Enote 19 – Starting an Endowment

July 18, 2005

Starting an Endowment

Occasionally we have said to each other, "What should we do to ensure the refugees from Burma continue to receive help after we are no longer able to manage the Foundation ourselves?" Our answer has always been, "We'll think about that in another ten years." Now, in our mid-seventies that argument is not as compelling as it once was. We talked with our children about their interests in helping to ensure the survival of the Foundation, and Liz and I were surprised and deeply pleased that they were all excited by the opportunity to work for the Foundation at some point in their lives. Friends were also encouraging to us and a couple even suggested that starting an endowment could help in many ways to ensure the financial stability of the Foundation. Indeed they contributed to initiate it. And now, with the help of several donors, we have a small but growing endowment fund of $64,000.

Phillip BrackettThe picture shows our son J. Phillip Brackett who has been managing the endowment since it was started and who has just recently joined our Board of Trustees. Phil currently works in a small independent firm that trades fixed income notes. It's a little tricky he says, but –and then he completely lost me a discussion of yield curves, hedging, and central limit tendencies. I happily note that our endowment fund is kept entirely separate from his trading activities.

If you are interested in helping support our endowment fund please contact us at tomb@twcny.rr.com.

Discussions with the Shan

Recently we have been hearing distressing news about fighting in the Shan State, Burma, just North of the Thai border. We have heard reports that some people have been forced to move back into Burma by the Thai authorities. We also have been concerned about the orphan children and others in the Loi Tai Leng school which is located in the area of the fighting. Khur Hsen, a Shan woman who is pictured just to the left of Liz, and has been working with us for the last several years in that school, has written us recently and addressed these concerns. She says in part:

Thank you for your info and concern for the school … Although there were fierce battles around, it had never reached
the school. It was considered and planned for the safety of the children and the IDPs. … However the situation may be, we won't let the school stop. These orphans and IDP children have nowhere to go and no one for them to rely on. We regard as our duty to find an access for the education of these children… We have considered and reconsidered again and again, especially for the security, before we decided to found these schools in 2000. As illiterate and un-educate children they will be hopeless for themselves as well as for the future of our Nation, so we decide to run these schools for these orphans and IDP children." I think this statement makes it very clear the importance of the children and Loi Tai Leng school to the Shan people.

I would like to mention that Paul Gold, a chemistry major at Colgate class of '76, and his wife Wendy Sondov have assumed support of seven teachers and school supplies for this Shan school through our Foundation. For ourselves, we are very happy to be able to help generous persons all over this country give such vital help to those struggling for their freedom and survival.

The picture above shows Tom, Chris, and Liz Brackett in Chiang Mai discussing details for support of the Loi Tai Leng school with Khur Hsen and her husband.

June Activities

  • Met with advisors on Planned Giving, and Development.

  • Called a number of our supporters.

  • Developed a Foundation Operations Manual.

  • Started work on this year's brochure.

  • Worked on letterhead and envelopes with the new logo.

  • Organized a Brackett Foundation table in the park for the 4th of July.

 Best Wishes to all,

Tom & Liz

Your day is not finished until you've done someone a favor.