Special Needs Fund

Purpose:  This fund is for helping individuals, families or organizations in the town of Bucerias to handle a genuine emergency situation. In the past, the fund has been used to help with medical treatments for a child who was badly burned in a tianguis fire, and to help pay surgical expenses for a boy who needed complicated heart surgery.

Starting 2013, building upon the existing fund of 2,000 pesos, set-aside funding of only 10 pesos per breakfast from membership meetings has raised the amount to 10,115 pesos (August 2015).

Process:  This process is intended to be as informal as possible, while still retaining necessary accountability. No formal written application is required. Any individual member or organization within the Bucerias community may make a verbal or written request of the special needs fund through any Amigos member who will direct it to the Amigos de Bucerias Special Needs Committee (SNC) or Executive Committee, paying special attention to the criteria listed below.

The SNC and Executive Committee will jointly review the request in a timely manner, either in person or by email.  The SNC will investigate further as necessary in accordance with criteria.  The Executive Committee has the sole authority to approve, disapprove and disburse funds on behalf of Special Needs. If approved, the funds will be disbursed as soon as possible by the organization’s treasurer.

When considering requests the SNC should carefully assess the reasonableness and appropriateness of each request, to include, but not necessarily be limited to, a discussion (either in person or by email) of the following criteria:

  • Does the SNC have sufficient information to make a good decision, or is more information necessary? How might additional information be obtained?
  • Is the need well-documented and presented?
  • Has the requestor considered and/or exhausted other available resources?
  • Is the requestor or organization part of the Bucerias community?
  • Is the request a one-time need or an ongoing need? If ongoing, are other resources available to meet the need? The Special Needs Fund is not intended for long term support.
  • Can the need be verified? Can anyone else in the community provide corroborating information regarding the need?
  • Can the potential impact of granting the request be confirmed?
  • How many people will be assisted, either directly or indirectly, by meeting this need? The SNC may wish to consider prioritizing requests on the basis of the potential numbers of people involved, or the impact on an organization that affects large numbers of people in a positive manner.

In addition to reviewing requests and making recommendations, the SNC should also consider and recommend strategies for maintaining and increasing the Special Needs Fund, as well as means for evaluating the effectiveness of the effort.