Publication 78 www.irs.ogv

"Making Our Environment Right"

MOER Foundation MOER Foundation Inc. "Making Good Communities Better"

Organizational's History

The MOER Foundation began with an errand to Staples Store Winter Street, Boston Massachusetts. Dr. Ali ABY Muhammed needed some office supplies and f ound himself chatting with a single mother of four who did not have enough money to buy her children school supplies. Dr. Ali ABY Muhammed footed her bill that day and then took the next step and asked her what other needs for her family can he meet. That was in June 2006, and the MOER (Making Our Environment Right) Foundation was founded that August 12, 2006.

The fledgling foundation's first program is Sponsor-a-Mind, which collects school supplies from stores and distributes them to individuals and schools in need free of charge. The program name emphasizes the idea that contributing school supplies is not simply a matter of easing a disadvantaged family's needs. Rather, supporting education in this way allows contributors to provide backing for the recipients' development and future.

At first, Dr. Ali ABY Muhammed purchased the school supplies and donated them to individuals. Then he began giving talks at community gatherings and contacted family coordinators at the local schools, asking them for a list of what supplies were needed. Requests poured in and Dr. Ali ABY Muhammed appealed to the manager of the Winter Street Staples store in Boston, where he had met that needy mother. The person who ran that store was a district manager and offered to call other Staples stores, which responded enthusiastically. With that, the Sponsor-a-Mind program and the MOER Foundation have taken root and spread to numerous communities across the United States.

The organization has grown organically in response to stated needs. Many of the children who lacked school supplies also required winter clothes, so we initiated a coat donation drive based at public transit stations. They needed food, so we began a food recovery program. Unfortunately, many of the children and their mothers suffered from abuse, which inspired us to develop a domestic violence prevention program. They also needed a place for safe recreation, so we formed a partnership with Boston's Community Boating so inner-city youth can get out on the water and learn new skills.

In each case, a wealth of in-kind donations and volunteers from all around the city emerged to meet the need. For example, U-Haul has supplied trucks for picking up supplies and delivering them to the warehouse and schools, American Express Travel held an employee donation drive and raised well over $1,000 worth of donations for Sponsor-a-Mind, and long-time supporter Staples donated a case of pens when an urban school held a writing contest.

These contributions show that the MOER Foundation's theory of community change is correct: when there is a need, a respectful request will bring unprecedented results. Neighbors and businesses want to help out. They just need to be asked. For three years, the MOER Foundation has done just that and built a network of assistance and social and health programs.