Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tabitha USA

Heather, your question about our foundation "outs" me in a way, but in a good way I guess. I have always maintained somewhat of an anonymous stance on my blog, but I have never said anything I would be ashamed of or feel does not represent me, so I guess I am going to out my identity in a way.

Our 2 oldest children were born in Cambodia and we had a year-long struggle to bring them home through a rather politically tumultuous time regarding Cambodian adoptions. I was very outspoken about this situation and the year gave me time to fall in love with the country and realize my responsibility as an adoptive parent to not just take these children in need, but to open my eyes to ALL of those in need. I learned a lot during that year, and of course even more since then. I wanted to support an organization that was truly helping people to help themselves, not giving a hand out, rather a hand up. We found these qualities and a spitfire of a director through the Tabitha Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Shortly after arriving back home from adopting our children, I emailed the director and asked her why there was not a Tabitha USA as there were organizations in Canada, Australia and the UK. Her reply will never be forgotten by me, "Because no one has ever asked." Well, that was the voice of God smacking me in the face and telling me to get off my duff and make a difference if I could.

I bought books, researched the internet and learned truly how to start a not-for-profit (as a dummy). I have a biology undergrad and a master's degree in clinical psychology - I have never in my life taken a business course! But, many stressful months after I began, we had our not-for-profit status and we were off and running. We became Tabitha USA at that point.

Since I am "out" now, I will talk more frequently and fervently about Tabitha USA as it is a passion of mine. It is all-consuming, exhausting and ever so rewarding all at the same time. We are in our 4th year of operations and have helped raise over $300,000.00 so far to help the people of Cambodia through housebuilding, well digging, tuition payments, cow purchases, bicycle purchases, seed purchases, and on and on. You can find a list of options through our website by clicking on the community development tab at the top.

I thought I would check on YouTube to see if I found anything and by golly I did. This video was made by some volunteers through Tabitha Australia so while the contact information at the end is not the same, it gives you an idea of how housebuilding trips go (and this is just one part of what our organization does). We have had the fortune of actively participating in 2 such builds and are planning our 3rd for next year. Suffice it to say, once you go and experience an adventure like this, you are forever changed for the better.

Thanks to Mark from Tabitha Australia for the video!

This one is cool too and a bit of an "ad" for a trip upcoming next year. It is pretty cool as well. As a global foundation, it is nice that we can use the talents and ideas of everyone to work towards the improvement of so many lives in Cambodia.


1 comment:

Heather said...

I have been wondering. You're an inspiring woman, all these things in your life & you just keep going do more good stuff.
Heather BT
PS please email me when I can order some dice toys!