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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Ryan’s House story numbers misled

March 17, 2013 · Updated 3:05 PM
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To the editor:

We greatly appreciate the Record’s March 7 story to raise awareness of the many excellent nonprofits on Whidbey Island. In addition to the story, a table was included detailing 2011 revenues and percentage of expenses devoted to services. The table listed that 8 percent of Ryan’s House for Youth 2011 revenue was spent on services, but this figure, while technically true, is misleading.

In 2011, our executive director was working as a volunteer out of her home. Most of our services were provided through direct donations not reflected on the IRS Form 990 such as volunteer time, blankets, food, clothing, and even a donated van from Island Transit. Our cash expenses in 2011 have been consistent with the typical start-up costs of a young nonprofit organization. Thus, numbers do not tell the whole story.

As a board, we take seriously our responsibility to invest our donors’ gifts of time, materials and money wisely. Our long-term goal is to build a youth shelter where kids can be safe, continue in school and have hope for their future. Once this facility is open we expect to see our revenue-to-services ratio reflect those of more mature organizations such as Good Cheer or WICA. We invite you to contact our office to learn more about our efforts to build a refuge for homeless teens. Phone is 360-331-4575.

Ryan’s House For Youth Board

Lori Cavender, director

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