Hope House reaping the benefit of donations to the foundation

We’re excited to announce that the Mario Foundation board recently distributed more than $10,000 and additional computer equipment to Hogar Esperanza (Hope House) thanks to caring donors just like you.

Hope House administers to the full spectrum of needs of the children in its care (e.g., medical care, counseling, education, etc.). These funds are particularly important as they will help cover a wide range of important items:

  • medical expenses for a special needs child who requires and will continue to require extensive medical attention and multiple future surgeries;
  • doctor appointments, medical tests, medications, and other necessary items; and
  • completing Hope House’s monthly budget which would not have been possible without these vital funds.
Laptops were recently purchased and sent to Hope House.

In addition to funds, we were thrilled to also send down four (4!) more laptop computers that will be used for administrative and educational purposes both at the San Pedro Sula and Portrerillos locations.

On behalf of the Mario Foundation, we cannot thank these special donors enough for their timely and generous gifts! This post includes recent photos of the children at Hope House supported by your giving (courtesy of Rebekah Bolin, a friend of the Mario Foundation and dedicated volunteer at Hogar Esperanza).

To learn more about Hope House, visit the Mario Foundation’s website at https://mariofoundation.org/meet-our-beneficiaries/hope-house/

$10,000 to be sent to Merger, Haiti

We’re excited to announce that the Mario Foundation board recently approved distributions of more than $10,000 to both help with the construction of a new school and support students and teachers in Merger, Haiti.

The new school will mean accessibility for more students (not as far to travel), more teachers and a better quality education, more room to learn and play, more structure, and more rooms for different grades and classes – preschool, elementary, and secondary. The vision is for the school to ultimately serve 600-700 children in the community.

As a bonus, school construction has been providing employment for many men in Merger and surrounding communities, as well as boosting the local economy through the purchase of equipment and services.

Money from the foundation has sponsored two teachers, school uniforms, and construction costs, including concrete, sand, tile, and roofing materials. Photos below show the school construction in progress.

To learn more about Merger, visit the Mario Foundation’s website at https://mariofoundation.org/meet-our-beneficiaries/merger-haiti/

 

Hope House Celebrates 20 Years

This week, The Mario Foundation celebrates Angie McInvale Altamirano and her twenty years of service to the children of Honduras! A true reminder that not all heroes wear capes, but they do often need help. That’s why The Mario Foundation is dedicated to Angie and the mission of Hope House by providing opportunities for folks just like you to be a vital part of this incredible story of love and hope.

The sounds of activity start early in the quaint neighborhood where Hogar Esperanza (Hope House) sits in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The oppressive Honduran heat means everyday tasks are best done early, while the sun still offers some mercy before its mid-day tropical siege. And for the last twenty years, Angie McInvale Altamirano has set about early each day with a quiet resilience reminiscent of a champion marathon runner. There’s no time for rest or complaints. The stakes are far too high for those relying upon her unwavering commitment to shield them from a world of unimaginable dangers.

Growing up near Birmingham, Alabama, Angie was made aware as a teenager of the challenges the children of Honduras face. A beautiful, but embattled country, Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including coffee, sugar cane, and fruit. However, it is equally known for the serious issues its people face: poverty, high crime rates, political instability, and violence.

Following the horrific destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Angie dedicated her life to caring for the children of Honduras. She founded Hogar Esperanza (Hope House) in 2000 to provide a home for children born into extreme poverty and abuse. With Hope House, children in terrible circumstances find love and the opportunity to heal and thrive. They’re provided with counseling and other life necessities, including education, so that they may ultimately serve as agents of positive change in their communities.

We salute Angie and the many dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors that serve the children of Hope House.

First book donations en route to Hope House

Angie McInvale was very excited to get a stack of new children’s books in Spanish for the kids of Hope House. Let’s keep a good thing going! If you have an Amazon account and a few extra bucks, please consider purchasing a book off the wish list or finding your favorite children’s book in Spanish. We will give any books collected to Angie as she visits the states every few months.

Books can be sent to the wish list registry address at:

The Mario Foundation
c/o Jereme Logan
7750 Sardis Grove Drive
Gardendale, AL 35071

The Mario Foundation Journey – First Update

We’re very humbled by and grateful for the dozens of Facebook followers and website views we’ve received over the last 24 hours. Thank you to all who are helping to spread the word!

We just want to share a few words about the journey of starting a non-profit. In the words of one of our co-founders, “it’s like starting a small business.” Things we’ve toiled over so far include setting up the corporation, recruiting a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers for our board, branding (logo, mission, vision, etc.), building a website and donor database, and creating a strategic plan for the next 12-18 months.

Messy brainstorming notes during our strategic sessions

For those of you not familiar, the 501(c)(3) designation means that the IRS has recognized your organization as a nonprofit, tax exempt organization. Most of the charities that you could name off the top of your head would fall into this category, including many churches and schools. To protect donors, the IRS doesn’t make it easy to obtain the 501(c)(3) designation. Although there is a quick application (think the equivalent of a 1040 EZ form), we have chosen to complete the long form, as it provides more information to donors, adds to our transparency, and hopefully increases our chances of approval.

As of this post, we are working with professionals and gathering the final documentation needed to submit the application for The Mario Foundation’s 501(c)(3) status. Once submitted, the application could take a few months to process before it is approved. Once approved, we will file to register as a non-profit in the state of Alabama. We will not be actively soliciting monetary donations until these two milestones are accomplished.

We have already received several donations, and it is our understanding that these donations will be tax-deductible as long we receive our 501(c)(3) designation in the year that the donations were made. We are taking the application process very seriously, so we don’t anticipate any major hiccups. We will continue to share updates on our status as well as our overall journey.

Thank you again for your interest in the work of the foundation.