About the President ::: Philip Kellerman ::: Harvest of Hope Foundation, Gainesville, Florida

Hello and thank you for coming to the Harvest of Hope Foundation web-site. It has been revised beautifully by Tom Romero, graphic artist, of Gainesville, Florida. Photos are by Celia Roberts of Paonia, Colorado.

Many people have asked me why I set up such a unique foundation to help migrant farmworkers and their families.

I have had the privilege for many years of responding to calls from migrant farm workers around the country to the National Migrant Education Hotline, operated by the ESCORT Migrant Education Program at the State University of New York in Oneonta, New York. Many of the calls were for emergency financial aid for just the things that challenge migrant farmworkers and their families – as examples, gas to travel from Texas to northern states for field work, tires, first month’s rent and deposit upon arrival to a new state, car repairs due to breakdowns while traveling, medical services, food, and funeral expenses. However, the federal funding for the National Hotline did not have a provision to provide emergency financial aid. I also discovered that when I contacted other agencies and service organizations that assistance was limited and often not available at.

In 1995, I received an inheritance from my departed grandmother, Dr. Helen Zand, who was a social worker for the poor for many years. I used part of her inheritance to me to establish the Harvest of Hope Foundation in her memory and honor. Since the foundation’s establishment in 1997, thousands of migrant farm workers and families calling the National Hotline and Harvest of Hope have been assisted. The foundation now has several scholarship funds providing educational aid to children of migrant farmworkers attending college or other post-secondary education.

Two other issues I would like to address. One, since the foundation receives more requests for aid than funds allow, we have strict procedures for the distribution of funds. Those requesting aid must show that they are willing to help themselves. We provide a hand, not hand-outs. I work closely with teachers, social workers, and advocates of migrant workers to coordinate services and the distribution of money. Payments are mostly made, not to the clients, but to landlords, mechanics, funeral homes or other service providers.

Second, eighty (80) cents of every dollar donated goes to providing direct financial aid. Ten (10) to 12 percent of money collected goes for administrative expenses and a small 8 percent is paid to me for my work managing the foundation. These percentages bode well for Harvest of Hope as compared to other non-profit foundations.

Ironically, the uniqueness of Harvest of Hope Foundation in providing direct financial aid has hurt the foundation in securing other foundation and corporation grants as many of them have expressed policies against funding “direct service” providers. That is why individual donations are so important to Harvest of Hope as well as other donations such as antiques, collectibles, memorabilia, cars, stock and other investments. We always welcome activities and events such as music concerts to raise funds. For more information about the foundation please contact me at 1.888.922.4673 or 352.372.1312. Email: kellerhope@cox.net.

I derive tremendous satisfaction by running Harvest of Hope and having the opportunity to help those who bring to us our bounty of food. I like to remind people the truism that “Migrant farmworkers earn our support.”

Philip Kellerman, President