Christmas 2011: Email 1

14 Oct



To All Friends and Volunteers:

Thank you to everyone that volunteered labor and donated money in the FHF homebuilding over the past several years in Puerto Peñasco. It has been an incredible effort by committed volunteers. Great works have been accomplished and lasting friendships created. We are essentially starting this year’s project with a zero cash balance. Consequently, fund raising is the most critical priority. We are pleased to announce three (3) important items of information:

1. All the houses that have been built over the past several years are now completely finished.

2. We have filed all the legal documents necessary to form a new non-profit tax-exempt corporation known as “FHF Mexico, Inc.”

3. By the end of October, our Mexican non-profit corporation known as “Casas Perpetuales” will be formed and this Mexican corporation will hold legal title to the houses until final disposition is determined.


Because of news reports concerning violence in Mexico, we receive inquiries each year as to the safety of traveling to and spending time in Rocky Point to work on this project. In more than eight (8) years of this Christmas endeavor, our volunteers have not experienced any violence or threats to their safety. Many of us travel to Rocky Point multiple times during the year and have not had any problems. Random acts of violence could occur any time and any place in the United States and/or Mexico. Many of the volunteers have coordinated their travel schedules so that they can travel in groups from Lukeville, Arizona to Rocky Point. We will attempt to facilitate this as we received confirmations as to when people are traveling to Rocky Point. Use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and travel during daylight hours seem to be good guidelines to follow.

2011 Christmas Project!

This year, if we receive $85,000 in contributions and 80-90 (5-day) commitments for volunteer labor, we can build two (2) new houses and complete the shell framework of a home that can be used in the interim for storage purposes.

To insure a successful effort, we want to let everyone know the proposed schedule, dates for work and donation goals. At the same time we need to find out from all of you the number of volunteers and amount of financial contributions we can expect.

To buy the land and build one house requires approximately $32,000 and 1200 volunteer man/woman hours. That is about 25 to 30 people working full time, for 5 days during the Christmas holiday to block up a home, frame the roof and interior walls, and apply the roofing material. The balance of the donated money will finish the house over the next couple of months. The sacrifice in time and money made by those participating in the work project is worth every minute and every dollar spent in helping others and experiencing the satisfaction of giving in a tangible way. Many lives have been changed. The families in Mexico have safe and durable housing, and families from the United States make lasting friendships, feel the joy of charity, and experience the true meaning of Christmas.

Important dates and deadlines and other information for 2011

November 1, 2011

Please let us know by November 1, 2011, four important items:

1. How many workers you will have in Mexico;
2. When you will arrive;
3. How long you will stay; and
4. The amount of money you will contribute.

A good suggestion would be $1,000 per person or $3,500 per family, but any donation of time, money, or accommodations, is very much appreciated. Remember, every penny donated goes directly to purchase material (brick, mortar, windows, etc) for these houses. There are absolutely no administrative costs expended from your donations and FHF Mexico, Inc. The number of houses we build is determined by the amount of money raised. Please consider donating money or accommodations even if you are unable to physically be in Rocky Point this year.

In the past, some individuals have sent out letters to family and friends soliciting contributions and others have created fund raising projects. Many have made contributions by donating what they would have spent on Christmas and making the financial contribution and labor their Christmas gift to others.

We are ready to begin purchasing materials and contracting for the foundation and septic work to be completed. Please don’t wait until the last minute to donate or commit to help because this makes it very difficult for us to coordinate the work of the project. This year Jared and I would like to have all the money contributed and in the bank account by November 15, 2011. We will then go to Rocky Point and purchase all the building supplies and materials and store them for the project so that we will not have to scramble every day during the work project to make sure we have materials and equipment to work with.

Please send your financial contributions for the house building project as close to November 1, 2011 as you can. Checks should be made payable to “FHF Mexico, Inc.” and mailed to Ralph Pew, Pew & Lake, PLC, 1744 South Val Vista Drive, Suite 217, Mesa, Arizona 85204. Those of you living in the Salt Lake City area, who would like to, can hand deliver or drop off donations to Jared Parker, 1955 Laird Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84108 Because we have recently formed a new Arizona non-profit corporation known as FHF Mexico, Inc., your donation may be tax deductible. We are working on processing the qualified exemption application with the IRS and, while we await final determination from the IRS, there is a remote chance that the IRS may not grant us tax-exempt status. WE have been advised that it is extremely unlikely that this will happen, but the risk does exist. We will keep your information on file and provide you with our IRS determination letter (501(c)(3) status) when received.

Each year we make a nice, good quality, long sleeve t-shirt for participants. Everyone loves them and wears them proudly. Please e-mail your order and sizes to [email protected] and mail your check for the shirts to his address above. The price is $15 per shirt. Once again, don’t wait. If you want the shirts, please order and pay for them now.

November 15, 2011

At this time, we will determine the total donations received and the number of volunteers committed and, based on this information, enter into a contract with a local concrete contractor to prepare the footings, foundations and septic prior to our arrival at Christmas. Material orders will also be placed at this time for block and framing supplies. Unlike in years past, this year we will not make commitments and sign contracts for materials and preliminary work based on the hope that financial contributions will ultimately come in. We will only make these commitments based on the funds we actually have as of November 15, 2011. Those individuals that respond and commit to work and that have made a financial contribution will receive a follow-up e-mail informing them of the other groups traveling to Puerto Peñasco along with travel plans so those that want to can organize themselves and travel in groups. This follow-up e-mail will also include a list of small tools and other items individuals can bring for working and to donate for use in future years along with any last minute information.

December 25, 2011, Sunday, Christmas

Volunteers will begin arriving in Rocky Point on Christmas Day and Monday, December 26th.

December 27, 2011 Tuesday

Construction will begin on Tuesday, December 27th and continue through Saturday, December 31, 2011. Work starts at about 8 am each day and goes until around 4:30 p.m. We will all meet together Tuesday, December 27th, at 8 a.m. in the LDS Church building in Rocky Point for work project assignments and safety instructions. The follow-up e-mail will contain directions to the church building.

December 28, 2011 Wednesday

“Welcome Party” and get to know you fiesta beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the La Familia restaurant. Our follow-up e-mail will provide directions. The food is always great, we will have a lot of fun and there will be a live mariachi band with dancing.
We estimate that the cost for the food and entertainment will be $15-$20 per person. It would be very convenient and helpful in buying the food and paying for the band if those of you that want to attend the “Welcome Party” could let us know how many people from your group will be attending the party and bring cash for payment to our kick-off meeting on Tuesday morning, December 27, 2011.

December 31, 2011 Saturday

Depending on the interest and remaining energy, we could plan a New Years Eve Party? We’ll gauge interest in this as the week progresses.


Volunteers typically secure accommodations in beach front homes in Las Conchas, Cholla Bay or in one of the resort condominium projects along Sandy Beach. In the past, it has been very fun to have as many volunteers stay in one location as possible. Generally, most volunteers have been very pleased with the accommodations at “Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort.” The website for Las Palomas is [email protected] and if you want to find other housing options, try This company manages homes and condos in Rocky Point. For those that want to stay at Las Palomas, please indicate that when you notify us by November 1, 2011 of your intent to participate in the project and contact Jared Parker at [email protected] and (801) 860-8686 and he will coordinate with Las Palomas a group rate.

Passports, ID, or Passport cards

Passports work the best for re-entering the United States from Mexico. A passport card is also an option. Please check for additional information, and get your documentation soon! Do not wait on this one. Passports are easy and relatively inexpensive to obtain. If you start now, you will have your passport in time for the project.

Come and join us in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico this Christmas season. We personally promise you it will be a Christmas your whole family will remember. Rick Finlayson summed it up best, after supervising the construction of one of the homes in a previous year:

“I have been reflecting on the experience my family had working with you in Mexico this past Christmas for quite some time. We have decided to make this a family tradition. This past Christmas was the most memorable on so many fronts. The great feelings of service and the gratitude felt for the abilities we have been given to help those in need along with new friendships developed with so many wonderful people. Thank you for including us and affording us such a wonderful experience.”

Please forward this e-mail to friends and family members that may have an interest in participating (financially, physically or both) in the project.

We look forward to your timely responses and to working with you in this great cause, this Christmas of 2011.

If you have any questions, please call or e-mail us.

W. Ralph Pew
480-461-4670 (office)
602-432-2329 (mobile)
[email protected]

T. Jared Parker
[email protected]