Attention US residents…we can now issue tax receipts!

Attention US residents…we can now issue tax receipts!

Written by Isabelle Tadmoury, Co-Director of Friends of Hanne Howard Fund US

We’ve officially launched Friends of Hanne Howard Fund US which means we can now issue tax receipts for US residents. While our friends of Hanne Howard Fund span the globe, this is our first official foray into setting up shop in another country besides Canada. It opens a new world of possibilities and hopefully a chance for us to gain many new supporters.

The initiative started last year when Alexandra reached out to me with the idea of forming an US chapter together. We are childhood friends from the time our father’s worked together in the hotel business. My mother, Marianne Florijn, was one of the first supporters of Hanne and Ted and continues to personally support and help raise funds from the European continent.

When we moved back to the States after living 10 years in Paris, France, it seemed like the perfect time to start this endeavor. In France, I had been responsible for Nortel’s communications efforts in Europe and after the Canadian company folded, I was working on my own as a freelancer and children’s book author. My children had raised money for HHF while they attended the Lennen Bilingual School of Paris. So everyone in the family was involved but now came the time to start something more meaningful together.

This journey started with an e-mail to a good friend of Alexandra’s, Susan Bazilli, put us in touch with her US lawyer friend, Mary Burner. Mary generously helped us work through the initial machinations and then introduced us to an amazing team of lawyers with whom she used to work at White & Case, a global law firm with offices in Washington DC. The team, which is made up of Matthew Drosses, Goeffrey Lanning, Maury Mechanick and Christine Chang, took our case on a pro-bono basis. They helped us get incorporated in Rhode Island on October 7, 2013 and file our 501c3 application by the end of the year. Today we are waiting for approval from the IRS.

Along the way, we reached out to another one of my childhood friends, Eleanne van Vliet. Our families have also stayed very close throughout the years and having followed her career within environment health science and non-profits, I knew she would be an essential part of our new US team. Her background in grant writing and fundraising will be a big asset.

Together we hope to build on our existing support base in the US and help further Hanne and Ted’s efforts in Lenana!

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