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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

31,536,000 Seconds

That is 2019...well was. Here's hoping you lived to the fullest every one of them. If someone says they would give you a penny for every second this not hesitate...take it.

Once again we are coming up on the Mancuso Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA. We hope to see you all there. A major change for this year is we will not be raffling off a Singer Featherweight...sorry it just didn't happen this year. It is getting harder to find them at a reasonable price and even though we are graced with the exceptional skills and talents of Jason and Rebecca Olah from Olah's Restoration & Service out of Moyock, NC it is hard to budget for even with their generous donation of their skills and time. We haven't given up, but this year it just wasn't in the cards. If you need service, restoration or repair for the sewing machines you own that aren't full of computer chips and electronics Olah's is the place to go. Their FB Page link is on the left side of this blog page under Source Links. Check them out. If you've visited our booth in the've seen their work.

Hampton Roads Convention Center 1610 Coliseum Drive Hampton, VA
Feb 27-28-29/2020 10 AM to 6 PM
March 1, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM

The Not Forgotten QOV Booth will again be set up in the lobby. We will be raffling off a quilt. The drawing will be Sunday, Mar 1 at 3 PM. Tickets will be $1 each or 7 Tickets for $5. All of the proceeds are submitted to the National Foundation. These are the funds, from our Trust, that we use to purchase all of the materials and supplies that are used to craft the many Quilts of Valor that are awarded here locally. To the many volunteers who give of their time and talent Elaine and I will forever be grateful for sharing in our commitment to our active service members and veterans. Without you Not Forgotten QOV is just a passing thought. For those of you that purchase raffle tickets, donate and support Not Forgotten QOV, well, we can't thank you enough.

This year we will follow the Quilt Festival with the Events Management Groups (EMG) Annual Spring Craft Market.

Virginia Beach Convention Center
1000 19th Street
Virginia Beach, VA 

March 6-7 10 AM-6 PM
March 8    10 AM-5 PM

We will also have a Raffle Quilt with ticket prices the same, $1 each, 7 tickets for $5.

We will be located inside this event. Please stop by and say hi. Always good to see you, even if just in passing. 

We have some $2 off coupons, limited amount, but if our paths cross or you want to stop by the house and pick one or two up...please do so. I don't think we'll even unload the Subaru between the two shows. 

I will admit to being very busy last year, many of the 315+ million seconds was spent longarming. I finished over 190 projects beating my own record of 175 from the previous year. Off to a running start with 26 projects already completed for 2020. 

We hope your New Year is off to a great start. Hope to see you and share in some joy with a little quilting thrown in for good measure. 

Quilt till you wilt...we do. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Open Letter - Follow Up

Open Letter…Follow-up

Several weeks have passed since I posted my response to the Board of Directors approved 2020 Budget that was presented to the membership via an email from the salaried Executive Director. I emphasize salaried since it is misleading to anyone that visits the website. If one reviews the posted Policies and Procedure’s you will find the following content:

“The Foundation’s leadership consists of its Board of Directors, its Executive Staff, and its State Coordinators, who are all unpaid volunteers. The Foundation expects its leadership staff, member group leaders, and members to adhere to the standards and policies described in this manual.”

There are several positions on Executive Staff that are salaried. In 2016 the reported figure was a shade under $1500. By the end of 2017 that had climbed to over $15,000 and at the end of 2018 to over $109,000. The Executive Director’s position has been budgeted for 2020 a 33% increase in salary. One can assume the final figures for salaries, other compensation, and employee benefits will rise above the $109,000 numbers for 2019 and most certainly for the year 2020. To convince me that the increase to the membership is to only cover Group operational costs would take a team of CPA’s from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.

But that is not the good news. There has been some reevaluation of the proposed budget. The Board has approved the new Group Business Fees be allowed to be withdrawn as an approved expense from a Groups Trust. Previously the Groups Fees were out of one’s personal pocket. The increase for one that chooses to be a National Member associated with a group has been reduced from $15 to $10. A reasonable increase as the Foundations Operational costs for a group could have easily increased along with just about everything else in existence since 2014. How much is yet to be determined. Considering the many Chapters of Project Linus pay $100 a year for operational costs…QOVF is still a bargain.

The very good news. Through the efforts of a very dedicated and committed group of volunteers who spend countless hours helping with our fundraising functions annually, Not Forgotten QOV has sufficient assets and will be able to utilize the offering from National to pay our Group Business Fee from our Group’s Trust. We are reminded daily who really makes the Foundation a success, understands and thrives to accomplish the Mission, and without pause continue providing the symbol known to our service members and veteran recipients as a Quilt of Valor, the Volunteers. Without them the Mission would be a failure, Catherine’s vision but a passing thought and Not Forgotten QOV but a title.  

We thank you for your support and kind words and responses as we trekked through these muddy waters.


Saturday, January 4, 2020

An open letter to QOVF.

I’m Confused

No really, the latest from QOVF Leadership indicates that the Group Fees will increase from $30 to $75 (150%) and that a Group Members Annual Fee will increase from $5 to $15. Which translates to a 2 Member Group Fee increasing 162.5%. Meaning, an individual Group Member will sustain a 200% increase in their dues. As explained; to cover the increase in operation of the Foundation.
With the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2020 being 2.8%, the Social Security Bump being only 1.6%, or 1.2% below the rise in the Cost of Living and for those still paying SS tax, an increase of 3.6%, an increase for many of nearly $300 more per year in SS Taxes. It’s hard for me to believe the operating costs of the Quilts of Valor Foundation can justify an increase of 10% not to mention at least 150%.

In 2017, to keep it simple:
QOVF Total Assets at the beginning of the year totaled $361,618.
End of Year, $533,916.
Total 2017 Liabilities at the End of Year were $10,573.

Total Revenue was $830,492
Total Expenses were $659,321 or
Revenue less expenses of $171,165.
End of Year Assets were reported as $524,057.

Am I off base in assuming QOVF is solvent?

2018, to keep it even simpler:
Total Assets End of Year $693,465
Total Liabilities $11,483
Reporting End of Year Assets at $681,982

It was interesting to see the Salaries, other compensation and employee benefits increase from 2017, $15,041 to $109,444 in 2018.

More interesting though is that Revenue from dues between 2017 and 2018 increased by 1.53%. Contributions, gifts and grants increased by 7.65% and Total Revenue from 2017 to 2018 increased by 5.5%.

So in an effort for me to understand the need for an increase of 150% per Group, 162.5% for a 2 person Group to continue to function and a 200% increase for a Group Member to maintain their Volunteer Member Status would someone from leadership please indicate the percentage of increase for each of the following categories stipulated by the current Executive Director in her e-mail that has created the need to seek even more from those that contribute the most. The Volunteer Members, now over 11,000.

“*There are costs to conduct business, even non-profit business. We support groups and do not bill each group for their portion of the cost for the following:” Tammany McDaniel, Executive Director

Please note…the stipulation was made that the following categories as listed by The Executive Director is what justified the need to develop a membership base to offset these costs and make it possible for Groups to maintain the total of their funds raised to purchase authorized goods and supplies to craft QOV’s. What exactly did the $81,121 from dues cover last year? Have those expenses increased by at least 150% since 2014? Personally I don’t think so.
-The permission to raise funds in our name
-General liability for meetings and events
-Trademark/Registered Marks use
-Banking and accounting is paid for at the national level with no flow-down of group itemized costs
-Marketing materials
-Wholesale products for your fundraising
-Fundraising organization and (increasing) support
-IRS and state audits
-Annual federal and state non-profit filings
-Where required, a 501(c)(3) in each state
-Where required a license to solicit funds in each state
-Software and system databases
-Leadership Training and Support (increasing).

At the same time can someone answer.
Who is seeking out celebrity endorsements?
Who is writing Grant Proposals?
Has someone in leadership even sought out someone to write proposals?
Who is actively seeking Corporate Sponsorships? (Not to be confused with Partnerships.)
Who is actively seeking volunteer and membership relations with industry to pass on material and supply discounts and benefits of quilting products?

Is it time for the Quills of Valor Foundation to adopt a democratic system with membership voting rights?

Les Page #9029
Volunteer Member since 2014
Volunteer Since 2009
Volunteer Member Longarmer since 2012
Former State Coordinator and Executive Staff Member

…and one very confused and frustrated individual concerned about those that have yet to receive a Quilt of Valor and how this type, of yet to be justified increase, will affect the future of our Mission and the future of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and it’s membership base.