Our Progress as of May 1st, 2017
We have had an absolutely fantastic year in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. We collected over $108,000.00 in 2016 alone. We have now total donations from our inception of $157,000.00 with 41 homes built and 77 homes funded. Every eighteen days another home goes up and one less family is recued from this harsh environment.
We also saw community school involvement being launched by Principal Karen Casper-Linn from the St. Joseph School in Amherst, Ohio. The school had a goal of collecting enough donations during the 2016-17 school year to build at least one new home in El Salvador. They sponsored student "Dress Down Days", throughout the school year and collected donations from the students and families that choose to participate. Operation Rescue Inc. will be present on May 19th to receive the students final collected total contribution which we have been informed may exceed $4,000.00 or enough to build TWO new homes for the poor of El Salvador. Thanks to all those who participated and to Karen Casper-Linn, her staff and Father Timothy O'Connor for helping make this happen.
Following our second year at the Cleveland Diocese Annual Fest held in August of 2016 we received a call from Realtor, Greg Wasilko from Rocky River, Ohio. He had stopped by our booth at the fest and spoke with Marsha Norberg about our Charity. At our booth he recognized Father John Ostrowski's picture and wanted to know more about what we were doing. Building homes for the poor hit his hot button and he knew Father John from when he had once served at their parish in Rocky River. Following our trip to El Salvador in October of 2016 Greg asked if we might be able to have Father John attend a luncheon where he would have people gathered who wanted to assist in our building project. Since Father John had returned with us for his annual physical at the Cleveland Clinic we were able to make the arrangements. On the day of the luncheon we were all surprised to find the room filled with thirty-five people who had made contributions to our cause. Even more surprising was when Greg handed us checks totaling $50,000.00 from the attendees. We simply could not believe the generosity of all these people. We will never forget that day, the work that Greg and his wife did and the joy such a donation will mean to the poorest of the poor in El Salvador.
In addition to this donation Operation Rescue Inc. continued to receive gifts from previous donors, one from a donor who in 2015 gave a gift of $10,000.00 decided this year they would continue to support our efforts with an additional $20,000.00 donation in 2016. We also saw a number of individuals donate $2,000.00 for an entire home. Corporate matching Grant Money of $4,500.00 was also received from State Farm Insurance Companies as well as matching grant money from Sherwin Williams and the Progressive Insurance Company. Some of the most amazing money received was from the many smaller donations we were given. One college student promised us he would send us a check and sure enough his $10.00 donation made its way to our mailbox. It is so many of those type donations that help us to continue to see the spread of our "Reverse Mission Work". While we were not founded as a religious organization we welcome support from all people, all faiths, and anyone willing to assist in reducing the pain and suffering in El Salvador.
Once again our hearts were touched by St Rita's in Solon, Ohio as they continue to be steadfast in continuing their support. The people of El Salvador have now seen them contribute funds for fifteen new homes over the past two and a half years. The people they have touched will long remember their "brothers from the north" as they often refer to the people from the United States.
Our thanks to all who have and continue to support our building effort. With our initial goal of 100 Homes in El Salvador fast approaching should we continue, maybe go for 200 homes? There is so much need it would seem the natural thing to do. So with continued support from all the good people here in the USA we will consider what our next goal should be.. Thanks to everyone for your support!
Marsha and I will be leaving on June 1st on a one way ticket to El Salvador. We will spend the entire summer their overseeing the construction, shoring up our infrastructure and of course seeing the people and hearing their stories. Our plans are to return home in early September. At that time we will provide you with another update on our progress.
David W. Gantz, President