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Archive for September, 2011

For the past 5 ½ years it has been my great privilege to serve as the first Executive Director of The Wilson Foundation.  I am so proud of the progress we have made during this time: creating a website, brochures, blogs and other communications tools to help tell our story, expanding fundraising efforts and activities with a variety of events and other initiatives including the Hope Bracelet, increasing our donor base, both in number and in geographic scope, and deepening the Foundation’s partnership with our grantee partners in South Africa. 

As Executive Director I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of generous individuals and companies who have supported and believed in our mission.  I thank you for that.  You have believed that working together, we can make a difference.  And we truly have! 

Children in the preschool training program

During my trips to South Africa over these years I have seen this difference first-hand:  people who are alive today because we have been able to provide funding for life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) medication; children who live in a third-world setting are receiving a first-world education; local community residents who have been employed as caregivers and counselors are providing inspiration and hope to their neighbors; at-risk boys who have been mentored by responsible adults have learned about goal-setting, morals, and values, and now these young men are taking their place among the leadership of the community. 

As I move on to lead another nonprofit organization in Dallas, I want to express my deepest thanks to my Wilson colleagues, to our loyal donors and supporters, to the many people inVaalwater, South Africa who I am proud to count as friends and to the children to whom I have been known as “Mama Tori.”   Most of all, I want to thank Trisha Wilson for giving me this amazing opportunity.  The Wilson Foundation’s mission is to “change lives, one child at a time.”  I know without a doubt that this experience has changed mine.  The Wilson Foundation and the special people of South Africa will be in my heart forever, and I am grateful.

Thank you.

Tori Mannes

Executive Director

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