David C. Slade

In 1979, on a two day ferry cruise from Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Skagway, Alaska, I met a young lawyer, David Slade. We talked a lot and he told me about his extensive travels through Central and South America. I invited him to Germany and we travelled cross country. A friendship was born. One  event of that trip I remember well, and quite obviously it was to follow him through the rest of his life: eating a pastry outside of a bakery in Bogota, Columbia, one day in 1975, David felt a tug on his pants and looked down to see a baby girl, about two years old
David had just met his first street urchin. She begged for money, and was already street-wise enough not to want pastry -- just money. And he would never forget her hungry eyes.

 

Ever since that day he planned on "doing something" rather than just talking about it. When I subsequently visited him in his home in Maryland, he laid out his plan for a charity foundation. Since he has always resented that a percentage of every dollar donated to the average organization goes toward "feeding" a more or less expensive administration, and not the children themselves, he determined to do something different.
A fantastic piano player, he started giving concerts for charity. He drafted the Trust Indenture of the SladeChild Foundation. But the IRS office in Ogden, Utah didn't like it. A 100% charity won't work. Some part of the contributions had to be taken out to pay for administrative costs.
Storie.jpg (22426 Byte) Meanwhile, working as a lawyer on the U.S. Committee for Oceans and Atmosphere at the United Nations he lost his reluctance toward government bureaucracy. David and the IRS had extensive phone conversations on this point, and finally (obviously) the IRS was swayed by David's charming personality and his power of logic. The IRS approved the SladeChild Foundation as a tax-deductible organization (a "26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)" charity for all you legal eagles). Now, 24 years after meeting "the little street urchin", the SladeChild Foundation is providing food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care to little needy ones worldwide.

Not one penny has ever been taken out of a contribution for administrative expenses.

David has left a deep impression on my life. So I used his silhouette on the cover picture of my Italian book "Storie di Sangue", a book on love, hate and charity.

 

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