Many, many years ago, my husband Paul and I had an older friend who needed help. This special man had been a great friend to me when I first moved to Alaska and is the reason we created ANGELS Care Inc.
Milo, our friend, was an Army Veteran who had several health issues and suffered from COPD. The time came when he lived on oxygen. Milo was a very creative man, and he lived in a converted Greyhound bus parked in a campground nearby us. His non-traditional lifestyle was a challenge for his health providers, as was his location. We live in Alaska in a small neighborhood outside a town of about 2,500 people. We are 120 miles from a major city.
Getting a reliable supply of oxygen that would work in the limited space in his bus was a challenge, and when I heard Milo’s plight, I started making phone calls. One of my unique gifts is the ability to weave my way through a maze of red tape. As a by-product of helping Milo, we discovered that there’s little any individual can do to help a personal friend. As skilled as I am, I wasn’t getting very far. I was dedicated and determined to make a difference and improve Milo’s circumstances.
I discovered that although a person doesn’t get anywhere saying “I’m calling for a friend,” on the other hand, when you can call an agency and say, “I’m calling from a non-profit advocacy agency,” BOOM, doors will open!
Through our advocacy, we discovered it’s easy to form a non-profit, so we asked a friend to join us, and together we founded ANGELS Care, Inc. In this case, ANGELS is an acronym for A ging Neighbors Giving E qual Loving Support.
Our lodging business is Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay LLC. We wanted to keep the theme of angels for the not-for-profit. I must admit I was surprised when Paul came up with ANGELS Care. I tend to be the wordsmith, so I figured out the acronym.
Once ANGELS Care Inc. got founded, we helped Milo get his oxygen supply issue worked out. We continued our advocacy for him throughout his life. When the time came, and Milo needed hospice care, we provided a cabin on the waterfront for his final days. Meals on Wheels did a fabulous job making sure Milo had good food to eat, and he was thrilled to be at the ocean’s edge.
Milo passed away on January 19, 2012, and we can all rest easy that his final days were as comfortable as possible and happy.
In the years that followed Milo’s passing, we anticipated other neighbors needing ANGEL Care’s help, but the need never materialized. Our neighbors used to be mostly senior citizens, but with time they have moved or passed away, and now the area is filled with young families.
Over time, gradually, our advocacy has shifted towards encouraging civic engagement, and in late 2019 Lynda helped form Civic Engagement Inc.., a 501(c)3 designed to promote citizen involvement in the government.
Seeing little need to maintain the ANGELS Care Inc. non-profit, we have disbanded. However, we are more than willing to help you get going with forming a not-for-profit if you need to assist a friend or family member in need.
Forming a non-profit is not a difficult thing. Most states have instructions on their websites for the requirements. In most cases, you need three people to serve as officers of the corporation. Suppose you are forming a non-profit to advocate for someone, and there won’t be a lot of money involved. In that case, you don’t need to go through the tax-exempt filing process (which isn’t difficult, but you’ll want to file for the tax-exempt status at the time of your organization’s creation if you wish to secure that status).
If you anticipate applying for grant funding or accepting donations, then, by all means, file for tax-exempt status at the time you form the corporation.
When we formed ANGELS Care Inc., we anticipated that there could be chapters all around the country of friends advocating for friends. We envisioned Alaska ANGELS Care Inc., California ANGELS Care, Massachusettes CARE, etc.
There’s no reason that idea can’t still take hold!
If you have questions or would like to brainstorm your desire to advocate on behalf of someone, feel free to text Lynda at 907-351-3003