We know it has been a while since we issued a proper update but you know how it goes: life, work, family, work, family, work, family and 10 months later you are wondering where all your time went! Well, we are no different. Every volunteer on the MDF team, whether admin or not, has other responsibilities that many times must take priority over what we do here. No one at MDF is paid so it’s important for us full-time workers to also keep our day jobs so we can keep paying the bills! We do our best to keep you updated but if you ever have a question, please do not hesitate to send us an email and ask or check out our website or Facebook pages to see what’s been going on.
First and foremost we want to thank every one of you who have sent a donation, made a purchase in our online stores or submitted a free pledge this past year. We would not have made it this far without your support and commitment to Michael’s Dream so we wanted to issue an update summarizing for you how we’re doing, what we’re doing and why and also give our new supporters a brief timeline description of where Michael’s Dream Foundation came from.
In the fall of 2011, the idea of Michael’s Dream Foundation was born from the minds of a small group of people that wanted to build the vessel that would bring a Dream to life; to build a children’s hospital in honor of one of the greatest unsung humanitarians of all time. We gathered our thoughts and resources and started making long term plans which led to the official registration of Michael’s Dream Foundation Inc. as a non-profit corporation in the state of Pennsylvania in February of 2012. From there an attorney and corporate advisor was hired who helped us apply for our 501(c) 3 charity status with the Internal Revenue Service. It took over a year and a lot of work but we finally received that status in June of 2013, and we haven’t looked back.
In 2013, Michael’s Dream Foundation made two wonderfully successful deliveries of Michael’s Dream Boxes; one to Walker Medical (a pediatric doctor’s office) in Gary, Indiana and one to the Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We also finally began accepting donations towards a healthcare facility for children. The intention of beginning to accept donations for the Children’s Hospital Project is two-fold. Primarily it is our goal and hope to be able to leave these funds sitting in an account that will be used solely for the building of a children’s healthcare facility in the future; however, as a non-profit charity with extremely limited funds for operating expenses such as domain and website fees, legal fees, etc., this account will also be used as a backup account for any urgently needed funds that may be needed to keep the foundation open and legal. We sincerely hope it will never come to that but we always want to be open and honest with our supporters and the public. At the end of the day though, the purpose of every penny raised and spent by Michael’s Dream Foundation is to someday build that hospital for Michael so to us, the end certainly justifies whatever means we have!
2013 also brought us a letter from the estate of Michael Jackson. This is something we have not announced until now because ever since receiving it we have been trying to negotiate through their attorneys and were hoping to have good news to deliver to you. Unfortunately, that has not been the case so far. Over the past 2 years various members of Michael’s Dream Foundation, as well as our attorney have repeatedly tried contacting the estate using various methods, including contacting other companies or individuals that hold licensing rights to Michael’s name. Since day one, our intention has always been to have a direct line of communication with the estate, and hopefully come to an arrangement or agreement that would allow us to continue promoting this as something being done in Michael’s honor. To this day, all of our attempts have either gone unanswered, brushed off or outright rejected. Official proposals have also been submitted to estate attorneys on behalf of Michael’s Dream Foundation, from which we have received denials. The reason we are telling you this now is because, although we are still determined and working as hard as ever to keep the foundation going and growing so we can someday build a children’s hospital, we want you to be forewarned that because of copyright and trademark issues we may eventually be forced to change our name and eliminate all traces of Michael from our online presence. We truly hope and pray that it will never come to this since he really is our inspiration and reason for existing, but we felt it was time to finally let you all know what has been going on. No matter what our name is however, this foundation will ALWAYS exist to help the children and work our way closer to building a children’s hospital and it will still be done in Michael’s memory and honor as HIS Dream!
Speaking of helping the children, we have some big ideas and plans for 2014; one having recently been announced that we will be making our first international Dream Box delivery! Michael’s Dream Foundation will be providing Michael’s Dream Boxes to “Martha Care” who will assemble the Boxes and deliver them as needed to the disadvantaged children and families in the Bristol area of the United Kingdom. Our initial goal is to make two large deliveries of Michael’s Dream Boxes to the UK in 2014, but we are going to need your help! We are currently putting together an exciting, new & improved Michael’s Dream Box as well, which will allow you to choose what toys your money will buy for the children. Please watch our newsletters and updates for further details to come soon! You can read more about Martha Care and sign up for our mailing list all through our website at www.michaelsdreamfoundation.org
Part of MDF’s Dream and one of our biggest wishes is that all of the fan community can come together in making Michael’s Dream a reality. We are open to, and will consider, all proposed partnerships with other groups or charities as long as the proposed partnership somehow benefits both parties equally. This is only fair! With that being said, we would like to invite all groups, charities, businesses or individuals to contact us with ideas or suggestions for possible partnerships or cooperatives! We want to be able to say his fans built his hospital meaning ALL of us, not just a few of us!
We have recently added three new members to the MDF Admin Team: Michelle Guse of Canada who will be designing and distributing our emailed updates and announcements and generally managing all things emailed to you; Kaye Cheshire of Australia who will be taking over our Volunteer Coordination job; and Dean Jackson of the UK as our new Promotions Team Coordinator! Please help us in congratulating them!
If you also would like to be considered for either an admin position or a volunteer position with MDF, we are taking applications on our website. Just scroll to the bottom of the Homepage and click the Volunteer block to view our job listings and fill out an application.
We are currently negotiating a very exciting partnership which will propel MDF into its next phase of development and that we hope to officially announce very soon! Keep your ears peeled for that one! 2014 is going to be our best year yet.