President's Message

Anne D. Neal, President
Anne D. Neal, President

Nineteen ninety-five got off to a lively start with a gala double-purpose dinner in New York: to celebrate Sabre's twenty-fifth anniversary and to honor John Whitehead for his manifold inter- national philanthropic services. As it turned out, we needed that early momentum to help us in some steady uphill going during the rest of the year.

To begin with, the stream of donated books slowed markedly with a rise in world paper prices. Then, as a result of the U. S. Information Agency's withdrawal from book programs generally, Sabre found itself short of long-term, multi-country funding for warehousing, shipping and administrative costs.

But a broad constituency -- aware of continuing needs abroad and the cost- effectiveness of Sabre programs -- rallied to speak out on Sabre's behalf: past recipients of books and educational materials; field officers on post with the U.S. Information Service; members of numerous professional, ethnic and service organizations; and members of Congress on both sides of the party line. These welcome endorsements fortunately resulted in legislative language favoring the long-term continuation of Sabre's book program, in conjunction with its new program of information technology services.

Renewed support came from within the U.S. Information Agency itself, when Director Joseph Duffey commended Sabre for sending abroad valuable materials that institutions and individuals truly needed. "Distribution of information in the form of textbooks, professional materials and access to on-line technologies to citizens at the grassroots level demonstrates what can be achieved through cooperation between government and the private sector," he said.

As a result of intensified procurement efforts by Sabre staff, combined with publishing industry referrals, the stream of donations of new books began to swell. When the year ended, we had received books with an appraised value of more than $11 million, bringing our overall contributions in this area to nearly $60 million since the program began a decade ago. USIA's resumption of logistical and procurement support thus enabled Sabre to accept and warehouse large donations from publishers, and to offer its overseas partners a wide selection and multiple copies of books they desire.

Shipments -- supported in part by the Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program of the Agency for International Development -- have continued to go mainly to Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but fresh funding has allowed us to extend our reach to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, Grenada and Romania. For 1996 we are planning programs for the West Bank and Gaza, as well as further work on behalf of Tibetan refugee schools in India and Nepal. Donations to these countries -- many torn by war and civil strife -- will include much-needed elementary school books.

A special memorial in honor of the late Dr. Gerald E. Davidson completed four years of donation in Judaica and psychiatry books in eleven countries through the generosity of Rosalie Davidson. The two topic areas had been largely unavailable in the Eastern bloc for more than 40 years.

Coupled with these book donations, Sabre has intensified its groundbreaking information technology services to assist emerging democracies. As Internet/ World Wide Web capabilities grow, Sabre expands the range of technical assistance and training projects it offers. The year was also notable for the beginning of a modest fellowship program, administered through the Philos- ophy of Institutions Project.

In short, 1995 was a year which called for resiliency and creativity, and we feel that Sabre emerged stronger than before. Our success was due to the assistance of many individuals, companies, organizations and public bodies. We benefited from extensive pro bono professional services, ongoing warehousing and trucking support, and generous foundation support, particularly from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Whitehead Foundation. We are indeed grateful to all who have helped.
ANNE D. NEAL, President
SABRE FOUNDATION, established in 1969, works to build free institutions and to examine the ideals that sustain them. Its largest current project makes donations of substantial quantities of new books available to needy individuals in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and other developing countries through non-governmental organizations, libraries, universities, schools, hospitals, research organizations and similar institutions. In its newest initiative, Library and Information Technology Services, Sabre helps organizations take advantage of rapidly evolving Internet and related information technologies. Sabre also sponsors international symposia and philosophical publications exploring the nature and accountability of free institutions. Sabre is a tax- exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and is registered as a Private Voluntary Organization with the U.S. Agency for International Development.