When Bill Briggs of Franconia thinks about the relief work done in Honduras by a group he organized long ago it is symbolized by two girls he met when they were pre-teens.
They were living in a small, remote village that had no electricity and a school that only went to the fourth grade. But the charity arranged for them to live and attend school in a nearby city.
“Now they are studying to be doctors. So, this is really rewarding,” he said.
Briggs has been working in Honduras for about 30 years and about a decade ago he founded Honduras Hope (wwwhondurashope.org).
Its goal is to give people living in several desperately poor villages more opportunities by improving their education, economy and health.
Briggs says a key to Honduras Hope's work is volunteer manpower. He says several times a year volunteers pay their own way to Honduras to help with projects. That is important not only because their help is valuable but because the experience recruits them.
“In the process the people who go with us on trips become transformed themselves,” he said.
By that he means they remain involved, helping to raise funds and get others interested in going there.
One big project for next year has Honduras Hope working with The Common Man Family of Restaurants. Briggs said the company is setting up a culinary school in Honduras to help people get higher-paying jobs in the tourist industry. The school is expected to open in February.
Honduras Hope is a 501(c)(3) and the most recent federal filing (2009) states an annual income of almost $80,000.
It shows there were no fund-raising expenses and administrative expenses totaled about $7,200 with about $4,000 of that going to accounting.