Children can teach
us marvelous things.
I regularly teach a group of
9-10 year-old kids. After the holidays, I asked them what they did
with their time off. Most of the kids talked about the gifts they
received and how much fun they had playing with their new toys or
taking family trips.
One girl had not said much, but
I noticed that she had cut her hair. This surprised me, because
she had beautiful, long hair of which she was obviously proud and
of which she kept good care.
"So, I see you got a haircut
for the holidays," I said.
She answered with a smile. She
told me she had heard about children with cancer who needed hair
for children's wigs.
She had given her hair as a gift.
Her remarkable gift made me think
Many foundations and charities
had a tough past year due to the worldwide recession, and especially
due to the "bears" in the stock markets.
Last year was a tough year financially
for many members -- and also for AAPG. Both the Association and
the Foundation rely on income from their portfolios to support programs
and services. This is especially true of the Foundation.
As this new year begins we are
looking for new ways to help the Foundation advance -- not just
through increased percentages and numbers, but in advancing the
relationships we have with our donor community.
During this process, the Foundation
will ask itself several important questions:
- Are we listening to the membership and
supporting the projects that are most important to them and their
- Do we adequately explain the programs we
support to our donor base?
- Do our donors feel strongly enough about
our goals and ideas to continue to participate?
With serious consideration, these
questions will allow us to examine our strengths and weaknesses,
and make genuine improvements in the Foundation and its programs.
The Association has taken a great
deal of time and effort to establish the new Membership Enhancement
and Development Program. In the coming months, the Foundation will
develop a business plan to ensure that we will be able to not only
continue support to existing programs, but also have the resources
to promote and fund new projects.
In the meantime, the AAPG Foundation
continues to fund many excellent programs. The Distinguished Lecture,
Grants-In-Aid and Visiting Geologist programs are a few of the most
visible. These three programs make more personal contacts with members
and students than any of AAPG's programs (with the exception of
the annual convention).
The AAPG Foundation continues
to contribute to K-12 education, especially in conjunction with
AGI's many educational programs. The Foundation's K-12 Education
Fund provides ongoing support for education in earth sciences at
elementary and secondary school levels.
There are many other programs
funded by the Foundation that I do not have the room to list, but
can be found on the AAPG Foundation's Web site.
One of the newest of these is
the Digital Products Fund, which supports the development of electronic
publications, including maps and databases. The fund is especially
designed to pay for digitization of affiliated societies' publications.
You will be receiving your 2003-04
dues statements soon from AAPG. On each statement, there is a place
for a donation to the Foundation with a recommended optional donation.
For tax reasons, it is very important
that the Foundation maintain a wide base of funding from the AAPG
membership. Last year, less than 19 percent of our members contributed
to the Foundation.
This year we are asking every
member to consider giving to this important program, even if it's
only a small amount, so that we can continue and expand our donor
base and advance Foundation programs. Every little bit helps.
We thank all of the individuals
and companies for their generous gifts to the Foundation, which
offers a very important service to AAPG and the geoscience community.
Through their generosity, they are helping to ensure the Foundation's
future and its ability to continue to offer important programs and
We thank you in advance, for
your consideration of giving to the Foundation this new year.