope and encouragement to build more than 1,000 healthy families during the past two decades.
One Victory at a Time.
But there are so many thousands–hundreds of thousands of children and certainly as many parents to match into families, as well as children to reach who need care whether or not a family is available for them, that remain the focus of our efforts.
We are strategically positioned, we have a plan, and we have the relationship with our residents, employees, and the domestic and international communities who are ready to respond--but we need help. We need your help! The time is NOW for this initiative! We have a desire to be the best at what we do–but we have several infrastructure needs and are seeking your help. The funding of this proposal will allow us to move forward more effectively.
Here’s our plan. The Bundle of Joy, Inc., has committed to AND engaged in a long-term process that received a formal commitment from the Board of Directors, a commitment from our employees, and the administration. It is our belief that we can make a substantial impact both domestically and internationally on the populations we serve.
At Bundle of Joy, Inc., we honor the dignity and value of each life in order to facilitate and match parentless children with childrenless parents and create a place of love, joy, and peace for the children, the parents, their families, the greater community and society.
The Children and Parent’s Needs, Our Needs
We have been privileged to receive outside funding to augment our general funds for the past several years. However, as our costs increase, and the requirements we must meet to operate expand, the need to generate more funding either through higher fees or from outside sources, also increases. Just this year we’ve had to purchase professional liability insurance at an annual cost of $7,000; a new accreditation that we must complete to continue doing international adoptions will cost more than $80,000 in staff time and application fees; with low unemployment in the United States and with a desire to offer good benefits to our staff, we have recently undertaken to provide health insurance for employees at a cost of $20,000 per year. These are new infrastructure costs from just this past year, and that does not address new cost factors from overseas.
Our plan is in place. We are proceeding, continuing to provide the same services, scheduling appointments, and placing children and building families. Only one barrier stands between us and accomplishing this very important initiative through our organization and in the community. . . adequate funding. We are in desperate need of building our infrastructure to the level required to provide the ongoing services that are needed in this industry. We are seeking the assistance to correct this problem.
You can help make our plan become a reality. Please review the enclosed proposal and consider supporting our work. I am respectfully submitting it for you to consider funding. If you need additional information, please call me at (660) 747-6490. I will follow up to be sure that you have received it and to answer any questions.
Please accept my sincere "thanks" for your efforts and willingness to support our innovative approach to overcome the dilemma of parentless children and childrenless parents. I hope you share our excitement about the potential for our plan to have a significant impact on many children and families around the world. I am excited about establishing a partnership that will bear much fruit.
Kelly Wines, ACSW/LCSW, Executive Director
Bundle of Joy, Inc.
Bundle of Joy, Inc.
Mission and Vision Statements:
Bundle of Joy, Inc., exists to match parentless children with families seeking children–both in the U.S. and internationally. Reaching children in need of shelter, nutrition, and nurture whether or not they are able to be adopted is another avenue of service through orphanages in India and Romania.
Target Market and Geographic Area Served:
Serving both the domestic and international community, Bundle of Joy reaches infants, children, and prospective adoptive parents in the U.S. and in countries where we have developed programs, principally India and Romania. We counsel clients during pregnancy, discussing the options of adoption and parenting. If they choose adoption, they select and can meet a family from our list of waiting parents, placing the child with them after he or she is born. Ongoing contact is possible beyond placement. We place children with families in all States and territories of the U.S., thus helping make the dream of parenting a reality for many. From the inquiry stage through child placement, we offer support not only in completing the adoption process, but in preparing for adoptive parenthood and in adjusting to having a child in the home.
In India, we operate foundling homes (orphanages) and social outreach ministries. Newborns, babies, and children are brought to us through a network of physicians, social workers, hospital personnel, police and others that we work with in and around these large cities. Children with special needs from blindness to missing limbs at birth to cleft palates are cared for and ultimately placed for adoption. Those with disabilities too severe to be placed for adoption, are cared for in our foundling home or a related orphanage.
In Romania, infants and children are referred to our care by state orphanages, physicians, and others with whom we work. Bundle of Joy supports operate two private orphanages, where children are cared for competently by a staff of Romanian and American workers. We also offer assistance in the form of providing infant formula and food to orphanages in the areas we are located. These orphanages had no infant formula and used only powdered milk to sustain newborns until we began delivering formula to them in recent months. Through the legal system, many children in the orphanages can be placed for adoption with families in the U.S., and we are actively involved in completing adoptions from Romania as well.
Bundle of Joy, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) organization founded in the State of Missouri in 1969 and is governed by a Board of Directors of eight (see Board of Directors Listing on Page 7). Also see attached IRS determination letter attached.
Ms. Kelly Wines, Executive Director (660) 747-6390, Voice
Bundle of Joy, Inc. (660) 222-1111, Cell
P.O. Box 1225 e-mail: kellywines@Bundleofjoy.org
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website: www.Bundleofjoy.org
Financial Request and Purpose:
The needs of an expanding organization like ours are overwhelming. Our current and immediate needs are such that we are asking you for a grant of $25,000 (or any portion thereof) toward our Infrastructure Improvement Initiative (see Budget on page 4).
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $25,000.
Data collection/evaluation procedures that we have in place to measure effectiveness:
Bundle of Joy completes an annual audit with a Certified Public Accountant outside of the Agency, to track the appropriateness of expenditures as well as the status of the various "funds" or programs that we operate. We regularly review the monthly reports received to make sure that projections and budgets are met, and that expenditures do not exceed income. We are willing to perform any reasonable measure of accountability.
Bundle of Joy, Inc.
In the United States, we serve both adoptive and birth parents. Adoptive parents come to us from all over the United States. They tend to be middle class, with incomes averaging in the upper thirty thousand to low forty thousand dollar range. While many have an infertility problem and cannot have children, some are wanting to add to their families through adoption and may already have children. Thus far, we have been able to keep our fees lower than most other agencies, in trying to make our services available to anyone in need regardless of income.
We have also learned to operate efficiently both in the U.S. and overseas, enabling us to keep costs low. Therefore, our parents may come from lower income levels than those that might patronize other agencies, also meaning that they are less able to become substantial donors after the placement due to financial constraints. Adoptive parents come to us from rural and urban areas across the country, and are primarily in the 30-40 year-old age range. Many are college educated, some are professionals, and still others are laborers, truck drivers, etc.
Birth parents also come to us from all over the United States, though we primarily serve birth parents in Missouri and Minnesota, where we have licensed offices. Their need is the same: seeing themselves as not in a position to parent the child they are carrying in an unintended pregnancy, they are seeking to make an adoption plan for the child. Our birth parents are usually in the upper teens to mid twenties in age, although we have worked with parents as young as 12 years-old, and also with those well over 40. Individuals of African-American, Bi-racial, and Caucasian background seek our services. Most of these individuals have not completed high school, yet some are in college or have college degrees. The mix of urban and rural clients is about even.
Infants and children come to us through the birth parents we work within America, and through our orphanage facilities in Romania and India. While the children in Romania and India are medically fragile, all children, whether born in the U.S. or abroad, whether healthy or with special needs, need the permanency of an adoptive family. In order to continue to meet the needs of our youngest clients (the children overseas), as well as the birth and adoptive parents that we serve, we need assistance in addressing the needs in our infrastructure. From erecting signage that alerts passers by to our presence, to completing the work to become accredited so that we can continue our overseas adoption efforts, to purchasing needed office equipment, to some final landscaping on our new office property, and to purchasing needed health insurance coverage for staff, these needs must be addressed so that we can continue our various outreach programs unhindered.
Bundle of Joy is privileged to facilitate placements from our international affiliates and from birth parents here, with adoptive families. Placing children in loving homes is the solution–and that is what Bundle of Joy, Inc., is all about. Generating funding from outside sources to meet the infrastructure needs listed will enable us to keep our U.S. and international childcare commitments without interruption as we address major infrastructure concerns here at home.
Bundle of Joy has developed and operates licensed child-placement facilities in India and Romania. Through recruiting competent staff, operating an office, and making a substantial commitment in child welfare and assistance in the U.S. and in the countries where we serve, Bundle of Joy has been able to seek and place many children for adoption over the years.
As we continue our work both here and overseas, we realize that we need to address the infrastructure concerns noted above. In order to continue our domestic and international work unhindered and unfettered, we are seeking funding from outside sources. As we anticipate future growth both domestically and internationally, and move to address the needs of children in additional nations outside of our borders, we cannot allow the requirements that we seek assistance for to go unaddressed.
Our Immediate Needs–The Plan:
Through meeting the infrastructure needs listed above, we will be able to direct attention to items that might go unnoticed until it is too late, but that could "sink us" if not dealt with. Accreditation to continue involvement in inter-country adoption is a new requirement born out of the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child. Even though Bundle of Joy has participated in international adoptions since 1982 with never a complaint against us and never a problem in a foreign country, these new requirements apply to all nonprofit, licensed agencies reaching children in foreign lands in order to place them for adoption.
Installation of lighted signage will identify us to the community in our new, more visible corporate offices, situated along the main highway in our rural location. It will allow birth parents who may be in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy to know where help is available, should they contemplate adoption for their unborn child.
Health Insurance Coverage for staff will enable us to recruit qualified individuals while rewarding them appropriately for the good work they are doing.
Obtaining assistance in meeting the obligation of our Professional Liability Insurance will protect both staff and the agency in the event of legal action against the agency. It should be noted, however, that in over eighteen years of existence and hundreds of adoptions, this has never happened.
Completing Landscaping of the property around our building, a one-time expense, will allow us to put forth a professional appearance to the community, while beautifying the grounds around us.
Being able to purchase needed office equipment permits us to channel funds that would otherwise be diverted for infrastructure needs, to the foreign field where caring for children continues, while adding the required equipment will help us to track our contributors and issue receipts for contributions in a more timely manner.
Bundle of Joy was founded in 1969 by U.S. missionaries who labored among the poor and destitute of India. Many of the children were placed into orphanages in India, some were available for adoption and were referred to agencies in the U.S. for placement. As the adoption requests from America grew too numerous for them to handle, and as the children referred to supposedly-Christian agencies were actually placed in non-believing homes, these missionaries began the quest to begin their own adoption agency.
While continuing a strong focus on adoptions from India, we began being contacted by women in the U.S. who were in the midst of unplanned pregnancies, inquiring about abortions. We encouraged and helped them carry to term, and some wanted to place for adoption. Initially surprised because we did not anticipate many adoptions of U.S. babies occurring, we started a domestic placement program in 1985 that has placed sometimes 25 babies in a calendar year. Our domestic program continues to reach women in the midst of unplanned pregnancies with love, concern, and assistance with their prenatal needs. Many choose to parent their little ones, while still others choose adoption.
Our organization is in constant and ongoing operation at this time. The request for funding would tremendously enhance our ability to perform effectively and efficiently. It is not prohibitive to our ability to carry out our mission at this time.
Bundle of Joy, Inc.
Immediate Needs Budget
1. Purchase and Installation of Sign $ 7,000
2. Accreditation for International Adoption $75,000
(Hague Treaty Required)
3. Health Insurance Coverage for Staff $ 10,000
4. Professional Liability Insurance for Staff $ 7,000
5. Office Equipment Purchase $ 10,000
6. Landscaping $ 4,000
TOTAL: $ 118,500
Note: Fiscal year equals calendar year - January 1 to December 31.
Explanation of Immediate Needs:
1. Purchase and Installation of Sign--Projected Cost: $7,000 We are situated right along but back from the main road in our rural area, and fairly invisible despite being close to the highway. The Board approved, and we have set about to purchase and have installed, a lighted sign that will show our logo, mention adoption and pregnancy help, and give our phone number. This should help our visibility, while making us known especially to pregnant women who might be contemplating abortion or adoption, but who do not know where to turn for assistance.
2. Hague Treaty-required Accreditation for International Adoption--Projected Cost: $70,000-$80,000 This accreditation process will require a staffer full-time for about a year (at about $40,000), and the process itself will cost $15,000 - $20,000 for applications and the on-site review that is required (they actually do an on-site visit). Other staff time, materials, etc., bring the total up to at least $70,000. At our last Board meeting, hiring such a person do to this accreditation and/or Public Relations outreach was approved by the Board. Funding is the key hindrance.
3. Health Insurance Coverage for Staff--Projected Cost: $10,000 We have expanded our health insurance to include all employees–we were having trouble attracting quality folks without offering it, and because we wanted to offer health coverage out of concern for our staff.
4. Professional Liability Insurance for Staff; Director’s and Officers--Projected Cost: $7,000 The Board asked us to procure this coverage for the agency, and for them. It is costly, but it is in-place. It should be noted that never in our 18+ year history, have we experienced a lawsuit against the agency or against our foreign affiliates overseas.
5. Office Equipment Purchase--Projected Cost: $10,000 We will need to replace 2 or 3 computers, and add about 2 more. We will also need a new typewriter and other "capital" equipment. This equipment will be used by our Development-Fund Raising/International Accreditation staff person, and in part will help generate receipts for contributors and enable us to more closely track gifts to the ministry.
6. Landscaping the Front of the Office--Projected Cost: $4,500 Landscaping is necessary to give our office a bright and professional appearance outside. We are obtaining quotes at the present, but the cost is estimated between $4,000 and $6,000, to enhance the appearance of the offices with bushes and shrubs.
Total Projected Costs for Bundle of Joy "Home Front" Projects for 2000: $118,500