Question: Is this going to be set up as a non-profit organization?
Answer: It is a program within the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc., which is non-profit organization.
Question: Is it a one time, monthly, or annual donation?
Answer: I am planning on this being an annual donation. After the initial donation ($500) in which the vaporizer and diffuser along with initial supplies, including each mans kit are purchased, yearly maintenance will be at a minimum thereafter. I’m thinking around $100-200 per year.
Question: Who is going to receive and account for the monies?
Answer: I, as the director of UAE, will be responsible for the accounting and administration of all monies. All books will be open for inspection by adoptees if anyone has a question.
Question: What vaporizers and diffusers do they get? And what oils?
Answer: The vaporizers are from the Kaz Corporation, makers of Vicks products. They are heavy duty, 2 gallon, steam with port. We put cotton in the port and saturated it with blend. Kaz gave us a pretty good price and has worked with us on shipping costs. The diffusors are provided by Essential Products of America (800)822-9698. These are the largest, most powerful ones, rena pump and hummingbird nebulizer. Michael Alexander was able to get us a very low price as he searched out pumps and nebulizers. (He now offers these professional size diffusors on his site for under $50.) He also made the blends, at cost, that go into the diffusers and vaporizers, as well as the sprays. The main blend for decongestion is: ravensare cineole and anisata, eucalyptus globulus, fennel tea tree, lavender and clove. The stations also get an air purifier spray (in alcohol) made with: rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, pine, niaouli, peppermint. I showed them how to spray it in their hands and cup them over their nose, how to use tissue to breathe from, and how they can use these on pads in their respirators. All of the products are clearly labeled as to contents and supplier. For example, “Respiration Diffuser Blend; mfg for United Aromatherapy Effort by EPA / Whole Spectrum. For use by New York City Fire Dept.” Directions for use and ingredients are also listed. In addition, they get the plug in (bottle/wick) in which we put Purifying blend. We give them another set (4 diffusor blends) so they will be able to experience some of the other effects of essential oil i.e., relaxation, mental stimulation, purification and sensual/uplifting. The firefighters had a lot of fun joking about the last one, thus I decided to change the sensual to uplifting claims! They were eager to try the mental stimulant when they get night calls and when they study for exams, which many are doing. They have also reported enjoying the relaxing blend during those stressful times.
Question: Where are these stations located in NYC? How many men are in each location?
Answer: There are over 300 stations in NYC. They are located all over the five boroughs though some stations are very close to each other. They vary in number of firefighters from 10 to 50 or more depending on the number of companies (ladder, engine, etc) and the area/size they serve. Of course, only a part of these men are there at any one time on a 24 hour shift, then they are off for a day or two. That is why a kit for home use is important, especially for the more seriously affected with respiratory problems.
Question: Will the participants receive a picture of the station they adopt including all the men/women stationed there and/or a certificate that they donated (like the overseas aid – Adopt a Child)?
Answer: Absolutely! That’s the idea. When we go to set the station up with equipment and supplies and make sure they know how to operate the equipment, we will photograph them, video the set-up and around the firehouse, record them, and collect patches, t-shirts and anything else we can. We want you to know these beautiful guys like we do. Well sort of, for that you will have to come to see them yourself! They are gracious hosts and will feed you the best food!
Question: Are the fire stations even allowed to accept donations like these?
Answer: In a word, yes. In NYC, fire stations are self-sufficient. These guys not only maintain the entire station (repairs, paint, TV, computer, email, etc), they buy and cook their own food, buy and maintain their uniforms, and anything else they want for their comfort while they live together. They are a big tight family. All this happens on some of the lowest salaries imaginable (starting salary 29K. check the site). Many, if not most, have other jobs to supplement their families.
Question: Are my sponsorship/adoption costs tax deductible?
Answer: The United Aromatherapy Effort is a non-profit organization registered in the State of Florida, so I assume that your donations would be deductible. But this isn’t about deductions, it’s about helping out where you can.
Question: What I have in mind and I have proposed to my domestic partner is that his business donate the amount needed to adopt a fire station. Plus we know of a number of other individuals, groups, small business and big business that would be interested in doing something like this but they would not donate to an individual.
Answer: So what more can I say! We are a non-profit organization that spends more than we take in because we are dedicated and want to help these men of NY. I can personally guarantee that any money or product donated will go directly from my hands to the firemen of NY that need it. That is more than some charities can do.
Question: How long would the essential oils per fire station last?
Answer: This will be determined through time. It depends on how much they use (e.g. they may forget to load it up each day or they may go overboard.) Hopefully, with our training, constant monitoring and follow-up visits by local team members, they will find their own pace. If they need more, either the sponsor or the UAE will furnish it.
Question: How will the individual products to each man be refilled?
Answer: Same as above, they just contact UAE, or the sponsor may wish to refill the product. Sponsors are also encouraged to provide other items once they get to know the guys and are in contact with them. For example, the Alaska team RESTA adopted Engine 228, and have already sent them salmon caught fresh and shipped overnight. It’s just something else they can and will provide.
Question: What’s the size are these stations? Would one professional diffuser per station be enough? Would professional installations work better for the buildings (if there is any such thing)?
Answer: For starters and for simplicity, one or two professional diffusers will work. Many of these buildings are very old, so permanent installation would not be practical. We can adjust this as we go along. As of the first set up, most stations are using both diffuser and vaporizer in den/kitchen or putting vaporizer where they are most, and diffusor upstairs in bunk/locker room. Each one if different and we are adjusting as we go along.