After nearly twelve years of service, we are applying for recognition as a foreign Non Governmental Organization in the People's Republic of China. We plan to comply with the new foreign NGO law that took effect in China January 1, 2017. There are many requirements including submitting a summary of our activities past and present to the proper government offices. We will be submitting our application to the Education Department of Guangxi Province.
Blessing Hands began in 2005 as a simple fund to help students in Yangshuo, Guilin, Guangxi, China. Our founder, Betty Cutts, was teaching in a Sister Cities Summer English Camp, when she decided to help poor rural students, who could not afford their school tuition. Her hometown, Morehead, KY, is a Sister City of Yangshuo, China.
With the help of the Yangshuo Educational Department, Blessing Hands began helping 259 young students in Yangshuo. Gloria Wei Shourong 韦守荣, the person in charge of the summer camp, was our first volunteer administrator. She also worked for the Yangshuo Educational Department as the administrator over all primary schools.
In June 2006, Blessing Hands was incorporated in the USA state of Kentucky and qualified to be a public charity under the name of Blessing Hands Inc. The name was taken from the name of Betty Cutts' family farm. Betty dedicated the rental income from her farm to support the charity. We are a registered 501(3)(c) public charity with the USA tax ID Number of 20-4794276. Our motto is "Helping people help themselves and others." Our US headquarters is located at 106 Timber Lane, Morehead, KY 40351.
During the last eleven years we have helped over 1,484 Chinese students in five provinces (Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hubei, and Gansu) with their educational needs. We have enabled over one hundred of our students to graduate from colleges and universities. During this 2016-2017 school year, we are sponsoring 425 students (83 primary, 35 lower middle school, 227 high school students and 80 college or university students).
We now have 2 part-time administrators, Anna Yunna Liu 刘蕴娜 in Qinzhou, Guangxi and Yaya Huali Luo 罗华丽 from Guizhou Province. Anna is a volunteer while Huali is paid 1,000 yuan ($150 USD) a month. We also use a private Chinese contractor to enter our data online at 10 yuan ($1.50) an hour.
Our support comes from the public with some help from businesses and private foundations. None of our support comes from any government source. Our income was $130,850 from donations and interest in the last school year of 2015-2016. Since 2012, donors have given $567,888 to support our programs. Since August 6, 2005 we have received $976,026 in income from all sources counting non-cash gifts and including interest. Public cash jar donations provided $14,073, but student sponsorship is our main way of supporting students.
Money is also given by donors for special projects like 40 laptop computers for the Du'an Special Education School, 96 wheelchairs for handicapped people in Du'an, shoes for three small primary schools in Longfu County, library books for various schools and medical needs for our students. We also have summer English camps.
Besides supporting students in schools, we have also begun two cooperative programs with the Du'an Special Education School. One is with the Chinese NGO Renpin Charity for Visually Impaired Persons and the other is Netspring World, a business that refurbishes computers to give to
primary schools in China. Renpin has contracted with us to teach blind students computer skills with distance learning. Our goal is occupational therapy that will allow handicapped students to have job skills after they graduate.
Blessing Hands gave $113,159 to students and programs in the last school year. We have given a total of $848,239 to student and program expenses since 2005. In our most recent financial year, our expenses came to 6% for management contrasted with 94% being spent on programs. Our spending average for ten years is 92% spent on programs and 8% spent for management. We are able to have a low management expense because school personnel cooperate as volunteers with us for their students.
Our donors mostly give in US Dollars but the equivalent of $107,541 in US Dollars was given since 2012 in RMB (738,109 RMB). Hong Kong friends and our own alumni gave much of that amount. We also were chosen the charity of Shanghai United International School where their student fundraiser netted 60,000 RMB (about $9,000 USD) for our students in 2016. We do not attempt to raise any funds from the public in China.
From 2012 to February of 2017, one thousand six hundred and twelve distinct USD and RMB donations were given to Blessing Hands. We also have an endowment fund with Blue Grass Community Foundation that is worth $57,016 (387,709 RMB). We get the interest on it once a year.
We are governed by By-Laws under the supervision of a volunteer board of 7 directors. Four of our board members are Chinese with one, Matthew Liu, living in Beijing, China. The other board members live in the USA. All our board members are married with children of their own. Our board meets four times a year to approve budgets, confirm programs, and supervise financial decisions.
Our volunteer founder and director is Betty Cutts. She has worked as a volunteer with children since she got her Masters of Early Childhood Education Degree in 1970 from Morehead State University. She and her husband David Cutts, a retired college physics professor, have two sons and two grandchildren. She travels to China at least once a year to supervise summer programs and check on Blessing Hands projects. Blessing Hands volunteers usually travel with Betty or meet her in China to help with translation, travel, or projects.
Over the years we have blossomed to teach our students to become Blessing Hands to others. We encourage them to volunteer in their schools and communities and pass on the blessings they have received. Some of our former students have given back to help other students like they once were. Some volunteer or help us in other ways to fulfill our motto.
Scholarship students with Betty Cutts and Huali Luo (r)
We are looking for teachers and translators volunteers for our two coming summer English camps. One camp opportunity is from June 18th-24th in Anlong, Qianxinan, Guizhou. The other is in Ziyuan, Guilin, Guangxi from July 4th-10th. Contact us for details
Merry Christmas During this Season of Giving and Blessings.
范宝龙 at Lingchuan 灵川High School receives tuition.
Why Go to China in November?
I got to visit our high school students in Qinzhou 钦州, Du'an 都安, Lingchuan 灵川, Yangshuo 阳朔, and Chibi 赤壁 during my November China trip. We opened two new high schools.
We are asking donors to give online to our @GoodGiving Challenge before December 31st. This will help us add 35 new high school students. You can give securely online at this link if you are not in China.
It was great to meet all the 160 Qinzhou 钦州 students in person. Click to see more pictures.
Six students in Chibi 赤壁 need sponsors.
Wang Zhanglian is from Chibi.
The kids were excited about their new shoes.
Longfu Primary Schools get Socks and Shoes.
We helped three small primary schools in Longfu Township with school supplies, shoes, and other needs. Click on the photo to see more pictures of these Yao Minority Schools.
The Du'an Special Education School has their laptops installed. We wanted to see their progress. They are delighted with their computers. Netspring did the installation. Click on photos to see more.
Deaf students benefit also.
Sponsored Students at Du'an Special Education School
We are helping 10 families at this school with support. Many of the children are orphans, and they all have disabilites. 黄羚语 Huang Lingyu is deaf but has recently had an implant that allows her to hear. Sponsor her and change a family for 2000 Yuan ($300) a year.
I am a mother and housewife that loves China and children. The two interests
have come together in serving the children of China who need help with
educational needs. I started as a teacher in an English summer camp and got to
know the teachers first. When I toured their schools and met their precious
students, I could see many needs and decided to try to help. I first started a
fund to assist children with tuition, but it has expanded into a 501(c)(3)public
charity granting money for textbooks and school supplies for primary school and
lower middle school students and tuition for older students.