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Contribution Form

Annual Letter

The Custody Project
PO Box 20753
El Sobrante CA 94820-0753 USA
510-223-3432 (Corp)
Fed. Tax ID #95-4521373
850-682-3460 (Info)
Tue-Fri, 10-4 CST (Info)
August 31st, 2010


Dear Folks,

The Custody Project ("TCP") has been helping children and their mothers for sixteen years. Its mission is “to promote the general welfare, both directly and indirectly, of women and their children as a unit, as related to care, custody and visitation issues.” Once a year, a letter is sent inviting your gracious donations, contributions and services. It is an honor to stand with you and to know that, together, we help to make a family's way easier.

There is a great need to be met. The Custody Project recognizes that under ordinary circumstances mothers may work for $5-$12 per hour - stretching their dollars daily to feed, clothe and care for their children and themselves. Yet their lives are infinitely burdened, their economic challenges harsher, and their situations extraordinarily more difficult when compounded by circumstances such as:

  • Abuse or Domestic Violence
  • Absent or inadequate child support
  • Legal attempts to remove custody, and
  • Legal restraints that prevent mothers from improving the quality of life for their families.

These crushing burdens, imposed upon disadvantaged and overextended mothers, can cause them to weather great familial hardships. If not broken by unrelenting financial and legal circumstances, they are forced to continuously withstand them in the protection of their children: What these mothers face make complex stories where excerpts barely or, will not do justice. Our grants have helped some of these deserving families stay afloat, often at perilous junctures. And, although for confidentiality reasons we cannot include their names and pictures, each year we share a little about our families:

  • When a mother of two young children sought to maintain primary custody, she incurred necessary and significant legal and expert fees far beyond her means. When she requested assistance for common necessities and to pay a domestic violence expert who submitted a report and testimony in her defense, The Custody Project assisted.
  • When a working mother with custody of her three teenagers was ordered by her judge to pay fees to obtain her portion of mutual funds and stocks during the division of property subsequent to the divorce decree, she was unable to. Although it would benefit her and her children, her small monthly salary covers only required expenses, including bills she is already in arrears on, and she could not extend herself further. When she requested help covering this required legal expense, The Custody Project assisted.

  • When a mother of two young children became the victim of a beating by the father of her youngest, she realized she would have to carry all monthly expenses herself and seek a stay-away order from the courts. Working part-time, she faced an immediate shortfall for all necessities. When she went to get gas for the car and pay school lunches, she discovered the father had not deposited her money, leaving her and the children without funds. She requested monies for gas and emergency car repairs so she could maintain her job, continue to bring the children to and from school each day, and start looking for more work. The family had relied heavily upon the father's income and the mother will not receive child support until the court makes orders. Her income, on its own, is insufficient. The Custody Project granted her requests.

Each year, these stories are given because they are representative of the plight of so many mothers:

  • A mother needed to move to provide for her children. This required the lifting of her children's legal restraining orders which were causing them to live in unnecessary and extreme poverty. She stated, "To provide well for my children we should move, yet they are restrained by legal orders and we live in poverty as a result."
  • TCP assisted a mom who, unreasonably denied visitation or custody of her child, said, "I have been unable to see my son for two years now. I owe tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees still..."

Your generosity makes it possible for The Custody Project to help mothers meet legal expenses and provide for their children. Through TCP, you cover legal costs for mothers who must defend custody and visitation of their children in courts, provide funds for basic living expenses and common necessities, making the Christmas and Holiday Season merrier and Mother's Day more cheerful. In addition to TCP's grant program, which has been operational for over fifteen years, our revolving door loan program serves when, as mothers repay their loans, the funds are available to help other families in need. TCP has also assisted in other ways including telephone support, brief lectures, information exchange and meeting with moms. Because of You, we have helped families in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Our range continues to expand.

Thank you for your continuing generosity to our mothers and their children. Contributions received during the 2009-2010 fiscal year made possible our continued giving to families in difficult circumstances. Ranging from $1-$100s, your personal donations have been essential since 1994. We thank Target Stores, Wal-Mart Foundation, Bank of America Foundation and Give Something Back for donating between $1000-$3500 each, over the years, and benefitting the lives of several families, too. In light of the worldwide need to assuage those in tragic dilemmas, your compassion touches these often desperate and forgotten ones.

We are especially indebted to our long-standing donors, our Board of Directors, and all of you giving of your time, money and/or resources. By your contributions to The Custody Project, you have made its continuing service possible for years and have become the backbone of our work. Thank you, also, to the businesses, foundations, and service organizations which have supported The Custody Project, including alphagraphics, Bank of America Foundation, Barbee Insurance Agency, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Belk, Catholic Daughters of America, Chevys, Copymat, Copy Products Company, Dollar Tree, El Cerrito Electric, Eye Sight, First National Bank, First Presbyterian Church, Give Something Back, Godiva Chocolatier, The Holloway Agency, Home Depot, J.C. Penney's, Publix, Kinko's, Macy's, Mail Plus, Old Navy, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Our Savior Lutheran Ministries, Pic-N-Save, Radio Shack Corporation, Raley's, Safeway, Stephen L. Gold, D.D.S. Orthodontics for Children & Adults, St. Michael's Catholic Church, Target Stores, Vern's Auto Repair, Wal-Mart Foundation, and Winn-Dixie. And to the Moms who have allowed us to assist, we sincerely thank you, too.


Our long-time friends will remember that in the Summer of 2008 The Custody Project hosted a nationwide Caravan to honor mothers relocating with their children and those affected by custody, visitation and move away issues, to bring attention and support to their plight. (To read about it, visit Facebook, log in, type tcp in the search box and the 2008 Caravan should come up).

Summer 2011 Caravan. We are considering a Caravan during the summer to raise funds for our services to mothers and children. We need $3000 to cover expenses to make it happen (See, Wish List @ You Can Help; and Come Join Us). If you would like to participate, sponsor a driver, or make donations in support, mail your checks to The Custody Project, and call 850.682.3460.


Our Charitable News Flashes! describe many ways that you can help, giving directly to The Custody Project or, online through Network for Good, Just Give, MissionFish, Facebook, Guidestar, GoodSearch and PayPal ___, through online and regular shopping percentages, reward points, matching gifts, company grants, corporate giving, employee grant writing, stock, land, and moving vehicle donations, State and Federal Campaigns, the United Way, tax write-offs, eBay, Belk's Biannual Nationwide Charity Sales, our Dinner Benefits, TCP’s December Raffle, sponsoring Donna on the Drive, by donating to the 2011 Summer Caravan Event, or by volunteering your time. We do accept gifts and in-kind donations to our Annual Raffles and Fundraisers, with heartfelt thanks from the families you help.

The Custody Project is a 501(c)(3), charitable, tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, Fed. Tax ID #95-4521373 and, to the extent allowable by law, your contributions are tax-deductible. We ask that you share our information with interested donors and mothers needing assistance. And, as always, you will receive your flyer either through the internet or during the year as postage becomes affordable.

Best Wishes. Happy Holidays. May each day be Blessed. Thank you for your prior gifts, compassion and future support.

The Custody Project