Monday, November 21, 2005

Leta the Great!

Do you know someone who seems to be made of pure energy? No, kids don't count! I'm talking about an adult who seems to be everywhere at once, always taking on the biggest jobs, and actually getting results. One such person is "Leta the Great".

CivilWarrior generated quite a bit of interest in the plight of the children who reside in the tiny town of Klokott, Kosovo with his post Catching Up. It also got the attention of his good friend Leta, who immediately set out to fix a big problem.

I can't say it any better than she already has, so what follows is a letter sent by Leta to those who wish to help in her newest project.
Dear Friends,

First of all I want to wish each of you and your families a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday season.

I think all of you know that I am in the process of starting a Non Profit Organization called Progress Through Peace, Inc. Progress Through Peace, Inc. (PTP) has Non Profit status at this time but does not yet have tax exempt status. We have applied for tax exempt status but it has not yet been approved.

The story as to how PTP came about is a long one but began when I "adopted" one Soldier that turned in to many "adopted" Soldiers. As a result of supporting some of them I began working with a local Non Profit Young Adult group in Kosovo and was invited to Kosovo (a province in the former Republic of Yugoslavia) this past year to by that group of young adults that I had been supporting from here. PTP does not yet have a web site but we hope to have it up and running within the next month. The web site will give you much more detailed information about the countries in which PTP is working (right now it is only Kosovo), what projects have been completed and what projects are in the works. Everything has been happening so fast that we haven't been able to keep the cart BEHIND the horse!!! The needs in places such as Kosovo and other post conflict areas is great and, often, urgent. Setting up a Non Profit Organization and gaining tax exempt status in the US is often SLOW and FRUSTRATING!!!! I immediately fell in love with the people of Kosovo and know that you would too if you met them. They are amazing, resilient, caring, humble and grateful to America for the role we played in rescuing them from their awful situation under Milosevic. They DO NOT hold their hands out for money but do ask for tools and resources to allow them to build their nation. How refreshing!!!

I am going to Kosovo (at my own expense) December 18-27, 2005 in order to continue work on several projects as well as to lay the ground work for others. In the meantime I read the entry dated Sunday November 13, 2005 and titled "Catching Up" on the blog spot I met SFC Pointer when I was in Kosovo earlier this year. He, like so very many of our Soldiers, is an amazing individual and there is very little I wouldn't do for him. So, I emailed him about this sewer problem and what it would take to fix it so that this village does not continue to suffer medically from the problem. Since our Soldiers are NOT allowed to solicit funds for ANY reason I want to make it perfectly clear that the idea to raise these funds for this project is in NO WAY SFC Pointer's idea. It is MINE!!! I would like to be able to take the funds to Kosovo when I go in December. The funds will pay for the materials and the military will perform the labor at no charge (they are allowed to do that but not to pay for the materials or raise the funds). I would like for this to be "our" Christmas present to Kosovo and I need for all of you to be a part of "our". The engineers have looked at the project and I have their report if you are interested in seeing it. I also have the Non Profit incorporation papers filed in the state of Tennessee that I can email to you if you are interested in seeing those as well.

The engineers estimate that the materials will cost under 6000 Euros (that's the way they stated it in their report). At today's conversion rate that is around $7000.00 US Dollars.

So, I'm asking each of you to make a donation to this project. ANYTHING. $20.00, $25.00, $50.00, $100.00 whatever you can spare at this time. You will receive a receipt from Progress Through Peace, Inc. for your donation. However, it IS NOT tax exempt at this time. Once we hear back from the IRS about the tax exempt status each of you who donates will be notified. Additionally I'm asking that if you know of anyone who might be interested in being a part of this important and meaningful project that you forward this email to them.

I need to have your donation no later than December 15, 2005 in order to be able to take it with me to Kosovo. I KNOW we can do this. And, having been to Kosovo I KNOW how much this will make the lives better for those who live in Klokott. The average family of 6 lives on $180.00 a month. Unemployment is 70% and 60% of the population is under the age of 30 yet they have HOPE and they are proud. They don'’t "expect" anything yet are incredibly grateful for anything that is done to help to improve their lives.

Please make your donation to:

Progress Through Peace, Inc.

Mail it to:

P O Box 100
Cordova, TN 38088

Thank you all so very much. I will keep you posted as to the progress of this fund raising campaign. Additionally the web site will, eventually, have reports (and hopefully photos) of the project. Since I don't have my PTP email address yet please respond to my business address with any questions or comments.

Leta M Carruth
901-219-7692 Cell

This isn't half of what she has planned for PTP! Leta is working on getting a PayPal account set up to make contributing easier, but in the meantime anything you send by snail-mail would be greatly appreciated.