Doris Buffett Letters Foundation
Doris Buffett Letters Foundation – The Boston-based Letters Foundation was founded by siblings Doris and Warren Buffett to help people in crisis who have run out of other options.
A new book, Letters to Doris: One Woman’s Quest to Help Those Who Have Nowhere Else (Our Lady of the Sunshine Humanitarian Grant Program), tells the story of the program and the stories of the two dozen individuals who have been helped by the foundation, which receives thousands of requests, some written on napkins and scrap paper.
Doris Buffett Letters Foundation
Grants are based on three-part criteria: that the crisis was triggered by some kind of failure (accident, illness, leaky roof); that the applicant himself tried to improve his situation; and that the letter writer could not get help from local organizations.
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The foundation has its roots in a decision made by Warren Buffett about a dozen years ago. The billionaire business leader has announced that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity. This led to a flood of letters from people asking for help. Warren enlisted his older sister, Doris, to handle the requests. The two later founded a foundation that offered more than $5 million. USD aid.
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Proceeds from the book will benefit Learning by Giving, a Letters Foundation partner organization that promotes the study of nonprofits and philanthropy as vehicles for social change.
Author Ioanna Opidee, a BC English graduate with an MFA from UMass Boston and an MFA from Fairfield University, teaches high school in Connecticut after a decade of university teaching, and her recently published first novel, Walking Slowly (PFP), deals with sexual assault and her by arresting the consequences and in time. Set in Boston and a rural Greek island, the novel follows Greek-American Irinie Pothos through her campus attack and subsequent reckoning, illuminating not only the extremes of violence but also the subtler and more insidious indignities of inequality around us. In Rinis, Opidee gave us a sensitive character who walks the uncomfortable, universal line between alienation and acceptance. The book offers a look at what it takes to put the pieces back together after a crash, showing that it is not easy or quick, but possible.
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Boston resident Ron Koltnow’s first book, published last month, opens with a bit of food pornography on fried chicken: a golden-brown surface “with a tinge of bronze,” a “thud when you bite into it,” juices that “should flow,” hot and luxurious. His Barberton Fried Chicken: An Ohio Original (History) looks at this star of American food culture and shares its origins, which surprisingly lie not in the South, but in the restaurants and kitchens of immigrants from various lands, especially those countries. Eastern Europe. The book focuses on Barberton, Ohio, the self-proclaimed “Fried Chicken Capital of the World.” It explores the history of the city and the “famous chicken house” that calls it home. Lively, informative and engaging, this book shows how “times change, fried chicken doesn’t”.
Roxie Mack at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton recommends This Is Where We Meet: A Crossroads Story by John Berger (Vintage): “In these complex stories, Berger provides a space where place, friendship and memory meet. intertwine Berger’s prose is characterized by a depth of purity and purity, with an unrelenting joy and energy; it gives a sense of the ephemerality of the experience. These works show a light way of being in the world.
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Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Hammerhead: The Making of a Carpenter. She can be reached at [email protected].
Photos: Philanthropist Doris Buffet, The Sunshine Lady, In Pictures
Black News Hour presented by The Boston Globe, hosted by black journalists at The Boston Globe. Black News Hour, a new radio program, provides credible news that connects with our community and expands on the deeper issues affecting our city. Emily Walsh Holland began as a volunteer at the Boston-based Doris Buffett Foundation, helping the sister of one of the world’s richest men read letters from people in need and decide who would receive a small but meaningful portion of her fortune.
But after Holland joined the staff at the Letter Fund, she quickly became suspicious that another employee had embezzled the money.
Even after the foundation cleared the employee of wrongdoing, Holland tried to prove his case by misappropriating dozens of internal reports, documents and personal emails, a state prosecutor said Wednesday. She was fired and charged with theft.
Nearly two years later, Holland pleaded guilty to enough facts in the case that Boston Municipal Court Judge Thomas C. Horgan said he would dismiss her if she stayed out of trouble for three years. Otherwise, she faces up to one year in prison.
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Holland, 36, reached out to the Letters Foundation staff, including Buffett’s grandson Alexander Buffett Rozek. Two rows of people turned to her.
Doris Buffett, who is 91 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was not in court Wednesday. But Noni Campbell, Buffett’s friend and personal assistant, condemned Holland’s actions as “cruel and despicable”.
“Trusting you as an employee, a friend, and the very person I was counting on to take over for me when I resigned, I have terribly hurt Doris, her sibling, her children and grandchildren,” Campbell said. “I love Doris as if she were my own family. The shame and humiliation I feel for being the one who opened the door to your horrific abuse will stay with me forever.
Holland’s attorney, David Meier, said she was only trying to protect the foundation from what she believed to be wrongdoing.
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“It is ironic that expensive prosecutorial and judicial resources should have been devoted to a civil labor dispute that could and should have been resolved by civil labor lawyers,” Meier said. “Emily Holland is a decent and honorable young woman who is eager to get on with her life.”
Buffett started the foundation in 1996 to help people who reached out to her and her brother, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, during difficult times.
Doris Buffett ran the Sunshine Lady Foundation from her home in Fredericksburg, Va., and her summer home in Rockport, Maine, reading her requests for medical bills, rent checks or car payments. in 2015 she moved to Boston in October to be closer to her doctors and brought the foundation’s work with her. The older foundation still exists, while the newer Boston-based Letters Foundation operates separately.
Holland joined the foundation as a volunteer in 2016. in September and became director of letters and grants the following June, Meier said.
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Shortly after she joined the foundation’s staff, Holland told Campbell she suspected another employee had embezzled, Campbell said. The foundation hired a forensic accounting firm to investigate and confirm the employee, but Holland didn’t give up, Campbell said.
Holland offered to organize Campbell’s computer, but forwarded the email, according to court records. emails to himself and copied the files to her Dropbox account.
“She made me feel like I let Doris down because I didn’t keep the files the way she thought they should be kept,” Campbell said. “She made me feel old and ignorant and my lack of technical skills hurt Doris.
Holland admitted one count of obtaining unauthorized access to a computer system and two counts of theft under $250. Prosecutors dismissed the other four charges.
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The Netherlands may also have to pay restitution to the fund, but the amount has not been determined. She is not accused of stealing the money, but the foundation’s executive director, Amy Kingman, estimated in her impact report that employees spent more than $100,000 on a forensics firm, lawyers and security upgrades in response to the stolen documents.
Black News Hour presented by The Boston Globe, hosted by black journalists at The Boston Globe. Black News Hour, a new radio program, provides credible news that connects with our community and expands on the deeper issues affecting our city. Doris allocated more than 200 million far in his life. More than the sum, Doris poured her heart and soul into every project. Doris was passionate about inspiring and educating young people to be donors and community leaders. Hear how she did it here.
Doris had a clear vision of where her giving could make the most difference, and she didn’t hesitate to get to work.
Doris’s Letter Program came down to the hard work and ingenuity of many Maine women who stepped in to help her read and answer thousands of letters. Here, Doris’ brother Warren visits the “Ladies in Maine” who try to answer letters sent to him.
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Doris was a generous supporter of the Red Sox Scholars Program, which gave her great opportunities to watch her favorite baseball sport at Fenway Park.