Creative Commons License
Super Friends by Whitney Holwadel Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at whit-superfriends.blogspot.com. Super Friends: Foundation

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Foundation

I am in the process of filing the materials necessary for creating a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Whit's memory. The working name is the Whitney Holwadel Smith Foundation, though "Fund" may end up replacing "Foundation." The purpose of the organization is to provide financial assistance to former inmates from the federal system for the purpose of post-secondary school education - college, junior college etc. I will likely limit it to refugees from the federal system, since that was Whit's experience and I have first-hand experience with the lying, abuse and injustices those people have had to endure from Federal Bureau of Prisons employees. A part of the mission may also be to create public awareness of these issues.

This is something new to me; I have no previous experience and am learning along the way. A non-profit corporation requires a Board consisting of 3 directors, and I am in the process of recruiting those people.

Among the decisions that need to be made are how to make the fund more or less self-sustaining, so that we do not exhaust all the funds at one time and have to look to new donors each time to replenish. We also need to identify ways to publicize the existence of the Foundation, and solicit donors.

Please check in now and again to see what the status is. And please feel free to offer suggestions, ideas, help, comments, whatever.

Thanks,
Jeff

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
I'm glad to see you're pushing yourself forward in positive ways. I know you need to know what happen with Whit, you are doing what you have to with the legal side and I pray you get some answers.
This Foundation or Fund is a great idea! I'd like to see you put Whitney's story out there. Have you ever thought about writing a book? Maybe with Whit's letters and/or Blog within? I don't think the apple fell far from the tree, I enjoy YOUR writing as well, I feel you have a very interesting story to tell. I know I want to read more. Think about it.
I also want to thank you for your very kind response to my comment last month. Your family has touched my heart.
Mrs Rimoldi

Jeff said...

Thank you, Mrs Rimoldi, both for your kind words and your encouragement. As a matter of fact, I have several chapters of a book written, but haven't yet found an agent to help with editing and finding a publisher. I also have a version of Whit's complete blog with letters we wrote to each other interleaved with the blog entries - letters written around the same time as the entries, in other words. It's in PDF format, so if anyone would like a copy just let me know.

I am also working with a playwright who has committed to writing a play about Whit and what happened at USP Terre Haute.

So you're absolutely right - Whit found his voice through the blog, it comes through in his letters (he wrote me 2-3 times a week during his 3+ years at Terre Haute). Likewise the truth about the Federal Bureau of Prisons and how it conspired to deprive Whit of his life needs to be told in every detail. My task - because if I don't do it, no one else will - is to see that his voice is heard by as many people as possible. People like yourself remind me that Whit's voice remains inspiring, and you inspire me to go on with that work.