The Story of My Rock
April 1, 2022
Picture of Bill Taylor

Today I want to tell you a story. It’s a story about a rock. Yep. A rock. Please bear with me.

Many years ago, way back in 2005, Pat and I had our first-ever experience visiting an orphanage in Southeast Asia. Needless to say, we were stunned by the massive needs we saw.

Shortly after that came my birthday — or maybe it was Father’s Day -– can’t remember for sure. But I absolutely do remember what was in the brightly wrapped package Pat gave me that day.

It was a rock!

Now this wasn’t any ordinary rock. This rock changed my life! It’s just a relatively plain, flat, river-rock about 4” (10 cm.) by 3” (8 cm.) The important part is the message inscribed on that rock. Today it sits front and center on my desk.

I see it every day.
It inspires me every day.

Those words hit me like a lightning bolt. My immediate reaction was: “Heck (or another word of similar ilk) 😀 I’m not even doing half of what I could be doing. Right then . . . at that very moment . . . I knew that it was time for me to step up and take responsibility for my membership in the Lucky Gene Club.

Soon thereafter, the SE Asia Foundation began to take shape. Slowly, with the help and trust of a few of our friends we began our work. Our mission then was to educate some girls. Today we express it as “Eliminate Poverty by Providing for the Education and Wellbeing of Girls and Women in Southeast Asia.”

That’s our focus.
That’s where we dedicate our energy.
That’s where we direct our funding.
That’s where we provide our training and coaching.

Thanks to the involvement of our many friends and supporters we have grown year by year. Last year — even in the face of all the devastating Covid related challenges — we made a meaningful difference for marginalized villagers in Cambodia and northern Thailand. We made almost 80 grants to 30 grass-roots, locally-based partner organizations. That provided a lot of Covid-related food assistance, kept education going for the kids, and included 26 university scholarships, most of them for all four years. All-in-all we impacted over 20,000 lives. in short, a lot of good things happened.

One more thing. I’m really happy the world is beginning to open up, and I’m finally able to travel again after a lockdown of more than two years. I’ll be departing for Cambodia on April 10th so I can visit and spend a month working with all of our wonderful partners there. You’ll have a report on all that shortly after I return.

So, I’ll end this brief newsletter with a couple of
questions. Just a couple.

  • Are you doing all the good that you can do?
  • Are you doing all the good you want to do?

If your answers are “yes”, we salute you.
You are a champion in our eyes.

Circle of Hope logo

If however, your response is a “no”, we can help with that. For example, you could join our Circle of Hope and do a bit of good every single month. Consistency like that really adds up, you know.

Or, as another possibility, you could look at our current Funding Opportunities posted on our website.
Perhaps you’ll see something there that will call you to action.

Whatever your philanthropic goals for Southeast Asia might be, we can partner with you to achieve those goals – all the while assuring you that every single penny of your donation will go directly to the causes you select for support.
Nothing from your donation will ever be used for administration, overhead, or fundraising.
We cover those costs separately.

Life is Good — at least for some of us it is.
Others need a bit of help . . . and together . . .
we can provide exactly that.

P. S. Our 501(c)(3) Foundation is fully registered with Benevity This highly respected B-Corp helps hundreds of employers (like Microsoft, Starbucks, and Google) manage their employee giving programs. Many of those same employers also match their employee donations, often at 100%. So you might want to check with your company’s HR department to see if they participate with Benevity, or match employee donations in some other way. It’s a nice opportunity to double the impact of your generosity.