Update from FOF

May 2011

Time has flown since we started working on establishing Friends of FUNDAL. Developing an infrastructure for a new organization takes longer than I wish it did, but we want to do things right so the organization can survive long term to help deafblind and multiply disabled children and youth in Guatemala for years to come.

One big focus this spring of 2011 has been getting our 501(c)(3) status. We have filed our application with the IRS, and are now in the final stages of submitting additional paperwork. Once FOF is approved by the IRS for 501(c)(3) status, donations to FOF made since we filed the application will be tax-deductible.

While we've been doing that, we've been looking for other ways for Friends of FUNDAL to be active. Three of them have been: donations to support the work of FUNDAL, translations of publicity materials for FUNDAL, and working on providing training to two key FUNDAL staff in the area of Orientation and Mobility.

O&M is the field of instructing blind and deafblind people of all ages how to learn about their environment and navigate it as safely, independently, and effectively as possible. This training is slated to take place in late 2011 in New York, and will use a train-the-trainers model.

At FUNDAL, they are working feverishly on plans for a new campus in Mixco, as they have outgrown their original buildings on the FUNDAL founder's family property in Mixco near Guatemala City. The European Union will provide funding for about 80% of the construction, and FUNDAL is working hard to raise the remaining funds. We look forward to telling you more about the O&M training and the new FUNDAL campus in Mixco in the months to come.

During the past year, Friends of FUNDAL has been fortunate to have some wonderful volunteers. Among them:

  • Susan and Valerie worked on the website
  • Jennifer, Nancy, Jana, and Pam provided professional sign language interpretation at our board meetings so we could all benefit from Ashley's expertise on our board -- Ashley is a social worker who is DeafBlind due to Usher Syndrome
  • Francisco, Pierce and Helene worked on translations
  • Dave developed the new Friends of FUNDAL logo
  • Harlan is helping us develop our brochure

Many thanks to these and other volunteers for their advice, support, and gifts of time and talent! I invite you to consider joining them by volunteering to work on Friends of FUNDAL's networking, publicity, fundraising, and training efforts. Contact me with your questions and ideas at:

Friends of FUNDAL
P.O. Box 99306
Raleigh, NC 27624
Phone: (919) 247-6426

Thank you! -- Grace Bullen, FOF Chair


Previous News from FOF