Saturday, May 26, 2007


I have fought in two wars. I have jumped from airplanes and climbed mountains. I have faced poisonous snakes and vicious jungle animals. The other day a young Filipina almost made me cry.

I came back to my apartment with an arm load of books. A little girl who works in nearby business asked me if she might borrow a book to read. I told her rather than loan her a book, I would take her to Hypermart and let her pick out her own books.

I fully expected her to select romance novels or some other escapist entertainment reading. I was shocked to see her pick out huge school books. These massive tomes were on geology, physics and math. It became obvious she was desperately trying to educate herself. The vision of her studying these huge books in a vain attempt to change her fate still moves me.

I am currently putting six people through school. Seven if you count my wife. This is not much; I know others who are doing much more. I know three Americans who are paying the tuition on twenty-three students. They are not the only ones.

The city of Dumaguete has a program to educate almost two hundred “street” children. They want to give these children a chance to break the yoke of poverty. In addition to an education the city wants them to get at least one good meal each day. Unless these children are properly nourished they can never reach their full potential.

As with most government projects, they are short of funds. The children need uniforms, books and supplies as well as food. Seeing the need, one of the nicest ladies I know has stepped forward. Negros Chronicles own “Mam Le Le”. She is, as always, hard at work trying to gather support to fill the need. A veteran of Dumaguete’s Habitat for Humanity, she knows that a hand up is better than a hand out.

She is my “EVERYDAY HERO”.

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