In 1996, when MARSP Past President Richard J. Smith was Chairman of the Foundation, he suggested that he would like to see the Foundation provide financial assistance to some of our less fortunate members. He knew of some who had difficulty paying their prescription co-pay, medical expenses, or utility bills. A committee studied this suggestion and recommended that the MARSP Foundation start this fund. They wanted to name it the Richard and Margaret Smith Fund, because it was an example of what Richard does in his own community – helping the less fortunate.
The Smith Fund is actually administered by the MARSP Chapters. The chapter president applies for a grant of up to $500. The individual names are not reported to the Foundation, all of the information is confidential. The committee studies the applications and sends checks to the approved chapters. The chapters are encouraged to match the funds, but it is not mandatory. The chapter deposits the MARSP Foundation check into the chapter’s bank account, and then writes a check from the chapter’s bank account directly to the recipient. Originally it was decided that applications for assistance from the Smith Fund would only be accepted twice a year, but the Foundation has since changed that stipulation. The time restriction has been removed, since financial difficulties occur throughout the year, and a person in need cannot always wait.
If a member wishes to receive assistance or knows of another member who needs help, please contact the chapter president or the MARSP office. The chapter must submit the actual request and all inquiries will be kept confidential All chapter presidents receive an application once a year, and additional forms can be obtained by calling the MARSP office.
Since the Smith Fund originated, MARSP members have been very compassionate and generous and there are ample funds to be distributed. The Smith Fund Committee encourages continued contributions to the fund, but the biggest problem now is finding the members who need help. People in the older generation were taught pride and self-sufficiency. It is very difficult for them to ask for help for themselves, yet they are very willing to help others. There does come a time in everyone’s life when they need help of some sort, so if you need assistance or know of a member who does, please contact your chapter president or the MARSP office to report that information. We will inform the Smith Fund Committee and they will contact you. Again, all inquiries are strictly confidential.
To those members who do not need assistance, but wish to help others, please send a donation to the Smith Fund. Be sure to make your check payable to the MARSP Foundation and indicate that it is to go to the Smith Fund account. These contributions may be tax-deductible, if you itemize.
Smith Fund Committee Members
Allan A. Edwards, Smith Fund Committee Chairman, Wayne Northwest Chapter
Lynda Manthey, Allegan County Chapter
Annual Smith Fund Disbursement Totals
Due to the delicacy and confidentiality of the Smith Fund requests and disbursements, the MARSP Foundation is not able to divulge the names of the chapters or their members who have requested assistance from the Smith Fund. Listed below, per fiscal year, are the total number of disbursements and the total amount disbursed since the Smith Fund began.
|Fiscal Year||Number of Disbursements||Amount of Disbursements|
|July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014||8||$2,384.18|
|July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013||5||$2,150.00|
|July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012||2||$1,000.00|
|July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011||7||$2,950.00|
|July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010||2||$1,000.00|
|July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009||7||$3,200.00|
|July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008||6||$2,400.00|
|July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007||12||$4,700.00|
|July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006||7||$2,830.00|
|July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2005||6||$3,000.00|
|July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004||2||$1,000.00|
|July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2003||8||$3,690.00|
|July 1, 2001 - June 30, 2002||3||$1,500.00|
|July 1, 2000 - June 30, 2001||6||$2,800.00|
|July 1, 1999 - June 30, 2000||3||$1,250.00|
|July 1, 1998 - June 30,1999||2||$750.00|
|July 1, 1997 - June 30, 1998||5||$1,450.00|
|July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997||2||$300.00|