Rules for Life2Orphans Yahoo Group
Note: These rules are subject to modification at the discretion of Life2Orphans.

In an effort to successfully achieve our mission of improving the quality of orphan lives, a list of rules have been established regarding posts to the Life2Orphans Yahoo Group. These rules allow Life2Orphans members to most effectively communicate relevant information and/or questions to our ever expanding group of well over 220 individuals. These rules take into consideration that group posting is of one the primary mechanisms for coordination of our organization’s activities.

Clearly, standard etiquette rules apply to group posts. Group members should refrain from the following:

§ Personal responses and replies to personal email
§ Messages forwarded without permission from the originator
§ Chain or forwarded chain letters
§ Virus alerts, hoaxes, suspected hoaxes, sweepstakes, etc.
§ Jokes
§ Non-group-related personal requests
§ Inappropriate personal comments and criticisms
§ Profanity

Diversity Tolerance: Politics & Religion
Life2Orphans is comprised of members throughout the world, each with differing religious preferences and political opinions. What makes the group so successful is our ability to collaborate with all members without regard to religious or political affiliation. It is for this reason that all members must strictly refrain from any group posts of a religious or political nature.

General Donations
Please notify Megan Fordenbacher when making general donations. General donations are considered to be any donation that is sent to the Mission without an orphanage, sponsored child or other mailing address designation. This type of donation will be distributed to the most needy orphanage(s) based on the tracked needs lists of each Life2Orphans-sponsored orphanage.

Soliciting for Shipping Funds
To ensure that all of the group’s efforts are successful, we ask that you contact Life2Orphans prior to making a request to the group for shipping funds.   She coordinates the requests for financial donations toward projects, working closely with Megan Fordenbacher and Lynn Kolber.

Soliciting for Project Donations
In order to best coordinate our efforts as a group, we ask that you contact Life2Orphans prior to posting any requests for donations towards your project.   She coordinates these types of requests, working closely with Megan Fordenbacher and Lynn Kolber.

Announcements Regarding Efforts Outside Life2Orphans
Please do not make announcements to the group regarding efforts outside of Life2Orphans without first contacting Megan Fordenbacher. It is important that Life2Orphans does not inadvertently appear to advocate an organization of which we have no knowledge based on an implied association through our group members’ posts. Allowing Megan the opportunity to investigate these organizations prior to posting greatly minimizes the possibility of conflicts of interests and/or other adverse results.

In addition, efforts of Life2Orphans communicated to other Yahoo groups, distribution lists, and/or community organizations should first be discussed with Megan.

Assistance Versus Adoption
Life2Orphans is strictly involved with assistance to the orphanages, and not with adoption facilitation. Many of the members of Life2Orphans are adoptive parents, so it is quite natural for the subject of adoption to come up in posts. However, as it is illegal to pre-select children in Ukraine, all members must make certain to avoid posting any verbiage that could possibly lead others to believe that information provided by Life2Orphans made an adoption possible.

Orphanage Feedback
Feedback from the numerous Life2Orphans-sponsored orphanages requires the assistance of our volunteers. While fully dedicated to the task of providing our members with very necessary donation feedback, our volunteers also have jobs and families that understandably take a higher priority from time to time. In addition to this, not all of the orphanages have digital cameras and/or frequent internet access. We ask that all members be respectful of these things, and patient about receiving pictures and other information from the orphanages. We also ask members to understand that, although we would love to be able to take pictures of each and every donation received in the arms of the children who received it, with the exception of the Help an Orphan donations, this is just not a possibility given our limited resources.

Shipping Process
A shipping process is established that has proven to be the most effective way for Life2Orphans to get donations to the children. We partner with the Nazarene Ministry of Help organization to ship our donations due to their years of proven success in delivering parcels to Eastern European nations without customs issues and at a minimum expense. Taking advantage of this partnership allows Life2Orphans to focus our efforts on gathering donations, and not on the process of shipping these items from Portland, Oregon to the orphanages.

While we are available to help with specific questions regarding this process, all members need to understand that if they are shipping through Life2Orphans, the established shipping arrangement will be used.

Please refer to the Life2Orphans website for detailed instructions on how to prepare your shipment. As part of your shipment preparation, remember to keep a copy of your shipping forms for your tax records. This shipping form is what you will need to itemize your contribution to Life2Orphans for your tax returns, and Life2Orphans will not be able to keep track of this information on your behalf.

Shipping Questions/Concerns
Questions about shipping should be directed to Megan Fordenbacher and not posted to the Yahoo group. Megan will investigate your questions, working closely with the individuals at Nazarene Ministry of Help, and provide you with answers.

We are all anxious to know that our donations have been received at the orphanages, but please do not contact Megan regarding parcel delivery until 6-8 weeks after the box has been sent from the Mission. Allow 9 weeks if your package went to a region far from Kyiv. This is the reasonable shipping timeframe.

If you order items that will be sent directly to the mission without a check for shipping payment, please make sure you send Megan a shipping form with these items listed on it before you send the items. Be sure to specify the name/address of the sender (i.e. Amazon, Children’s Place, etc.) on the shipping form.

FriendsFund Purchases
Any questions regarding the delivery of FriendsFund purchases should be directed to Megan Fordenbacher and not posted to the Yahoo group. Megan investigates your questions, working closely with the individuals who handle these purchases, to find out the status of your purchase.

Formula/Baby Cereal Purchases via Life2Orphans Website
All food orders placed via the Life2Orphans website are placed on a quarterly basis – order dates 3/31, 6/30, 9/30, 12/31. To prepare the order and wiring of the money for the order, your donation must be made 3 days prior to the quarterly order date – due dates 3/28, 6/27, 9/27, 12/28. If you are sending a check, please make sure to have it in the mail at least a week prior to the due date so your donation can be received by the due date.

Charitable Deductions for Trips to Ukraine
Unless a Life2Orphans member is on a specific assignment for the group, prior notification and approval must be obtained from Lynn Kolber to declare a charitable deduction for trip expenses and gifts/donations personally taken to Ukraine.

Donation Rules
1. When making cash donations keep either your cancelled check or your PayPal receipt. Either would satisfy IRS documentation requirements if you were ever audited.

2. When donating new in kind items shipped to Portland, make yourself a copy of the shipping document, attach the sales receipts to it, and put it with your other contributions. Yes, you can claim the shipping charges as a charitable contribution.

3. When donating used items, charitable organizations never give receipts for value. The recipient determines the value. All the charity does is recognize the list of items. Portland should make a copy of shipping documents and file them alphabetically for the rare circumstance that someone would be audited.

Orphanage Visits
In order to protect the children, the orphanages sponsored by Life2Orphans have specifically requested that no individuals visit without prior consent of both the orphanage staff and the Life2Orphans Board of Directors. Any individuals sent as a representative of Life2Orphans must have written authorization from the Board to do so.

Visitors must abide by the following rules:

1) Your visit must be arranged by L20. You should not call or email the orphanage directly. Let us know your travel plans and we will arrange your meeting at the orphanage. Further, if you are taking someone with you, they must be cleared by L20. We must know if you plan to take someone so that we can inform the orphanage who will be arriving.

2) The children at the orphanage are generally not adoptable. You should not discuss adoption with them or raise your hopes that you may be able to adopt one of these children. Also, pre-selection in Ukraine is illegal, so locating a child and hoping to go back and adopt them is not an option either.

3) Any letter, gifts, food, etc must be given to the orphanage director or L2O liaisons -- but should never go directly to a child or children.

4) Any photos taken must be for personal use only and not distributed to other sponsors directly. Any photos taken should not be used for any media purposes or be posted anywhere. If you want to share photos, send to me and we will get them posted on L20 site.

5) The orphanage directors and workers are extremely busy and the kids will be on schedules. Please ensure your visit is planned accordingly.

6) Rather than just taking gifts, candies etc to your sponsored kids, we ask that you take enough to share with the other kids so they do not feel left out. It can be something small -- just so everyone is included.

7) You must make all your own local travel arrangements. If you use any of the L2O volunteers, you should offer to pay for their time and all the travel costs (taxis etc). The orphanage staff and volunteers are very kind and offer to help but you should NOT accept this. They are extremely busy and their time is valuable.


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