Our speakers for the Rotary meeting on April 24th, 2007, were Karl and Marie Tippets. They are starting a non-profit company to assemble and distribute humanitarian kits called "Helping Hands of Star Valley".

Karl grew up in Star Valley, but moved away during the course of his life. Marie is from Utah. Now that they are retired, they are moving back to Star Valley for their Golden Years. But they don't intend to just sit aroud and convelesce! They noticed that lots of Star Valley Ranch residents and Snow Birds golf and play cards - why not put that energy to a more constructive use?

The plan is to ask SVR residents (and all who are interested) to donate $10 each to purchase the "ingredients" for kits. The set of items for each kit costs around $4. Karl has calculated that they would need about 1000 donors at $10 each to be able to produce 2500 kits. They have found a source that already sells/distributes all the items in a kit and even pre-assembles them. This was a good find because you can't always find the same items in the same quantities as you need. They then would deliver the kits to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) for distribution. "There is no way to beat the distribution capabilities of the LDS church, so why not help them", Karl said. The LDS church distributed around 7-800,000 kits in their disaster aid most past years, and during the recent Sunami disaster, around 1.1 million kits were distributed. Karl hopes that his organization can assist that effort in a meaningful way.

They plan to gather at the Thayne LDS Stake Center on Thursday, August 9th, 2007, to assemble kits that are not pre-assembled. They need at least 25 people for a couple hours each to assemble about 2500 kits, and a trailer (that can hold about 5000 pounds) to transport the kits to the Bishop's Storehouse in Idaho Falls. The Bank of Star Valley and the Wells Fargo bank have agreed to accept donations on behalf of the Helping Hands organization.

Helping Hands of Star Valley is on its way to becoming a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation, although this may not happen if they cannot get it off the ground. Please help this worthy cause.

You can contact Karl and Marie Tippets at 307-883-0625 (they have an answering machine), E-mail them at ktippets@gmail.com, you can mail donations to:

Helping Hands
P.O. Box 1418
Thayne, WY 83127

or you can contact them through Rotary of Star Valley by E-mailing us or filling out our on-line form.