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May 25, 2012

There are so many good causes! I chose to be on the board of Epilogos Charities because I felt it was an organization that made a lasting difference in a third world community. I had heard too many stories of "Santa Claus" organizations which made no lasting change in a community they served. With Epilogos there is a year round presence and accountability of how money is spent. The community of San Jose Villanueva(SJV) has a strong sense that they must have some "ownership" of projects. This can be through sweat equity or a monthly payment from their $5 a day salary. My first introduction to the community was by participating in a scholarship program. For $180 per year I could send someone to a year of high school. I received a photograph of my student and three report cards each year. The student I had been assigned walked 2 1/2 hours to school in the morning and 2 1/2 hours back in the evening. I know this to be a fact because when I went to her graduation I drove the road she walked everyday so that I could attend a graduation party at her home. Then there is Mike and Susie Jenkins. They are retired Peace Corp workers who have "retired" to El Salvador. They have been in SJV for 10 years and have gained the respect and trust of the community. When I send money for anything I know it will be spent wisely because Mike and Susie are there on a full-time basis overseeing things. As part of their staff they have hired the town's first college graduate, Graciela. She is someone who has a "give back the place where you come from" mentality. This is a rare quality in a third world country. Please visit the Epilogos website (www.epilogos.org) to learn much more about this unique and selfless organization. Ed Warreh

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing students come from families who have never had anyone graduate from high school before; seeing a school have books for its library for the first time; seeing a community laundry and shower facility made from what had been only a pipe from a stream that spilled on the ground; seeing a shrimp and fish farm built where there had been a field two years before; seeing over 120 houses built where there had been mud and stick huts before; and many more first time things.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would ask Mike and Susie Jenkins to come to the States more often and speak about their work and why they find it so rewarding.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

As a Rotarian I hear Mike and Susie speak. They requested the sponsoring of high school students. I signed up and I was hooked.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Establish a sustainable cash flow.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Establish a mechanism to link the self-determined community development of a third world community with the generosity of a wealthy community and maintain the dignity of both.

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