As some of you know, I have been involved with the ALS Association of Northern New England for the last couple of years. My involvment came following the diagnosis of, and subsequent death of my Uncle Hal. Last year, we raised over $35,000 for patient services and research, but this year there has been NOTHING!! Nada, zip, zilch, and squat. This is an organization right now that is a total and complete disaster.
It all started when our development director Tonia Zampieri left. Tonia was dedicated, talented, and simply amazing. Since her departure, the state of Vermont has been neglected and ignored. From November until May, we did not have a development director. The office moved to New Hampshire, and no one was notified of the change. Many of us made phone calls trying to get the walk efforts started, and no one could be bothered to tell us what was going on with the office, and no one could be bothered to even return our phone calls.
When the new development director came on, we thought there would be progress; well, there wasn't. This was not Karen's fault. She came in to the job six months behind in development, had a mountain to over come, and did everything in her power to try to get something going. Well, because the organization wouldn't even kick out $200.00 for a walk kickoff, wouldn't help with publicizing the event, and seemed to be sitting on their hands wishing the state would seceed and become part of Canada, she resigned. Karen did everything she could to work towards getting a Burlington walk going, but she received no help, no information, and no support from her administration.
When Karen told us(the volunteers) what was going on, I sent an e-mail along to Executive Director Joanne Saint Pierre, and other members of the board of directors. Four days ago she finally bothered to get back to one of the volunteers and claimed she e-mailed the rest of us. Well, none of us received the e-mail. Either she doesn't know how to use the computer, or she is lying. From what I have seen and heard, I believe the latter of the two.
There is horrendous mis-management going on in this organization, and those who suffer from ALS are suffering for it. There isn't a cent being raised in this state for patient services and no one seems to care. I sent a rather nasty e-mail back to Joanne and expect to hear from her again in six months. This is not the way a non-profit should be run, and I would do backflips if something changed within the organization. Until it does, I will not do a thing in support of the ALS Association. I am also investigating to see what else is really going on there. This is a mission of mine since my uncle was very near and dear to me, and my family. These people are learning one thing, don't make me mad.