Procrastination and Paperwork

September 10, 2010

We have until Nov. 15 to complete our CT-12 form for the Department of Justice in Oregon.

I got a good start…and then I stalled. Of course, I resigned from my job, gave up my apartment and moved to a new state and a new job since I had started the paperwork. However, I will soon need to pick up the paperwork where I left off. I don’t want to be trying to finish reporting our income and expenses for our recent fiscal year at the last minute.

And there are penalties and fees if I don’t hit the deadline. I’ll give myself a deadline of Oct. 9 at the latest, a good month ahead of the official deadline.

On the Upbeat

July 7, 2010

Natasha Chughtai, a reporter and an anchor on KVAL-TV in Eugene, Oregon, interviewed me in May for a profile on Isis Initiative, Inc. for her weekly broadcast “On the Upbeat.” It aired Friday, July 2, 2010. Thank you, Natasha. And thank you to Lynn Walker for telling Natasha about our work. You can view broadcast by clicking on this link:

The Oregon Department of Justice requires non-profits to file a CT-12 form. Of course, I wasn’t aware of this requirement until I received a letter informing me that I had failed to file the CT-12 form for our fiscal year 2008-2009.

I filled in the form and returned it as quickly as possible. There’s a penalty if we’re late. Since we’re a new organization with a small income base, every dollar counts.

I got a phone call from a nice woman named Vorano, who explained I had not filled out the form correctly. She walked me through the details. I took notes and she send me back the form with the areas I needed to complete highlighted in yellow. Like Dorothy, I did my best to follow the yellow brick road.

And I procrastinated something terrible. I needed to go through our files and doublecheck our donations through June 2009 and our expenses for the same time frame. It wasn’t a difficult task; however, I made it difficult by assuming I’d get it wrong again. My fear of failure had me paralyzed.

Then I got a registered letter from the Oregon DOJ. They were waiting for my form and there’d be an additional fee if I didn’t send it in pronto. Fear of fees pushed me right past fear of failure…where Isis Initiative, Inc. is concerned.

Today I spent the afternoon going through our files and completing the form. I photocopied it and slipped it in the pre-paid envelope. It mails out tomorrow.

Picture Perfect

December 18, 2009

Alice Anderson found this painting during a Web search and we decided it would be a perfect fit for our thank-you card for our donors. The painting is by Filipina artist C.P. Adorio and she gave us permission to use it. We're thrilled.

Alice Anderson is in town for the holidays. Alice is a board member and a college student at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. I’m refreshed by and grateful for Alice’s energy and perspective.

We had lunch at our local favorite McMennamins and trolled the Web looking for images of textiles from Africa and the Philippines, trying to find colors and patterns that would represent the countries and women we hope to serve with our scholarship program.

Alice discovered this blog: It features the work of a Filipina artist, C.P. Adorio. When we found the painting of the three women in traditional attire in a rural setting, we thought it was perfect for our purposes.

Oh, the power of technology. We sent the artist an e-mail and explained the mission and work of Isis Initiative, Inc. and asked if she’d be willing to let us use her photo on thank-you note for our donors.

The next day we received an enthusiastic response from Ces, the artist. Today I received a large jpeg file. And I learned she lives in Houston. We had imagined she was in the Philippines. I’d like to meet her and see her work in person.

Thank you, Ces. Thank you, Alice.

Investing in Live Stock

November 16, 2009

Leah earns 6,000 pesos/month teaching at the Montessori School in Ozamiz City on Mindanao in the Philippines. That’s approximately US $125, depending on the exchange rate. She’s applied for a position with a public school for the coming academic year. She’ll earn 16,000 pesos/month (US$335) plus benefits. And the school will be closer to her home and village.

Please send Leah all your good thoughts and best wishes. She’s worked hard for this opportunity and the extra money will make a world of difference for her family.

Leah’s a resourceful and determined young woman. To supplement her salary, she bought a pig. She pays approximately US$20 for a pig. Then she raises it and sells it, making about US$140. When I attended her graduation from La Salle University Ozamiz in October 2007, she had her pig butchered and cooked to make luchon, a traditional Filipino dish, to honor and thank me, “her benefactor,” and her family and friends. For her graduation celebration, we traveled to a local beach resort. Friends and family came from miles to join the feast.

Leah has two pigs now as an investment. Her brother, Juven, feeds and cares for the pigs. He’ll get a cut of the profits when they sell the pigs. Leah had planned to prepare luchon again for Christmas, when I had hoped to visit. Not this year. I’ll be working–the prize for being the most recent hire at the newspaper.

I’ll be there in spirit.

Remember this holiday season, $20 can make an enormous difference in a young woman’s life. Leah buys pigs to supplement her salary. Your donation of $20 will help provide a college education to another scholarship recipient.

Please help us continue to send young women to college with scholarships from Isis Initiative, Inc. You can donate through PayPal on our Web site or send a check.

Thank you.

Training Day

November 5, 2009

Last year when I was starting to organize Isis Initiative, Inc., I attended a conference sponsored by Financial Stewardship Resources in Corvallis, Oregon. It was $90 well spent.

I made valuable contacts and learned vital information that helped me prepare our application for 501 (c)(3) status for the Internal Revenue Service.

If you sit on the board of a nonprofit or you’re thinking of creating your own 501 (c)(3) organization, I highly recommend that you consider attending the 6th Annual Nonprofit Board Training in Corvallis on January 23, 2010.

Follow the Web link below for more details about the conference and how to register.


Dear President Obama

October 30, 2009

When President Obama announced that he’d give the $1.4 million from his Nobel Peace Prize award to charity, a thought flashed through my mind.

Write him a letter. Ask him to consider donating a portion of the money to Isis Initiative, Inc.

I wrote him. And I asked my friends and supporters of our work to write him a letter, too. If you believe in what we’re doing, please write him a letter.

I believe. I believe the request will reach his ears. And I believe he’ll respond. Join me in making an appeal and making a difference for women around the world.

Below is the text of the letter I wrote him on October 22, 2009


Dear President Obama:

I walked into a 7-Eleven the morning the Nobel committee announced you had received the Peace Prize.

“You like President Obama,” the cashier asked. “Yes, I do,” I said.

“I can’t talk to you,” she said, handing me my change. “Why?”

“Why does he deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?” she responded.

“Because he took a stand,” I answered.

“Against what?”

“Not against something,” I said. “He took a stand for something.”

I am inspired by and proud of the way you’re leading our country: with dignity and civility, vision and strength. I am heartened by your commitment to improve the quality of life for all on our planet.

I am writing to you, Mr. President, because you said you would donate your $1.4 million ward to charity. I ask with the same humbleness with which you acknowledged the Nobel Peace Prize, that you consider donating some of that money to Isis Initiative, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit I created.

We are a small, grassroots organization that promotes healing, connection and communication through education and the arts. We are particularly committed to offering scholarships to women overseas who have the desire but not the resources to pursue a college education.

For more than a decade, I worked to make a difference as a photojournalist. I covered the aftermath of war and its devastating affects on women and children. I used to hope that my photographs would change the world.

In 2003, I chose not to cover the second Iraq War. You can read the complete story of how an accident in a jungle in the Philippines inspired me to create Isis Initiative, Inc.

I now believe the real power for change exists in the relationships and good will between individual human beings. We change the world one person at a time.

President Obama, I believe dedicating some portion of the money you’ll receive from your Nobel Peace Prize to Isis Initiative, Inc. will go a long way to creating new opportunities for women, and thereby, for all of us.

Thank you for your attention and consideration. And thank you for the fine example you set with your leadership.


Cheryl Hatch