Human Services

Sending Out Servants

  • Houston, TX
  • www.SendingOutServants.org

Mission Statement

To grow in solidarity through a mutually "life giving" Ministry of Presence with the Maya people in Quiché, Guatemala who have been rendered powerless due to race, creed and lack of opportunity.

Main Programs

  1. Educational, Medical & Community Development
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Rural Maya areas of Quiché, Guatemala, Central América

ruling year

1999

Co-Founder / Chairman of The Board

Self-reported

Fr. Tom Ponzini

Co-Founder

Self-reported

Mrs. Connie Braren

Keywords

Self-reported

Mission of presence and medical missions to Guatemala

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Also Known As

SOS

EIN

76-0611547

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

SOS Ministry of Presence allows us to be able to respond to the expressed needs of the Maya not out of pity for them or from its own self- interests, but from a true spirit of solidarity with the Maya in their desire to improve the quality of their lives. While our major role is to be a Ministry of Presence, we are sensitive to the material needs of our brothers and sisters in Quiché. SOS Assistance Programs are developed to help Maya men, women and children regardless of creed or race. Programs include:

Medical
• medical supplies, equipment and medicines
• vision clinics and eyeglasses
• cataract surgeries –medical referral support
• children/families in medical crisis

Community
• emergency funds for natural disasters
• adobe chimney stoves
• income producing skills/co-op
• computer labs
• Purchasing Bibles, resource materials, paper and pencils for Catechists teaching the Maya the Word of God in rural areas
• Providing building materials

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Educational, Medical & Community Development

S.O.S. Assistance Programs are developed to help Maya men, women and children.
Programs include: 

Educational: scholarship programs for Maya children, teachers salaries, rural computer labs, bible studies for adults and children, textbooks, bibles and school supplies. 

Medical: weekly rural medical wellness clinic, medical equipment and medicines, eyeglasses and eye surgeries.

Community Development: adobe stoves and water filters, sewing co-op, school windows, doors and desks.

Category

Community Development

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- Other Specified Group

Hispanics

Budget

$120,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    SOS's sole source of funding is from the generosity of individual donors. SOS administrative costs are less than 5% of donations. Over 95% goes directly to benefit the children, adults and their communities.

    Financial support is needed in two areas:
    • To help sustain the ongoing work of the SOS organization in its efforts to bring hope to the indigenous Maya in Quiché, Guatemala, for a better quality of life.
    • To make concrete improvements in the lives of the Maya through our SOS Assistance Programs. Funds for these ongoing programs have made it possible to provide the materials to build wood-burning stoves, to buy prescription eye glasses, to cover the costs in making cataract surgery available for rural Maya communities, to support medical expenses of Maya people desperate in need of financial resources, to support financially Caritas' Community Development programs and much more...
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1. To strengthen and build community within the host country as we help them reach their expressed goals.

    2. To promote self-reliance and independence amongst members of the Maya communities in Quiché, Guatemala, by helping them to teach each other and by never doing for them what they are able to do for themselves.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    SOS facilitates three to four one to two weeks mission trips a year to Guatemala. It is the liaison for arranging the mission visits with the Guatemalan hosts; it recruits and prepares team members, plans the mission activities, coordinates the mission activities with the in-country leaders, accompanies the teams while on mission, and arranges all transportation and lodging. SOS coordinates/facilitates post mission trips activities by helping returning team members to continue growing from their mission experiences.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    1. Members of our board personally meet Maya community leaders and Guatemalan service organizations leaders on a yearly basis to evaluate the impact of our programs and to seeks ways to improve them.

    2. At the end of each mission trip, missioners get a complete evaluation document that allows our mission coordinators to evaluate and improve our future missions trips.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    SOS Vision Mission Clinics accomplishments:
    • over 3,000 Maya patients attended
    • over 1,500 Maya patients received prescription glasses
    • over 1,200 Maya patients received reading glasses
    • over 1,500 Maya patients received sunglasses
    • over 150 Maya patients received cataract surgery
    • over 200 Maya patients are referred for medical/surgical reasons

    Other accomplishments...
    • sent more than 800 men, women and youth on more than 50 mission visits to Quiché, Guatemala.
    • made over 16 business and organizational trips.
    • donated over 200 computers for 8 educational centers and 4 nonprofit organizations.
    • visited more than 8 schools every year in Quiché, Guatemala, supported by the SOS Guardian Angel Educational Fund (GAEF) that provided over $400,000 for scholarships, teacher salaries and educational materials to schools since 2007
    • supported financially an emergency medical fund for people in extreme poverty run by Caritas in Quiché, Guatemala, since 2012.
    • supported financially the catechism program of the Diocese of Quiché\ since 2012.
    • supported financially the community work of the Lauritas Sisters in the town of Chinique, Quiché, Guatemala.
    • and many more...
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Rural Maya areas of Quiché, Guatemala, Central América

Social Media

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External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SENDING OUT SERVANTS
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Sending Out Servants

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Co-Founder / Chairman of The Board

Fr. Tom Ponzini

Co-Founder

Mrs. Connie Braren

STATEMENT FROM THE Co-Founder / Chairman of The Board

"The Sending Out Servants (S.O.S.) Ministry of Presence is a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical state of 'being with' another that respects the culture and customs of the Maya."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Rev. Tom Ponzini

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Manvel, TX

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
Yes
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
Yes
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
SOS is an organization formed by volunteers where 30% of our volunteers are Hispanics and 2 of our Board members are Hispanics too.