The seed was planted. So where's the
Music took me where I needed to go. After putting
Give and Live together in the USA, I came back to Thailand with deep but
nebulous dreams for its direction. Help was required in countless areas and
many organizations were indeed helping. I didn't want to recreate the wheel.
Constantly I ran into the devastation HIV/AIDS creates
for the victims' families left behind. This issue
inspired new songs, which I performed at a couple benefits and eventually
met Frank and Becky of the Foundation for
the Education of Rural Children (FERC).
A match made in heaven...we even saw it!
At our first meeting, I learned how FERC provides
educational materials, general living supplies and
scholarships for rural kids, and works together with the Netherlands-based
Samsara Foundation, which
actually builds the schools. An amiable, efficient, symbiotic relationship.
I had the concept of taking an
educational, entertaining, musical concert to the kids, the hill tribes, the folks that need to hear it
the most. But how do I start, where do I go, who translates, what, when,
why? FERC has helped build the schools; they have a network;
they need this message as part of their vision. As our vision together
became clearer, we noticed a stunning rainbow in the afternoon sky. We all
raced out on the balcony, 20 stories high, and "it looks like the end of the
rainbow is in that field across the street." "No, it curves across those
buildings and through the trees." [Unison gasp] "The rainbow is a
circle! An entire, perfect circle!" I had never seen one, nor did I even
know it existed. (I was too close to get a photo. You can't back up a half
mile when you're 20 stories up.)
These people give and live and move.
The next meeting: they ask me to join
their board, we planned a benefit - FERC's Give and
Live Benefits. When? 30 October. Who benefits? Chairman Marc says, "Children's Garden needs
help. Let's go visit them." (These people don't just sit around, talk
and dream. Decisions are made and then you talk while you're moving toward
your goal.) During our visit, when the children were singing to us and I
could see them on stage at the benefit and I could understand what we will
give to them and them to us, tears filled my eyes. There was no separation
between the dream I had for Give and Live and the reality of that moment.
It's time for tax-exempt
Our official application for tax-exempt
status will be submitted in July and we should get our ruling within a few
months. There's no salaries, no conflict of interest, no gaming and a clear
set of goals, so we feel confident we'll be granted the tax-exempt status.
Donations made after the application date will qualify for personal tax
deduction once the application has been submitted.
There are many projects in the works which will be
propelled by this classification, allowing folks to deduct their donations
from their taxes. Give and Live is sprouting new wings with an expanded
board of directors and a variety of new projects. Join us for the journey!
"To love means to live....
just give all you can
if you really want to live."
(January 2004) These are my father’s words. A very festive man, his two favorite words were
“TA-DA” and he’s enthusiastically proclaiming them in the photo to
the upper right. Kenny Jones wasn’t an official philanthropist but he was definitely a serious giver. When
you were with him, whatever he had, you had. A loving tribute to him and his
indomitable spirit, Give and Live leaps enthusiastically into 2004.
was particularly gruesome for me, but I grew some. (Click
here for the blow by blow.) The universe spoke succinctly, “Go
in another direction. Now.” So I packed all my things away and took my self to
the other side of the world. After a couple of weeks in China, two choice months in Vietnam and six more in Thailand, the direction became clearer. Live. Give.
Upon completion of a certification course for TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in Chiangmai, Thailand, I wanted to volunteer and hone my new skills. As I considered the options, it became apparent there was more to be done. Teach in a hill tribe village? There’s no school! Why not build one? Four walls, a roof, a white board and some
books -- you’ve got
a school. And a dollar goes a loooonnnng way in Asia. Consider the average per capita income in Vietnam: $365. One dollar a day. For a whole family.
Give and Live came to life in November of 2003. Incorporation in Minnesota completed, board of directors selected, logo designed, IRS tax-exempt status on the horizon. Soon we’ll need your help to turn the dreams into reality. To those of you who have already offered your support: We’ll be in touch soon. Let us find projects worthy of your investments. We want you to know where your money will go.
In 2003 I found a hundred Eye of Shiva shells on the shores of Thailand’s islands. I love the infinite spiral outward from one simple starting point. During my life I’ve found a thousand four-leaf clovers and shared the luck by giving away most of them. At a sweet Karen village near Mae Hong Son, there were only four-leaf clovers. A good sign. I left them there for their good luck. Now I’d like to find a few good people...some who love to give, some who need to receive...and all who want to really live.
CEO / Chair / Human Being
(Not necessarily in that order)