Human Services

Sending Out Servants

a mission of presence with the Maya in Guatemala

aka SOS

Houston, TX


To grow in solidarity through a mutually "life giving" Ministry of Presence with the Maya people in Quiché, Guatemala who have been rendered powerless due to race, creed and lack of opportunity.

Notes from the Nonprofit

We are a non-profit 501 (c) (3) Catholic organization

Ruling Year


Co-Founder / Chairman of The Board

Fr. Tom Ponzini

Co Principal Officer

Connie Braren

Main Address

5731 Wanakah

Houston, TX 77069 USA


Mission of presence and medical missions to Guatemala





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

We are Sending Out Servants (SOS), a Catholic Lay Mission, non-denominational outreach, serving as a Ministry of Presence among the indigenous Maya in the remote and mountainous Quiché area of Guatemala by visiting their homes and conducting Christian programs for kids, teens and adults. Our primary focus is in developing a long term relationship of mutual trust and respect with the indigenous Maya. SOS is also involved in conducting missions of presence and full Vision Clinics close to where the impoverished indigenous Maya live, providing education on maintaining healthy eyes, assembling and dispensing prescription glasses for distance, astigmatism, bi-focals, reading and sun glasses; counseling and referring both candidates for Cataract surgeries and patients needing medical referrals

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Educational, Medical & Community Development

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of clients served

Population(s) served

Indigenous people,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

People with vision impairments

Related program

Educational, Medical & Community Development

Context notes

people served in both, faith missions and medical missions

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

SOS's sole source of funding is from the generosity of individual donors. SOS administrative costs are less than 5% of donations. Over 95% goes directly to benefit the children, adults and their communities.

Financial support is needed in two areas:
• To help sustain the ongoing work of the SOS organization in its efforts to bring hope to the indigenous Maya in Quiché, Guatemala, for a better quality of life.
• To make concrete improvements in the lives of the Maya through our SOS Assistance Programs. Funds for these ongoing programs have made it possible to provide the materials to build wood-burning stoves, to buy prescription eye glasses, to cover the costs in making cataract surgery available for rural Maya communities, to support medical expenses of Maya people desperate in need of financial resources, to support financially Caritas' Community Development programs and much more...

1. To strengthen and build community within the host country as we help them reach their expressed goals.

2. To promote self-reliance and independence amongst members of the Maya communities in Quiché, Guatemala, by helping them to teach each other and by never doing for them what they are able to do for themselves.

SOS facilitates three to four one to two weeks mission trips a year to Guatemala. It is the liaison for arranging the mission visits with the Guatemalan hosts; it recruits and prepares team members, plans the mission activities, coordinates the mission activities with the in-country leaders, accompanies the teams while on mission, and arranges all transportation and lodging. SOS coordinates/facilitates post mission trips activities by helping returning team members to continue growing from their mission experiences.

1. Members of our board personally meet Maya community leaders and Guatemalan service organizations leaders on a yearly basis to evaluate the impact of our programs and to seeks ways to improve them.

2. At the end of each mission trip, missioners get a complete evaluation document that allows our mission coordinators to evaluate and improve our future missions trips.

SOS Vision Mission Clinics accomplishments: • over 5,500 Maya patients attended • over 2,500 Maya patients received prescription glasses • over 3,000 Maya patients received reading glasses • over 1,500 Maya patients received sunglasses • over 250 Maya patients received cataract surgery Other accomplishments... • sent more than 900 missioners on more than 55 mission visits to Quiché, Guatemala. • donated over 200 computers. • visited more than 8 schools every year in Quiché, Guatemala, supported by the SOS Guardian Angel Educational Fund (GAEF) that provided over $550,000 for scholarships, teacher salaries and educational materials • supported financially an emergency medical fund for people in extreme poverty run by Caritas in Quiché, Guatemala, since 2012. • supported financially the catechism program of the Diocese of Quiché\ since 2012. • supported financially the community work of the Lauritas Sisters in the town of Chinique, Quiché, Guatemala. • and many more...

External Reviews



Sending Out Servants

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
SOS is an organization formed by volunteers where 30% of our volunteers are Hispanics and 2 of our Board members are Hispanics too.