For the past few years, the Copes have worked to raise money to help children in need throughout the world through their organization, Touch of Life Ministries:
By their reckoning, the group has spent about $150,000, mainly in Cambodia and Vietnam, on such tasks as financing shelters for children who are abused, handicapped, living on the street or orphaned by AIDS.
Mrs. Cope explained how the organization works:
Mrs. Cope, 44, and her husband, who is still a publishing company executive, run the organization together. They make a monthly contribution from their income. He keeps track of the accounts. She makes the rounds of churches and service clubs and chooses the projects.Initially, she found fund-raising stressful. "I would speak to 400 or 500 people, and nobody would give me any money," she said. Then, she said, she decided she could only try to be a voice for children in crisis, not control the reaction. Now she views the balance sheet with equanimity. "Money comes from places I never expect, and places I expect to get money from I don't," she said. "Part of my message is, you don’t have to have tons of money, but you have to have a willing heart."