Holy Cross Education Foundation

It is the mission of Holy Cross Education Foundation to provide funding and administrative assistance to schools that strive to provide the highest quality primary education to children in disadvantage areas. We seek to effectively help prepare students for the challenges of life in the 21st century - spiritually, mentally, morally, emotionally and physically by providing a state-of-the-art educational environment.
Apr 16, 2014

Solar Panel Installation and YouthSpark Match!!

Typical home where most of our students reside
Typical home where most of our students reside

After some delays in Belize Customs in March, all solar panels and ancillary equipment associated with our second 5KW solar PVC installation (Phase 2) arrived safely and securely at Holy Cross Anglican School. Items were carefully checked off the bill of lading to ensure that all components were accounted for. I accompanied an advanced team of volunteers in early April, who devoted considerable time to preparing the roofing surface with white reflective coat paint. I also reviewed our overall energy strategy with both a local expert and as part of a site visit from Global Giving staff member Lydia Sorensen (see pictures). We were very pleased that independent review re-affirmed that our plans to provide a farm generating at least 20KW using panel micro-inverters and net-metering was the best possible for our location.This means that we will be undertaking at least Phase 3 and 4 projects -- to grow the farm from what will soon be 10KW to at least 20KW -- hopefully in the next couple of years. We have an EXCITING opportunity in MATCHING funds to help finance this!! I provide more information below. At the same time, additional strategies including reducing energy consumption may be adopted -- after a more thorough energy audit is undertaken. You will be hearing more about these in upcoming reports. In the meantime, Baker Renewable Energy's (BRE) installation team will be leaving Raleigh this coming Sunday, April 20th and plans to complete the Phase 2 installation by the end of next week -- April 25-26 timeframe. Our next report will document the results of this exciting installation trip. Thank you to every donor that has contributed thus far.

I also wanted to update you on our current funding situation. Because of some unplanned expenses -- in particular a large GST Belizean tax bill that was unanticipated -- we are running about $5000 short to completely balance our "Phase 2" budget. But -- because we have recently qualified as a Microsoft YouthSpark Partner -- we can stretch our donations much farther than previously possible:

1) First, all new recurring donors will see their monthly donations matched at 100% for the first 3 months. It is easy to become a recurring donor on our Global Giving page -- just look on the right hand frame. If you are not already a recurring donor, your first 3-months donations will be DOUBLED and you can opt out after 3 months. And new recurring donations can be entered at any time, not just on a bonus day.

2) In addition, Wednesday, April 16th, beginning at NOON EDT, is a BONUS Day:

  • The Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day will begin April 16th, 2014 at 12:00:01 PM (noon) EDT and will end April 17th, 2014, at 11:59:59 AM EDT, or when matching funds run out.
  • There are $100,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft.
  • Matching is applied at 50% for every donation from $10 up to $1,000 per donor per project/microproject.
  • The project or micoproject that has the most unique donors on Microsoft YouthSpark's Bonus Day will receive an additional $10,000 prize from Microsoft.
  • If you sign-up as a new recurring donor during Bonus Day and matching funds are still available, your donation will be increased by 150%!!
  • BONUS Day funds often run out very quickly, for example, within the first 15 minutes of the campaign -- so if you really want the 150% match you will need to be ready right at Noon EDT/11AM CDT/10AM Belize time.

With these new matching funds opportunities, we believe we are well-positioned to finish balancing our Phase 2 budget and then fund Phases 3 and 4 going forward. We thank all who have given in the past and continue to support us in any way. Please do consider becoming a recurring donor if you are not already one -- at least for three months. And please do consider that at Noon tomorrow, new recurring donations will be matched by MicroSoft at 150%! With most sincere thanks to all from John and the Board of Holy Cross Education Foundation -- and the children and staff of Holy Cross Anglican School.

GG Staffer Lydia Sorensen visiting
GG Staffer Lydia Sorensen visiting
Volunteers work on roof preparation
Volunteers work on roof preparation
Students excited about our visit
Students excited about our visit
Volunteer with student
Volunteer with student
Jan 23, 2014

Solar Equipment Procured, Installation Planned

Thanks to you, our generous donors, all components have been procured and are awaiting shipping from the on-site warehouse at Baker Renewable Energy (BRE) in Raleigh, North Carolina. The attached pdf contains the donation letter and bill of lading, which has been provided to Belizean government authorities to obtain a Duty Exemption letter. We are hopeful that the letter will be finalized and delivered to the appropriate customs officials within the next 1-3 weeks. In any event, we plan to ship the system to Belize City and then via barge to Holy Cross Anglican School departing Raleigh no later than about February 15th. Should the Duty Exemption letter still be "in process" at that point, we will contact additional supporters within the Belizean government to ensure that the donation is properly credited as a donation by Belizean customs. Our plan is for the equipment to arrive on site at HCAS in early March --- and -- allowing for some date slippage -- to send our first team of installers around April 1st. BRE is making a substantial in-kind contribution to help with the technical expertise needed to install this Phase 2 system, and we are most deeply grateful for their commitment. I will plan to update you further once the equipment has been shipped and Duty Exemption letter obtained. With most sincere thanks to all from John and the Board of Holy Cross Education Foundation -- and the children and staff of Holy Cross Anglican School.

Oct 23, 2013

Fund Raising Complete for Solar Phase 2

As noted in our last project report dated about the 15th of July 2013, we were in need of approximately $4K in additional funds to fully complete our Phase 2 fund-raising. I am thrilled to report that those funds have now been raised through our generous supporters here at GG. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, as do the children and staff of Holy Cross Anglican school. Any further funds raised at this time will go towards unforeseen expenses that might arise during the shipping and installation stages of the project. With respect to schedule, we have met with our partners at Baker Renewable Energy (BRE). They are prepared to ship the system with just a couple of weeks notice once our Board determines shipping specifics. BRE is preparing a complete bill of lading to accompany the shipping. Since this system is a donation to Belizean schools, the full list of parts and supplies will also be provided to the appropriate officials in Belizean customs in order to waive import fees. Tentatively, we are planning on shipping around the first of the year, with a final system installation and site-acceptance test to be performed around the first of April. Since we haven't made any additional site visits at this time, I don't have any new pictures to add, but will next time! Thanks to one and all for helping us complete our fund-raising for our second 5KW solar array to be installed in the spring of 2014!

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