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KillerQueen has been thinking! Your ideas are needed!

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  1. KillerQueen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 12:29:32
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    I have been thinking of ways to help out people who are suffering with bed bugs. I have been tossing this idea in my head for a few weeks and would like the opinion of others on this site.

    Nobugsonme, you make me nuts =) but I would like to know your ideas and if you like the sound of this. I would like you to help out with some input as well.

    I was wondering/thinking about a not for profit organization. A bed bug treatment organization that helps the less fortunate who cannot pay for treatments on their own. A taskforce of volunteers who have been educated from their life experience/battle with Bed Bugs & through a training program the organization creates. (We all know how easy I think it is to kill Bed Bugs =) ) We would of course need founding through donations and or fund raisers to cover costs but I think we could make something like this happen in NY if we put our minds together. We could also get this rolling into NJ and CT …

    I think if we could get a bunch (many) volunteers for a project like this we could help thousands. Let’s kick up some ideas about what I’m talking about. I’m very short on time myself but will make time for this.
    IDEAS ARE NEEDED. INFORMATION ABOUT NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. FUNDING IDEAS. AND SO NO.

  2. bitten123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:11:15
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    That is an excellent idea! Even if it started in New York and gradually expanded it could be of great help to those who can't afford treatment, or for those who need factual information versus so mmuch that is floating around. This site has been such a blessing for factual information, but many don't have the internet for knowledge. I believe knowledge and awareness are an integral part of stopping this.

    I wish you well and I will put my thinking cap on.

  3. paulaw0919

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:24:43
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    KQ. You need to speak with NoBugs and with others at NewYorkvsBedBugs.org for I'm sure they may have some ideas and maybe a resourceful connection or two. Something like this is a great idea but more of an undertaking of your time than I think you may realize.

  4. bait

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:25:04
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    Starting a charitable organization is like starting a business. Same process I would think.

    I had been a volunteer for an organization, but stopped all my activities because of BBs. Now I spend my time maintaining my new lifestyle (hiding the problem), tring to solve the problem, and working working working to get out of my bed bug induced debt.

    Once up and running; however, it would be a matter of running an "ad" on sites like this one seeking donations.

  5. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:41:07
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    The biggest challenge with something like this is ensuring that those that seek out your service are in fact "in need" and not just abusing the good nature of you and your volunteers.

  6. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 13:43:36
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    A non-profit organization that provides assistance to people with bed bug infestations is a great idea.

    The main challenge would seem to be funding, bed bug infestations do not have much "sex appeal" compared to other competing charitable causes like children's toys for Christmas or endangered wildlife rehabilitation.

    Turning bed bug infestation issues into a cause celebre will require some genius social engineering. How do we make the donation experience hip, fun and rewarding?

    We will need to create an attractive logo that is wrapped around a compelling marketing campaign.

    If we recruit some experienced grant writers, we might be able to attract some funding from federal & state government sources or philanthropist organizations like the Gates Foundation.

    In England, there are government subsidized pest control services.

    I am wondering if some type of co-op organization might be a good model to explore for getting this effort off the ground.

    If we could organize a large subscriber group...we could contract with PCOs & use a business model much like AAA Motor Club. We could sell memberships to buildings and develop a volunteer corp of workers to help members that require assistance.

  7. bugbattler

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 15:17:57
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    I think this is a great idea!!!

    People need information! Prevention and early action are key!

    It's wrong that people have to suffer for lack of money.

  8. BugsInTO

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 15:40:01
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    Hi KillerQueen:

    This is a great idea. I am not sure about using volunteers to do the actual work, but certainly for the Board of Directors etc. and I think non-profit would definitely work.

    Here's the Bedbugger link for Toronto's "Bug & Scrub". http://bedbugger.com/2008/03/12/torontos-bug-and-scrub-shelter-guests-being-trained-as-pest-control-techs/

    Here's a link for a non-profit group I just found out about where one of their services is "extreme cleaning" and decluttering to prep for bedbug treatment.

    http://www.vha.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Itemid=21

    As well, I read that there is a program in Toronto where residents of supportive housing who want to start their own businesses in bedbug control can get funding and training at the local community college.

    I wouldn't have qualified for non-profit assistance, but I sure wish I had found out about Bug & Scrub. I couldn't find anyone in the city, at the time of my infestation, to come and help me declutter. I would have paid for the assistance. From what I have read, Bug & Scrub does a sliding scale for their fee.

    I offer these only as info for you for your research on different business models.

    In a high rise building where multiple units are fighting bedbugs, if there are one or two units where the residents can't do the decluttering and prep work, it means all the rest of the units remain vunerable. If there were services like this, and landlords knew about them, and PCO's knew about them, they could give out the information and try to get the tenants to use the services. Everyone else would benefit.

  9. LJ

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 17:45:12
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    Something is desperately needed to educate and assist those who are impoverished and disenfranchised to battle these little buggers, for sure, KillerQueen. I live with it, see it every day. But as one of those people, I'm going to play devil's advocate here and be honest about my gut response to your proposal. I think that if this is truly a philanthropic act you will of course also recuse yourself from any professional involvement because of the potential profit for you and the conflict of interest this creates. Would that be your intention? Even if I were just in a position to review your application to incorporate as a not-for-profit, non-profit, or charitable organization this would be one of the first things to strike me about the proposal. I'm not trying to discourage you at all - its a great idea, but I also see a conflict of interest that needs to be on the table because it will be noticed.

  10. Newbeebugger

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 9 2008 20:51:04
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    KQ....you have a very compassionate heart. I don't know how this would all unfold but as poor as I am these days I'd commit to contributions for this cause. I believe in helping others too. I'm sure you will find many people who you have personally helped to support you in this particular cause.

    Newbeebugger

  11. bedbugfinders

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 0:00:37
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    KillerQueen, Your Ideas are great and I personally have been donating bed bug treatments to the less fortunate for quite some time now. I have held Fundraisers to buy beds for the less fortunate and continue to use my bed bug dog and treatments for free for many people on a donation basis. I am a firm beleiver in that the people of a community should take care of their own!! I live by this. I am a PCO in Florida and I really care about the people that I take on as customers. However, with all caring aside, when the non-profit is formed, you would still have to enter into a contract with whomever the foundation decides to treat free-gratis, for the simple fact that if after multiple treatments using whatever methods fail and your customers get bit,there are many people out there that would love to sue because the problem was not completely gone. I hate to be the one to state this because I still offer sooo many services to less fortunate people and I don't think twice about it, but as a Pest Control Company I have Insurance to cover anything like that. The Foundation would have to be set up in the same manor. With this in mind, I think it would be best to have a Certified Operator who is head of the Non-Profit organization, specifically to carry the insurances needed to operate as a Pest Control Company because in essence that is what it will be..A Not For Profit Pest Service Company. I think the idea is wonderful and if my license wasn't tied up with my company, I wouldn't think twice about doing the same thing in Florida, but I still perform a great service for free to those who need it. We collect donations from local business and take care of our worst low income cases. The money that is collected goes toward buying beds and furniture that are beyond remediation. My Dog Services, Steam Services, and Chemical Services as well as my labor and labor of some of my guys are all paid by me. As I have said in many prior posts, "This problem belongs not to one person, It belongs to all of us." and I am so glad to see that other pest pros are seing beyond the dollar and really want to help people. I will gladly help from Florida with knowledge of business and Bed Bugs with getting your foundation up and running, and I am no stranger to non-profit organizations for I was on the board of Directors for the American Junior Blind Golf Association. I say go for it, as long as there is binding contracts and legal protection for the Foundation and the gracious people involed.
    sincerely, BedBugFinders

  12. notsofunbugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 2:48:39
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    i am down to volunteer!!!! anyone ever find out about those two documentaries on bed bugs?

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 2:49:31
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    Of course, it is a worthwhile idea.

    Bug and Scrub in Toronto (there's an article about it that BugsinTO links to) trains residents of a shelter to work as PCOs for a low-cost non-profit PCO.

    I thought this was a great idea for three reasons:
    1/ It gives people who want to work training which can set them up in an emerging field, at a good hourly wage (the Bug and Scrub techs were paid $12-15/hr $Canadian).
    2/ It provides low-cost PCO work for bed bugs (low-cost on a sliding scale as opposed to free would make the service more viable and also encourage the clients to "invest" in the necessary prep).
    3/ Anyone in Toronto could hire them, not just those on low incomes. This meant the sliding scale was $200-800, but in effect, it means the rich can subsidize the poor.

    Looking into what Bug and Scrub did and how they structured their organization and maybe talking to the people who planned it would be helpful.

    A woman in Providence, RI was also contemplating setting up a free bed bug PCO service. I wrote about her story here. As far as I know it hasn't happened yet.

    This is another option, KillerQueen, and who would not love to get free treatment, but I suspect it would have to be on a small scale, whereas the potential for expanding the sliding scale idea of Bug and Scrub is good. And how do you decide who legitimately needs free treatment?

    I also know something about what it takes to start a non-profit and it is not easy. You need a board, and to set up a 501c3 in order to accept donations.

    If a program like this were created in NYC, or other areas, it might get government funding or funding from other non-profits.

    Another thing to keep in mind: yes, funding should be sought. But who should be making donations? People who read bedbugger who have recently had bed bugs and paid through the teeth to get rid of them? Or those in the pest control industry who are making money as a result of this problem? Corporate sponsorship from bed bug industry-related businesses is a possibility. The amount of difference such donations could make is huge, and it would be good advertising for them.

    If I were you, KillerQueen, I'd rally other local pros to join you in this effort.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  14. KillerQueen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 17:38:17
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    Thanks for all the ideas and help with this. I think this is a much larger task then I can work with at the moment. I'll keep this on the back burner for now but I do want to find a way to make this happen.

  15. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 17:52:29
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    Hi,

    I am hoping to be in NY either late this year of att he start of next for some meetings. If you want the feedback on how the socialised system of control works with the London councils let me know.

    It does have some pluses (its the route I can into pest control from) but it does also have a fair few pitfalls.

    David

  16. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 19:40:01
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    I was just discussing this very thing with some local Vancouver people. My thoughts were to have the .org be focused on education and prevention. Perhaps a Nroth America wide non profit may be in order? The broader the base the more lobbying power the group would have with local officials?

    Rambling thoughts...

    Tony Canevaro

  17. cilecto

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 20:49:08
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    KQ: I know of no BB book or video for the lay person. Get an agent and produce one. You be the one whose name is on "Bedbugs for Dummies". "Teach a man to fish and you've fed him for life". Plus you stand to profit.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  18. anamorphosis

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 21:26:04
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    This is totally feasible. I have worked in non-profits for the past ten years and getting the money is about getting a good grant writer. You need to be able to outline your business model, including what finances you would need to run the organization, in a detailed enough way with enough detail for projected future growth. The this model can be pitched to several sources of funding and at least one will bite.

    I watched my friend, who is a cracker jack grant writer, write his grant proposals for a Latino organization my organization was affiliated with. This was basically what he did.

    As for the volunteer pool....I don't know the training for PCOs but the model for therapists is volunteering at least some of the time in internships. Would it be valuable for training PCOs to volunteer time with a not-for-profit bed bug organization to gain experience and to build their resumes?

  19. reepicheep

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2008 22:36:41
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    An alternative to think about...how about providing proper training courses for pcos in other states (especially Ohio and California)? In partial exchange for their training, they could be required to provide free treatment to a certain number of low income clients per year. Maybe eventually the big financial donations could be used to fund these pcos to increase the number of free treatments. That way you can make a bigger impact over a larger geographical area, and it will benefit all bb victims.

  20. Livingagain

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2008 6:56:01
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    Yeah, Cilecto, Bed bugs for Dummies, this Dummy sure would like that book. Seriously, that is how you can make some real money, a mass-marketed book. You can use the profits for whatever good cause you wish.

  21. bugbattler

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2008 14:03:31
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    Given the amount of furniture that has been retrieved from my dumpster, I really think public awareness is the first step.

    I had made a flyer, but it was during my super-stress phase. I think I will make a new one that is more informative and less panicky.

    I agree that prevention is key.

    Bed Bugs for Dummies book: There's a book I wouldn't advise checking out of the library

    :)~

  22. parakeets

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2008 15:14:55
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    I think this would be a wonderful idea. For some reason, even the Red Cross does not help people who are removed from their homes due to bedbugs--though they help with other disasters such as fires, storms, flooding, etc. I don't think there is anyone helping. Offering bedbug micro-loans would be a good idea, too. I get on Kiva.org to see about donating to third world countries, but you can bet I'd want to loan in THIS country to someone who needed to borrow money to deal with a bedbug crisis. I would hope the group could lobby for better laws, too. There is no centralized group fighting bedbugs. We need one.


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