I had a family reach out to us this weekend to see if we could assist in getting them out to NY from NC to see their son before he deploys and I had to tell them we weren't at a point where we can actually purchase a ticket yet. It broke my heart. There is so much red tape involved in setting up a non-profit correctly and legally and to have to tell this mom I couldn't help her through WFOT just broke my heart. I've had a heavy heart since I read her email. I don't know how to help her right now since we aren't at the point of being able to purchase tickets yet and not for other military branches outside the USMC. How frustrating is it to be so close and yet so far away at the same time? Let me tell you, VERY!
To update quickly where we are with things right now... We are still in the process of compiling all the necessary paper work for the IRS for our 501C-3 status and then we will file with the IRS and state of AR. We are recognized by the state of AR right now, but since we are not officially in 501C-3 status we can't start disbursing funds yet. In addition, since we had to focus on one military branch to start with we aren't able to branch out to anyone other than Marines right now. The plan would be that other groups involved with other branches will join us in this effort and take it to other branches. I know this will happen and most everyone will require the 501C-3 status before they will either donate or accept the disbursements to take place.
We truly are close. I know I keep saying that, but we really are. It's almost like when you are watching a ballgame and they say there is only 6 minutes left in the game and it still takes 45 minutes for the game to actually end. That's how it feels right now.
If anyone out there knows how to help this mom and her husband to get to NY from NC please let us know. She is trying to get there by September 22nd. Her son has two small children and they desperately want to get out there to see him before he leaves.
Thank you in advance for putting your thinking caps on and helping us find a way to help them.