Building a Foundation

Now that spring has arrived here in Michigan, many construction projects are once again underway. Land is being cleared, holes are being dug, and foundations are being laid. Each time I see a foundation being poured for a new home, school or business, it makes me think of the foundations we must lay in our … Continue reading “Building a Foundation”

Now that spring has arrived here in Michigan, many construction projects are once again underway. Land is being cleared, holes are being dug, and foundations are being laid. Each time I see a foundation being poured for a new home, school or business, it makes me think of the foundations we must lay in our own lives in order to be successful.

Children begin right after birth developing the foundations that they will need to be successful in life. Babies quickly learn, “When I cry, my caregiver comes to comfort me; when I drop something, someone picks it up; and when I make noises, someone responds.” These back and forth exchanges lay the foundation for long-lasting relationships. Foundations continue to be laid throughout the time children are growing and developing in a variety of areas.

For some children, solid foundations are not laid in the early years. Reasons for this may be due to internal disregulation (ex. reflux or sensory difficulties), some type of trauma, or an environmental influence (e.g. living conditions). Whatever the reason, trying to build upon a less than solid foundation is very difficult. Children who are missing solid foundations will need a chance to go back and build those foundations. That is where the concept of remediation is critical.

Many of the children I see in my job are missing foundational pieces needed for developing long-lasting relationships and a quality of life. For this reason, their parents have sought out a remediation program. What we tell parents is that building a solid foundation for their child first begins with them.

I spend a lot of time talking with parents about building the foundation that will support the rest of their remediation program. We talk a lot about the fact that without a solid foundation, the treatment process is doomed to fail from the start. For the consultants at Horizons, a solid foundation is built on a well established master/apprentice relationship and a commitment to experience sharing communication within the family. Without this foundation, the house will eventually crumble.

Once parents have built their own foundations, the job of building a more solid foundation for their child doesn’t seem so daunting. The process of laying the foundation can be done one step at a time, and with each individual child in mind. Some children might be missing the left cornerstone, while others might be missing a piece here and a piece there. Wherever the pieces are missing, parents can be guided to support their children in shoring up the foundation that support to a stronger structure in the long run.

I found this quote, that I think speaks to the topic of foundations in relation to remediation, and what we at Horizons are striving to achieve with the parents and families with whom we work.
“The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.” (Thomas Kempis)

To me, this quote says it all. The greater the quality of life each parent wants for their child, the more solid the foundation will need to be. As far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit! Now that spring has arrived and warmer weather is upon us and many new construction projects are springing up, it might be an excellent time for you to think about the foundation you are building for your child. Is your foundation solid enough to support your lofty building? If not, what can be done to firm up that foundation? Are there things that we at Horizons can do to help you establish a firmer foundation? Let us know how we can help!

Helping Children Around the World Through the Herbalife Family Foundation

Helping children around the world through the Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF) is an excellent way to feed kids in need. Often these are orphaned children, ravaged by disease or have been abandoned and face a life of neglect and starvation without our help. The Herbalife Family Foundation partners with established charitable organizations to improve the lives of at risk children through healthy nutrition and disaster relief. If only you could personally see how helping children through the HFF, you would understand how much your help is needed to replace the pain and suffering with joy and healthy lives.

Helping children through proper nutrition

Helping children through proper nutrition is a global responsibility. No one, especially children, should go hungry. Well nourished children are more likely to be healthy; more productive; and better able to learn. Good nutrition helps families and communities throughout the world. Conversely malnutrition is devastating to children. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund nearly one-third of child deaths are related to malnutrition and one in four children suffer from malnutrition. While most western countries such as the United States and Canada have governmental programs to help feed the impoverished, children in much of the world do not have access to such life-saving programs. Fortunately, there are many excellent venues for Americans to reach out and help the children in need throughout the world.

The Herbalife Family Foundation

The Herbalife Family Foundation is a global non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and meeting the needs of communities around the world. Its flagship program, Casa Herbalife, was introduced in 2005 to support existing charitable organizations that are changing children’s lives. This program has spread across the globe to more than 40 countries, helping to provide proper nutrition to needy children through 65 affiliated programs. HFF supports disaster relief around the world as well by raising money and providing funding to organizations helping at the scene of the disaster. Such efforts have helped increase food, clothing, blankets, supplies, housing and safe play area availability for affected children and their communities.

How you can help

By making a gift you can receive the satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference in a child’s life. And it starts by finding a way to give that’s right for you. Some options to consider include the following methods. A gift by cash, check, or credit card is the most common and convenient way to give to HFF. Gifts may be made outright or pledged over a period of up to five years. Significant contributions can be made through planned or deferred means such as estates, charitable trusts and retirement funds. Consult with your financial advisor to determine if one of these is right for you.

Helping children through nutritional meals and proper diet is something we can all do to address malnutrition and starvation. None of the children asked to be born where they were born. They didn’t ask to be ravaged by disease or orphaned or abandoned. Even the smallest contribution goes a long way in helping children in need of a balanced meal. Please contribute financially through a charitable organization of your choice to help children in need a meal.

Private Foundations and Privacy – Five Key Facts You Must Know About Privacy and Foundations

Private foundations aren’t as private as their name might suggest. Read on to find out about private foundations and privacy — and discover what’s private and what isn’t.

1) Most foundation business is under public scrutiny

Just about everything a foundation does is subject to public scrutiny. There are a variety of reporting requirements, and specific forms and information must be filed, specifically the form 990-PF, with accompanying schedules. It is quite detailed and provides the general public access to wide range of foundation information, from revenues to program details.

And that file is not the only one. Most foundation business requires written documents that become part of public records. What property does the foundation own? Who are the donors? How much do they give? Where does the money go? Which projects are funded? There seems to be no end to the reporting requirements.

2) There is one area that can be kept private (to a point)

However, there is one exception: the minutes of meetings, especially annual meetings, don’t have to be disclosed to the public, at least not usually. There might be some exceptions, but for the most part, those minutes can be expected to be communication among board members that will not be shared with outsiders.

3) Why is it important that minutes be kept private?

There’s an important reason why minutes are generally be kept private. It helps ensure that members can communicate frankly with each other. If they have to worry about getting on the nightly news for what they have said during board meetings, they may never open their mouths, and important foundation business might not get done.

So for the most part, board members can assume that what happens in the boardroom during annual meetings and other meetings will stay in the boardroom — and that will be recorded in minutes for the eyes of board members and other participants in the meeting only.

4) Are there exceptions to the “minutes are private” rule?

There are indeed exceptions. As you might expect, things are rarely as clear cut as they may seem. If public officials are involved in the meeting, some of the minutes might end up becoming available to the public.

5) How can you get around the problem?

To some degree, you can get around that problem. However, in order to do that, it’s very important that any involvement of public officials be carefully separated into different types of communications. On the one hand, there are communications that are strictly about foundation business. Those have a good chance to remain private.

On the other hand, there are communications that are about any other business that is more closely related to the public official’s official duties. Separating the information in that way will provide a greater likelihood that the portion related to the foundation without information about the official’s public duties will remain private.

Of course, there are still never any guarantees. Something might happen that could suddenly require the disclosure of some of the minutes even though they were strictly about private foundation business, just because the official was involved.

So it’s very important to keep in mind that any communication with a public official could conceivably become part of the public record under certain circumstances. So when you include public officials on your board, be sure to remember that fact at all times — and weigh your words carefully.