Saturday, September 04, 2010


The time has come to make our first public announcement. Not that Starfysh has been any big secret, but as of today, we will begin our intentional, inform-the-wider-audience efforts to get word out. The letter below is the first of many I personally will write. It is addressed to my patients and practice community. It will be posted on the walls of the rooms where I see patients and I'll have extra copies available for them to take home if they want. I plan on putting it in our newspaper. It's not fancy at all, but homespun is how people know me around here, so to be fancy-schmancy about things would not feel right to them, nor would it to me.

Now I can finally write thank you notes to all you who have donated to past projects. I've been holding off until we received our 501(c)3 notice so I could acknowledge your gifts as tax deductible. Now I can.

Dear Patients and Friends,

After 18 years, now, of investing my time and energies into a tiny mission hospital on a small island off Haiti’s mainland, I find myself unable (and unwilling) to extract myself from that work. I am drawn, like a magnet, to the precious and needy people there and have decided to raise the stakes of my commitment and investment in that land. And I am about to ask you who know me and trust me to find it in your hearts to support me in what I am about to announce.

Over the past year of soul-searching, I have come to the stark realization that the impact of my work in Haiti, while significant down there and gratifying to me personally, cannot grow significantly under my current modus operandi of personal trips and projects. The time has come to involve you, my patients and friends. The time has come to multiply myself, to leverage the great human resource that is mine... in you.

This all said, I am pleased and excited to announce the creation of STARFYSH, a grassroots nonprofit which will greatly enhance the positive difference I can make for a small island of about 100,000 of the world’s poorest, hungriest, and sickest people. It is grassroots because it almost had to happen, the result when people with pent-up energy all of a sudden have an outlet, a cause, for that energy. A cause that resonates.

I have a few out-of-the-chute things I want to do during this first year, but the most urgent is to feed a bunch a kids who are going hungry right now. As you read this letter, there is sea-container full of plates, glasses, silverware, cook pots and cook stoves churning its way through Caribbean seas on its way to Haiti... enough to feed 1,000 children at a school right down the road from the hospital where I work. As it stands, these kids will not eat unless we can make it happen. And, while I know there is a world of needs out there, I figure I can make a difference for this village, for this particular bunch of hungry kids. And I humbly ask if you would help me feed these kids.

72 cents will feed a hungry kid a good, nutritious meal. Feeding them every school day adds up to $15/month, $180/year. $720 would feed all 1,000 kids on any given school day. Any way you concoct it, it’s cheap. And I am determined to feed them.

I have a pipeline of projects being developed, all cool and worthy and needed. They are increasingly-strategic, with issues of sustainability built in, but right now... today... food is what is needed to bring these kids out of their malnourished state. 72 cents a day will do it.

I promise that 100% of your gift will go to the project of feeding these kids. Zero will taken out for other things. Also know that whatever you give will translate almost immediately into the sight of a smiling school child holding his or her plate while it is piled full of rice and beans.

If you will help, you can drop off or mail your tax-deductible gift to my office in Saranac (107 North Bridge St. Saranac, MI 48881) or mail it to Starfysh 3725 Oak Creek Court SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Make checks out to Starfysh, and write “Feed Kids” in the memo line. Please provide your name, address and email so I can send you a thank you and receipt.

If you’re OK with grassroots and want to learn more about the island of La Gonave, Haiti and what I am up to down there, explore

We can do this.

Your friend,

Dr. Edmondson


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve:
Does Paypal take a cut of donations made with credit cards? If so, we'll just send a check.
Chris & Becky

Steve said...

Unfortunately, yes... about 3 1/2 percent. Ideally, we would not do PayPal or credit cards at all. But we also acknowledge the reality that more and more people prefer electronic transactions. We are working on a more sophisticated way than PayPal, but at this very early stage of things, Paypal offers us the layer of security we need to have against any risk of credit card theft. With PayPal, financial information (e.g., credit card numbers) does not come to us and that's the way we want it.

That all said..... send a check!

Thanks Chris and Becky