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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Philanthropy is awesome in the Philippines!

Tim Tebow is a great example for us all
I wanted to make a story about my experiences of donating to the Philippines. Not so much to bring attention or credit to my self but to try and communicate the incredible joy one can experience in helping others. It is one of the most empowering things a human can do.  

First of all, it never matters really how much you give. What matters is your heart in giving (widow's mite). Some people give huge amounts to charity like the several billion dollars donated by Bill Gates through his foundation and others give in small ways that will never be known by anyone. But one thing in common the two have and that is they both contribute positively to improving the world we live in.

My first experience with charity was when I was sent to the Philippines for military training back in 1983. I spend a couple of weeks at Clark Air Base. On my very first day there I had befriended a local family who's smiles and hospitality captivated me. In other words I immediately fell in love with the people and culture of the Philippines.  Something that has not left me even after 25 years +.  This family did not have a car and the father had to walk about 5 miles to his job on the base everyday.  So my first donation in the Philippines was my bicycle I had brought with me from my base in Japan. The father used it for many years to get back and forth to work.  I was so happy to have seen that same bicycle back in 2006. They never sold it, rusty as it was they kept it as a way to remember me.

My friends lives were devastated by the eruption
That family and I had written each other over the years and through the terrible Mt.Pinatubo tragedy. They lost most everything since their business was dependent on the military people and after the eruption the base was closed down. This was hard for me because I really cared for them. I tried my best to send them what I could out of my modest military salary.

Over 10 years had passed as life took me out of the military and back to America and to other places. Still my love for the Philippines remained. I never forgot the people or culture. During that period I had come up with a business idea that was promising to be a big hit. The first two years I really didn't make any money and then in 1997 things started to turn around. As I realized the huge blessing that befell me and I wanted to do something to bring meaning to my success. I decided to return to the Philippines in 1998 and give my entire first bonus to the same family I had met 15 years earlier. I really felt bad for them and a little guilty that I had not been able to help them during the Pinitubo eruption.
That was the start of a journey of giving that has brought
me incredible joy and adventure to my life.

This joy of giving helped me to reach higher heights in business giving me energy for my efforts to help the poor in the Philippines. With every business trip and transaction I thought of ways I could help people. It was my passion and purpose.  I believe God blessed me for that because my business really grew by leaps and bounds during that time of my life. The more I helped the poor the more my business grew. 

Getting ready for another day on QVC live TV shopping channel
I remember one time standing on a live T.V. set at the QVC Home Shopping Channel back in 2004. It was just seconds before my live sale of my product would be reaching 90 millions homes via cable. I remember distinctly my thought at that time. I was thinking how many people I could help if I was successful that day. There was a lot on my shoulders. I had to borrow significant sums to afford the inventory for the sale of over 1 million of my space saving storage bags in one day. Failure would have meant going out of business and success would have meant being able to help many Filipino's.

Thank God he saw my heart that day and the sales ended up in a huge success. So many of my bags were sold that day.  Not only did we sell out, we had to take back orders for the additional demand.  The total was something like 1,012,000 bags sold in 24 hours. I had not special schooling or training to learn how to do that. It was so far beyond my ability yet it turned out incredibly! Again, I equate the success to a higher purpose for my life which was fulfilled through giving in the Philippines.

June was a special time of the year for my company because that was the end of our fiscal year and that meant bonus time. I literally lived to give my bonus away in the Philippines each year. Not just give it to some foundation. But physically take it over and do things to help. This led me to many places where I could meet and donate to so many wonderful people. The life lessons learned in donating were priceless, something I could never learn in any school, church or youtube video. Deep spiritual lessons of what it means to love unconditionally.

Tim Tebow knows the joy of giving in the Philippines
Anyone can give from their hearts. It doesn't need to be  $3 million dollars or even $100 dollars. All you need is a willing heart and a dream. The rest will fall into place as life unfolds. I have met many others who are doing the same for the Philippines. People who are quietly contributing to a better future through donations big and small. And every one of them are experiencing a joy and energy that can only come through unconditional giving. A modern day hero of mine is doing exactly that right now. Tim Tebow the Quarterback of the Denver Bronco's is using his heart for the Philippines to empower him to greater success in Football.
Go Tim Go!

You never lose when you help others from your heart. Just don't expect anything back so there is no heart to be broken. When you give of your time or your money just let it go in good faith that like seeds it will one day produce  fruits for a better world. Take joy as you watch lives that you touched improve and in turn they touch others lives. There is no better feeling than to know you were there for someone when they needed you most being an instrument of God's love for the world.

A journey in photos



































































Some of the best years of my life were the times that I was able to help others in the Philippines.
May no credit or praise go to myself for these things. I did not plan myself to be born. I did not put my own heart in me which resulted in these things. I simply obeyed my calling. God used me as an instrument to help specific people in the Philippines at a perfect time in history according to His will.  I pray that others will receive their calling and help alleviate poverty in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. It is awesome. I don't plan on stopping. 

If you were touched by this story. Thank HIM. HE is the reason for all of it.

1 comment:

  1. That was incredible from you guys,..you are perfectly great examples to others...God Bless

    ReplyDelete