Category Archives: The Founders Desk
A charity/foundation performs its functions through programs. Some charities have many programs and some have only one. At the Abby’s Light Memorial Foundation, we are just starting to identify programs. Every program that comes to life will have one thing in common; it will have attributes as seen through the eyes of a forever 10 year old girl. Our first program, Abby’s AOK gives gift cards to children at her favorite store at 10 years old, Justice Clothes Stores. We do this because Abby would not only be happy buying things for herself at Justice, she would also take joy in buying things for others as well. Since Abby cannot do this, we will do it for her.
The foundation is not designed to be a large charity with heavy expenses and salaries. We’ll leave that to other charities. We are here to do what Abby would like to do at her age. Currently we are working with local hospitals to provide gifts to children who have a long duration stay, meaning three days or longer. We are working with her school to include more children who are underprivileged and receive gifts for the holiday season. This is something Abby loved to participate in. She loved to shop for the children who she knew were not as fortunate as she was. Abby loved art. Every week she would hug her art teacher and tell her she want’s to be a teacher herself. She won awards for her artwork. Therefore we are working with that art teacher on an annual art award for a student that simply loved art just like Abby. They will receive a plaque and hopefully a monetary gift so they can buy some art supplies over the summer. The opportunities that exist are endless. They do however need to be identified, thought out and implemented only if funds permit. As we move forward, we will see what we are capable of. We pledge to work hard at raising awareness and funds to put these programs in place. We will make children smile and make Abby proud.
Consider donating to Abby’s foundation. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply make a child smile?
Starting a nonprofit charity is very much like starting a for profit business. A business needs sales as soon as possible. A nonprofit charity needs donations. How do you get sales? How do you get donations? Marketing that’s how. Brand recognition. The foundation has begun handing out brochure displays at local stores. They tell the story. We hope people become interested. Start recognizing the logo. Make donations.
As President, I took it upon myself to develop the brochure. I tried many types of paper stock. The one that was most striking of course was the most costly. An organization, especially a nonprofit, needs to make decisions for expenditures such as supplies. You want as much of the donations to go to the programs. To help children. You can’t spend it all on marketing materials. So what do you do?
Well today I decided to look for a less extravagant paper stock. I need to find the balance between cost and quality of materials. As I was looking at brochure stock I noticed Staples had the stock I loved at over half off. I couldn’t believe it. Today I went to four different Staple stores and gobbled up 15 boxes of stock. What would have cost the foundation $630.00 now cost $285.00. This is 2,250 brochures. Still a high cost considering funding has just begun. It is however an investment. There will be many more displays in stores. People are working on plans as we speak. The word is getting out.
So, with this in mind, I ask all potential donors to consider this charity that will bring smiles to children as Abby would. $10.00, $20.00 is all it takes from many people to get things going. President Bush senior spoke of a “thousand points of light.” I knew exactly what he meant back in 1988. Thousands upon thousands of charities doing their thing to make the world a better place. These charities don’t have to be large or attempt to save the world. They can help people on a small scale and together create a world movement of helping others who are in need or experiencing a low point. This point of light, The Abby’s Light Memorial Foundation focuses on children. One by one. You will see this happen through pictures and writings by recipients. We are doing this now with Abby’s AOK’s. We’re going farther. Be a part of this. Please donate whatever you can. You will see a child smile and you can say I helped with that.
Mike Schumer – President, Abby’s Light Memorial Foundation.
There have been various local articles about Abby. This one was regarding the county declaring her birthday Random Acts of Kindness Day. Click here for the story. Abby’s birthday is always a day of kindness where many benefit. This foundation is developed to make sure that continues throughout the year.
March 24th 2014. The second anniversary of Abby’s passing. A day of introspection and trying to find peace. I make a decision. It’s time to start developing a different type of relationship with my daughter. She’s not physically here with me but I know she is here. March 25th, I create a Facebook page called Abby’s Light. Within months the page grows. I find an outlet to express my love for Abby. The page is a test for myself. Think of Abby as she lived. All the positives no negatives. It becomes a living breathing page. It is Abby’s Light. It evolves not just as a page but a legacy.
Kindness is what Abby represents. We fight back the loss with positive efforts. Her birthday becomes a day for acts of kindness. Literally through the help of friends, acts of kindness small and large are happening in many parts of the world. The following year, our county in Pennsylvania, Bucks County becomes Random Acts of Kindness Day on her birthday. The day is featured in our local news paper and the popularity of the Abby’s Light page grows by 50 percent. November 19th will be considered Random Acts of Kindness day in Bucks County every year.
March of 2015. Abby’s Light spins off into a program called Abby’s AOK (Acts of Kindness). With Abby’s giving spirit in mind we give gift cards to random people and children. The children receive gift cards from Justice Clothes Stores. The adults receive Starbucks cards. At this point we are not a nonprofit, tax exempt organization. We do however, through the generosity of friends, family and strangers receive over a thousand dollars for the program. It is a huge success! Feedback from recipients is heartwarming. Abby’s spirit is alive.
My mind is constantly churning what more can be done. Should we form a charity? The startup would be daunting. Wait. I have a degree in business. I’m a fast learner. Why can I not do this when others can? I jump in. I do what is needed to form a nonprofit corporation and become tax exempt for potential donors as well. I made the decision, I learned, I formed a board and here we are!
The Abby’s Light Memorial Foundation became official on June 8th 2015. We are just getting started and approaching this in a methodical fashion. The foundation will succeed. I know that in my heart of hearts. This is for Abby! Children will smile and Abby will be that inspiration.
Stay tuned and watch this evolve. Abby’s Light will NEVER be extinguished!
How do you operate a foundation through the eyes of a forever 10 year old girl?
The foundation has decided to do what Abby did best; make children smile. We accomplish this in many ways and as time progresses, there will be more. Here are just a few examples of our efforts:
- Provide gifts to hospitalized kids.
- Provide assistance to families in need. Focusing on making a child’s life better.
- Providing gifts to underprivileged children during the holiday season as well as other times of the year.
- Providing assistance to school teachers in underprivileged school districts to enhance their ability to inspire children.
- Performing random acts of kindness. Bucks County has proclaimed November 19th, Abby’s birthday, as Random Acts of Kindness Day throughout the area. We perform acts of kindness throughout the year by giving out gift cards valued at $10.00 to Justice Clothes stores (where Abby liked to shop) and Starbucks. These simple acts affect lives positively in many people as identified through feedback of recipients. We call them AOKs. The foundation believes a small act of kindness can grow into a movement and it has. Through this effort, thousands of dollars have been donated to help children around the world in Abby’s honor.
The Abby’s Light Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit corporation. All donations are tax deductible. Tax EIN #47-4178382