Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Investing in the Children's Futures

John and Laurie Dooley are longtime supporters and volunteers of Friends of the Orphans and NPH. Recently John shared the story of how he got involved with us, why he and Laurie are passionate about the children they sponsor, and how to invest in their future.

The huge refrigerator in our kitchen is covered with pictures of all the kids, grandkids, and a recent addition, our new nephew, Mateo. My wife Laurie and I have 6 children together and 6 grandsons with one more on the way. Over the years we have proudly added pictures of our 3 NPH godchildren shown standing beside us with their beautiful smiles on our visits to their homes. Our passion for the children of NPH has grown exponentially since 1999 when we viewed a video about NPH Mexico that had been circulating around our parish. Laurie brought the video to our small Christian community, and as a result, our group decided to sponsor a child. That child is now a beautiful, bright young woman who is graduating from high school with plans to study Accounting at the University in Monterrey (which thrills me as I am also an accountant). Along with us, 3 other couples in our group have continued to support her all these years. That was just the beginning. As I remember, our monthly contribution for Brianda was $25 per month, a pretty significant amount for us at that time.

In the summer of 2001 Laurie and I went with a group of people from our church, hosted by Fr. Tom Belleque, our pastor, to Miacatlan, Mexico, where we met Brianda for the first time and spent the day with her. We came home with a new passion for the concept of sponsorship and raised our monthly contribution to $35 per month! We were hooked!

Laurie began volunteering for our regional Friends office. She joined the Board, and they were looking for a treasurer so I was drafted for the Board as well. Before saying yes, I told Fr. Tom I was a little embarrassed about being on the Board since I really didn’t have that much money and didn’t have a circle of friends who had money. Fr. Tom wisely said not to worry about that and that the Lord had other reasons for calling people to jobs. Within a few years, the Friends’ regional offices merged and my function as a treasurer was no longer needed. However, we continued to be involved, attended International meetings, visited homes in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. Laurie continues to serve on the Northwest Board and has been Board chair for the last two years. Along the line, we have added two more Godchildren, Jonathan in Nicaragua and Georgia in Guatemala, and raised our donations for each child again. The pictures on the fridge keep accumulating along with letters, report cards and Godparents’ Day greetings from our kids. They are part of the big Dooley family.

We continue to work hard to share the incredible story of NPH and Friends with everyone we meet. What I know now is that our hearts, our very beings have been molded into individuals who care deeply for the NPH family and that we have been blessed with time, talent and the financial means to continue our support of NPH as we grow older. We will continue to be as generous as we can personally and from our business, Northwest Etch Technology. We believe strongly in making sure that when we die that our commitment to NPH will continue through contributions from our estate as well.

One of the opportunities we are excited about is the Fr. Wasson Legacy Endowment, established in 1995, which is an important tool for major gifts and estate planning. The FWLEI will remain an ongoing and everlasting source of financial stability for the children of NPH. Currently, the endowment has grown through gifts and investment results to a total of over $10 million dollars. A distribution policy has been established that allows for yearly donations to NPH and support of crises such as the Haiti earthquake that happened last year. Right now, the Board of the endowment is offering a $100,000 challenge matching gift to raise funds for the FWLEI on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the death of Fr. William B. Wasson.

As our financial contributions have increased, our commitment to providing for the future of NPH/Friends has grown stronger. Wouldn’t it be great if we could leave this earth knowing that the children of NPH through Friends of the Orphans will continue to receive our contributions year after year? Laurie and I are giving this much thought as we move into our retirement years.

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