Tsunami Saint – New Yorker Opens Heart & Indonesian Orphanage

New York, NY. After the Tsunami, Orphans International Worldwide worked extensivly in Aceh, Indonesia and the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.

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 The New York Post ran the following story in April 2005:

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By Lukas I. Alpert.

A New York man has raised about $100,000 and opened an orphanages in Tsunami-ravaged Indonesia.

“These kids are the most defenseless people in the world,” Jim Luce said by phone from the Banda Aceh orphanage.   “They are the poorest of the poor, and I felt horrible they were in this position, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help them.”

The orphanage ”” named Rotary House, in honor of the two Rotary Clubs in Northport and Huntington, L.I., that raised the $16,000 lt cost to build ”” formally opened its doors to the first 12 residents on Saturday.

With there being an estimated 100,000 orphans in Aceh province alone, Luce.admits his effort is just a drop in the bucket.

“lf I do 100 percent of what I can do, if it”˜ll help even a little bit, that’s all I can do,” he said, adding that it took only $600 to sponsor an orphan each year.

Luce said he considered his efforts worthwhile because ”” despite the billions of dollars in donations from govemments, aid orgmizacions and individuals ”” few long-term projects had made their way to the hardest hit areas.

As many as 126,000 people were reported killed ln Aceh province, and whole families were wiped out.

“People have brought in water or medicine, but these are only temporary solutions,” Luce said.

“With all the money raised ”” especially ln New York ”” it’s somewhat alarming that you don’t see many long-term programs here.”

He intends to stay for the long haul. His nonprofit interfaith organization, Orphans lntemational Worldwide ”” which he runs out of his Roosevelt Island apartment ”” has just broken ground for a second home, to be named Roosevelt House, in honor of his neighbors who donated the cash for it.

Villagers on the outskirts of Banda Aceh have also agreed to donate a large parcel of land to the project. The goal is to buil enough housing by the end of the summer for 80 children, Luce said.

Orphans Intemational also runs small orphanages in Guyana, Haiti and the Philipplnes and on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Sulawesi.

Luce; a former investment banker who is a descendant of Time Inc. co-founder Henry Luce, said he got the idea for the organization in 1999, afler adopting a son from an Indoneslan orphanage and realizing that he could do more.

The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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