Donor Impact Report 2012

You make it possible...



Kathy Longo

Tom Joyce
Vice Chair

Kathy Paden

Dave Heider

Mary Capozzi
Gary Doten
Robert Fafinski, Jr.
James Hatch
Bill Huebsch
Amalia Moreno-
Laura Ness
Shaun Nugent
Pete Regnier
Tom Sullivan
Peter Taunton


Ron Kelly

Sandy Smith
Gerry Morrison

Mary Pasquinelli
Joe Shank
Leslie Shank

Stan Amidon
Annette Atkins
Ann Bloomquist
Eric Bloomquist
Kim Culp
Ed Flaherty
Bina Huebsch
Dave Huebsch
John Huebsch
Barbara Kopp
Jim McDonald
Mike Menzel
Dick Palen
Greg Palen
Glen Taylor
John Watson

New York
Greg Scherer
Linda Scherer
Dean Vought

U.S. Virgin Islands
Larry Meyer
Peggy Meyer

Dreams Realized

Dear Friends,

Together, we celebrate children succeeding in school—progressing from one grade to the next, and ultimately graduating from high school. But it’s our partnership with their families and the breadth of opportunities you create that combine to make their education a reality.

This year 147 young men and women realized their dream of graduation. We salute their dedication and perseverance—often against tremendous odds. We honor their families for following through on their commitment to their children’s education. Your generosity binds our common hope for a future without poverty.

As always, we try to stretch every dollar and quetzal as far as we can. This year 84% of our spending, or $3.35 million, went directly to programs. For more details, you can find our audited financial statements and 990 on our website. In the meantime, you can trust that we remain hard at work fulfilling our mission every day.

As you read this letter, more than 3,100 students continue their own paths toward graduation, dreaming of becoming teachers, bilingual secretaries, engineers, and doctors. They know
you believe in them, even from far away, and that has a powerful impact. We hear it from our graduates, and we read it in the thousands of letters we translate every year. You see it, too, and share it with others.

We are profoundly grateful not only for your financial support, but also for the inspiration and encouragement you provide to our students, families, staff, and volunteers.

Thank you for sharing so generously,

Shari Blindt
Executive Director

You make it possible

You make education, wellness, and better housing possible for thousands of impoverished children and adults in Guatemala. Even more students benefit from your generosity through our innovative school partnerships, working with public primary schools to reach new standards of excellence in education. But numbers only say so much. Sometimes stories of the individuals served best illustrate the difference made. You make it possible...

for Vicky to be a stronger teacher

When Common Hope started partnering with her school, Vicky was struggling to calm her boisterous class. Now, her class is more engaged and in control. More

for Ruby to smile broadly

Born with a cleft lip and palate that hindered her speech, eating, and self-esteem, Ruby got the surgery and treatment she needed to smile with confidence. More

for Nelson to avoid dropping out

Two years ago, Nelson was struggling mightily to stay in school. He found an advocate in our educational support staff and made it through, graduating and landing a great job in 2013. More

for Yesenia to sleep the whole night through

In Yesenia’s old house, her family couldn’t keep the rain out. Sometimes she had to get up in the middle of the night to move her bed out of the leaking rain. Her family earned a new house that keeps their home dry, day and night. More

for Maria Jose to be a trailblazer

Studying in a male-dominated field, Maria Jose found support in Common Hope’s youth group, becoming a leader and a motivational speaker for her peers. More

… for Vicky to be a stronger teacher.

When Common Hope started work in Vicky’s school, she struggled to calm and discipline her boisterous class. When our education promoter Alejandra started coming to her classroom to teach reading, Vicky saw that she used techniques that really quieted the students down and let her give her lesson without too many interruptions. So Vicky started implementing the rules and management tools that Alejandra used, and she quickly saw a difference. After a year working with Alejandra, Vicky says her class is much more engaged and in control. “I finally have order in my classroom and can teach the curriculum,” she says.

… for Ruby to smile broadly and with confidence.

Ruby smiles broadly when talking about her plans for a career as a chef, but it wasn’t always so. She was born with a cleft lip and palate that hindered her speech, eating, and self-esteem. Common Hope funded a reconstructive surgery to repair her bite and jaw function and provided speech therapy and braces to help her eat, speak, and live a normal life. Ruby says she feels more confident these days. What’s more, she is on track to graduate in 2013 with a vocational degree as a chef. She has always liked to cook, for years helping her mother prepare chile rellenos to sell. Now, she will have a formal degree to work in a restaurant and earn a better wage, and the confidence to do so.

… for Nelson to avoid dropping out—and land a great job.

In tenth grade, Nelson was struggling mightily to stay in school. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the aptitude—just a year before, he finished at the top of his class. But with growing commitments at work and other family challenges, he had missed too much homework and class. Nelson approached Flor, a member of our educational support staff, who advocated for him at school, explaining the difficulties causing him to get behind. Nelson was allowed to stay in school, and Flor continued to meet with him as he worked through his challenges. He graduated in 2012 and got a great job this year, as a graphic designer with a printing company in Guatemala City. Nelson feels so grateful for his job, knowing how hard it is to find a good one. Looking back, he says he was overwhelmed by the support Common Hope’s support staff showed him—they really believed in him, he says.

… for Yesenia to sleep the whole night through.

In Yesenia’s old house, her family couldn’t keep the rain out. Sometimes, she would have to get up in the middle of the night to move her bed from the leaking rain. “The rain would run onto the foot of her bed and wake her up,” says her mother Rosa. The floor was also covered in mud, which was especially hard with Yesenia’s youngest sibling, who was always playing on the floor and then climbing on the bed. Now, the family has a home with a solid roof and a cement floor that keeps the rain and mud out. Yesenia and her siblings invite their friends over and have a clean, dry space to work on their homework together.

… for Maria Jose to be a trailblazer.

As the only girl studying to be a mechanic, Maria Jose has endured extra challenges. During her first year of high school, her classmates gave her a really hard time. They teased her a lot. But her teacher supported her completely, and she also found support in Common Hope’s youth groups, which she has attended for many years. She used to hang out with just her sister and one other friend at youth groups, but program leader Rigo challenged her to open up and get to know everyone. He told Maria that “one day, you’ll need other people.” Maria Jose took his advice, making new friends, and she is now very involved in the program. She even helps give motivational talks and trainings on Saturday mornings. “It’s so beautiful when your peers seek you out for advice,” she says. “You can’t be prideful in those moments. I’ve learned to be humble and friendly.” Maria Jose is on track to graduate this fall and will do a month-long internship with Common Hope’s mechanic after that.


A lot was accomplished in the last year thanks to you. Children and families worked toward their goals in education, health care, and housing. Schools worked toward their goals of greater education quality. All of this contributed to the success of students living in poverty and their ultimate goal of high school graduation, a significant landmark in Guatemala. Studies have shown that high school graduates in Guatemala have better employment, better health, and greater optimism about the future. Your support is creating ripple effects for years to come.
STUDENTS attended school with your support.
LIBRARY VISITS helped children learn the joy of reading.
GRADUATES now have the skills for a professional career.


HOUSING IMPROVEMENTS were earned by families to make their homes cleaner, drier, and safer.
MEDICAL & DENTAL VISITS were provided to families so they could receive the care they needed to be well.
SOCIAL WORK VISITS helped families to work on their own unique development plans.


PARTNERSHIPS with local public schools helped educators to reach new standards of excellence.
STUDENTS from the broader community were served by our education promoters.
READING ACTIVITIES led by our education promoters brought interactive learning into the classroom.


Sponsorship $1,626,876 $1,745,499
Gifts from Individuals $938,097 $954,324
Gifts from Organizations $907,533 $1,426,674
Other Revenue $135,082 $43,886
Total Operating Revenue $3,607,589 $4,170,383
Program Services    
 Education $1,635,688 $1,766,708
 Family &
 Commmunity Development
$823,800 $861,877
 Health Care $442,284 $518,161
 Housing $200,030 $202,428
Total Program Services $3,101,802 $3,349,174
Management & General $384,759 $384,523
Fundraising $268,297 $266,882
Total Operating Expenses $3,754,858 $4,000,579
Operating Revenue Less
Operating Expenses
($147,269) $169,804
Non-Operating Activity* ($23,660) $17,143
Incr./Decr. in Net Assets ($170,929) $186,947
Net Assets, Beginning of Year $5,812,024 $5,641,095
Net Assets, End of Year $5,641,095 $5,828,042



Contact Us

Thank you for all you do to help Common Hope do good work. We hope you stay connected throughout the year.

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PO Box 8228
1400 Energy Park Dr., Suite 23
St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone: 651.917.0917



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