From the Desk of Maura & Charlie Weis


Dear Friends,

I hope you are all enjoying the early warm weather this year. Charlie & I were in South Bend in March and the trees were already blooming, which is very rare for South Bend. The Neighborhood is doing great and our residents and program participants have been enjoying the wonderful Spring weather. School will be ending soon and we are all looking forward to our new programs and the start of summer camp. Hannah will be excited to see all of her friends again when we return in May. Charlie Jr. and Coach are enjoying being in Kansas and getting ready for football season. We are excited to be Jayhawks and have been very appreciative of the warm reception Kansas has given to Hannah & Friends, as we already have had one successful fundraiser in the Kansas community.

I was watching the news the other morning and they had a conversation about charitable giving. I was interested so I watched the entire segment. The program recommended that individuals be cautious to which organizations you are donating and to verify that it is a legitimate 501(c)(3) organization, where the organization has a Federal Tax Identification Number and provides a record back to you of tax deductible donations. Make sure the individuals working for the charity are not being paid an exorbitant amount of money and that donations are being used for mission-oriented purposes, not just being directed to corporate offices. Sadly, many so-called charities are not doing this. At Hannah & Friends, our primary goal is to direct funds and provide opportunities to those who need it most. Although we may not be big enough to help everyone in need, we are able to improve the quality of life for hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities each and every year.

I am proud to say that I do not take a salary at Hannah & Friends, and our staff is minimal, allowing us the ability to maximize the use of funds on our residents, program participants, and grant recipients. We have even turned our offices into a learning and activity center for our folks. Charlie has a saying, “donations come in and those funds go towards people with different abilities.” Our Hannah’s Helping Hands grant program is available in five States now, and we continue to offer camps when schools are on break, weekend dances, and after school programs to provide the community with affordable activities for the community, who often otherwise simply could not afford to attend. This is a charity you can feel good about giving to, nothing is hidden and we all work for the love of our special friends. Charlie and I have even committed six-figure donations each year, as we know the monies are put to great use for those who need it. Even our endowment goes towards making sure the residential homes and facilities at Hannah & Friends will continue as a community asset for years on end.

God has been good to Hannah & Friends and our family. It is like he is watching over Hannah & Friends and we all feel truly blessed. Charlie & I will be doing a lot of fundraisers and working really hard to make sure your dollars are well spent. We hope you can help out even though we know the economy is still not where it should be. No matter which side you lean politically, it’s a sad fact that government does not help our folks out the way it should and therefore we must get other help. Some folks with special needs are almost one step away from being homeless especially if their family is not there to care for them. They do not vote so their voices are not heard. With the rise in Autism, it will be even more difficult in the future for our special folks to find a home. Please find it in your hearts to help out and check out our wish list. We greatly value your help, as every penny counts.

Have a great summer,

Maura Weis

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