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Foundation Fridays

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: The circle of life............

on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 09:29
Here is a photo of Patrick Spears with Bob Gough, Hal Taussig, and Mary LeFever

Our interest in sustainable energy led us in 2005 to ground-breaking work taking place on various Indian Reservations in South Dakota. Hal, foundation board member Mary LeFever, and Untourists/foundation donors Rod and Shirley DePue visited some of this work in 2006. Their hosts included Patrick Spears, a leader in various capacities including former tribal chairman.

Pat died earlier this week. I'm not one to pass around obituaries, but I was so impressed by Pat's warmth and humility on the phone these past years, that I need to share his story. Here it is.

I was especially moved in 2007 when

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Footprints

on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 10:47
Untours Foundation manager Elizabeth Killough blogs about conserving energy and her puppy

At my house, we park our shoes at the door to reduce our carbon footprints since we don’t have to vacuum as much. Not! It is true that the house stays cleaner and we don't have to vacuum as often with the shoes-at-door-practice, but the truth is we just don’t like to clean and therefore look for any and all ways to achieve that goal.

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Foundation Fridays: Love notes

on Fri, 06/22/2012 - 09:44
Here's a recent photo of Hal and Norma Taussig with visiting and love-bestowing Untourist, Chris Farrow-Noble.

One of the many great things about being at the Untours Foundation is the amount of mail we receive with kind words and good old fashion love. Sometimes it's a few hand written words in the margin of a formal letter that might read, "Hal, you rock!" Other times, it's a poem, like the following, that comes from someone we haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting. I've worked for only wonderful organizations, and this one takes the cake!

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Foundation Fridays: It all comes out in the wash...........

on Fri, 06/15/2012 - 09:40
Untours co-founders, Norma and Hal Taussig, use a clothesline to save energy and the environment

When I hear anything about the Queen, including news of her Diamond Jubilee, I think of my British friend explaining to me that the Queen’s laundry is ALWAYS hung on a line and never put in a clothes dryer. “Only renters in Britain use clothes dryers, and the poor dears have to spin their germs. The Queen’s laundry is sanitized by the sun and air.”

Why am I talking about this in a Foundation blog? Our commitment at the foundation is to end poverty and preserve the earth. We have to walk our talk. That means I need a clothesline!

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Here's to our favorite troublemaker!

on Fri, 06/01/2012 - 09:52
Untours founder Hal Taussig with Untours Foundation board member and Walden School founder, Mary LeFever

This week, Hal headed back to Springfield High School, where he taught American Studies in the 1960’s while working on his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He was one of 19 this year inducted into the school’s Achievers Hall of Fame.

We were told that Hal could have up to 15 words describing his accomplishments thus far in life, on the plaque that commemorates his place in the Hall of Fame. The fun began. The winners were: Rancher, Teacher, Professor, Social entrepreneur, Business leader, Visionary, Social justice advocate, Philanthropist, Troublemaker, Bike rider.

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Foundation Fridays: A visit to Fair Trade cooperatives

on Fri, 05/25/2012 - 09:59
Kent Davidson of the Media (PA) Borough Council visits Fair Trade cooperatives in Dominican Republic

Kent Davidson is a member of the Media Borough Council, the government body that passed the resolution in 2006 making Media, PA, the First Fair Trade Town in the US. Citizens of Media, including our own beloved Hal, have traveled to international Fair Trade events and cooperatives in the past, but Kent's recent travels mark the first time an elected official from Media has traveled to the source of Fair Trade. Following is the narrative that accompanied Kent's televised slide-show report to his fellow Borough Council members. Here's Kent............

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Foundation Fridays: Meet Robert Seiwell!

on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:29
Untours Foundation Board Member Bob Seiwell with his grandson, Jake

Bob Seiwell is forever shaking his head while smiling as he sits at Untours Foundation board meetings. It's not that we don't follow the law, it's more that Hal is guided by an internal compass while the law is something that just doen't enter his mind -- ever! Many of us are inspired to follow Hal's lead. But Bob keeps us -- and Untours -- on the straight and narrow despite ourselves.

Here's more on Bob..........

How did you meet Hal and Norma? Hal needed a lawyer to fix something he did because he didn’t need a lawyer.

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Foundation Fridays: Where else on this earth........

on Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:34
Former Untours staff person, Fran Douglas, reunites with Untours Foundation donors Chris Noble and Chris Farrow-Noble you even want to visit your travel company? And where else does your travel staff person come out of retirement to greet and hug you? Only at Untours.

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Foundation Fridays: Mothers are Divine

on Fri, 05/04/2012 - 09:45
Logo for Divine Chocolate, an Untours Foundation loan recipient

This Mother’s Day, think Divine Chocolate for the moms and wonderful women in your life. Give thanks to Fair Trade for empowering women and girls!

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Foundation Fridays: Blazing an Eco-Friendly Trail

on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 10:10
CEPRODEL leaders trained by SosteNica, Sustainable Development Fund of Nicaragua, an Untours Foundation loan recipient

The Untours Foundation invests in microlending in the Global South, where not all microlending is created equal. Many projects supported by microlending help individuals along the unsustainable and destructive path of Western development assisting in the purchase of dangerous pesticides, GMO seeds, cars, and the like. Instead, we look for projects that offer the Global South a real future and create a model for the North to eventually follow, we hope! SosteNica fits the bill for us.

This week's guest blogger is Alan Wright, the founder and president of SosteNica -- The Sustainable Development Fund of Nicaragua. Here's Alan..............