Since its inception, ASEA has had at heart the best interests of others. “Early on, the tagline for our flagship product was Advancing Life,” recalls Founder Tyler Norton, “so when we needed a name for our charitable giving initiative, that was the most fitting name—it’s about how we can help advance life in the world.”
ASEA’s Advancing Life Foundation was born in 2015 during Convention that year, and attendees raised nearly $30,000 to donate to relief efforts in Nepal following a devastating earthquake.
“It’s been amazing and humbling to see what people are willing to do,” observed Kim Larsen, Advancing Life Chair.
Associates joined forces with corporate employees and CHOICE Humanitarian for Advancing Life’s first humanitarian mission earlier this year. For five days, the team of 25 volunteers completed nearly a year’s worth of work in La Concepcion, a village of 400 in Central Mexico. Working alongside locals, they built 10 water cisterns, 8 indoor stoves, 8 outdoor ovens, and 5 chicken coops.
“It was more like helping distant relatives than a community that you didn’t know anyone in,” observed Paul Tiara, Triple Diamond Executive and expedition volunteer. “Fundamentally, we are all brothers and sisters, and when we lock arms together and contribute to helping improve the lives of others, the entire world can become our extended family.”
At our 2016 convention, ASEA wrapped its arms around the extended world family again with a goal of raising $20,000 for earthquake relief in Ecuador. We raised more than $37,000, including the $10,000 ASEA corporate threw in to match the first $10,000 from associates. The initial $20,000 went directly to earthquake relief. The excess is going toward Advancing Life’s next project: building a vocational school in Cotacachi, Ecuador.
“I’m so impressed with our associates and their generous donations,” said Kim.
ASEA’s goal for the vocational school is to raise a total of $50,000 by the end of 2016. We’re coming in ahead of schedule. By the time June was out, just six weeks post-convention, donations had totaled $32,926.
“If we continue on this pace,” Kim concluded, “we will exceed our goal and be able to do more for this area in a shorter period of time. Small actions combined together really do bring about change in the world!”
The expedition to Cotacachi to begin construction on the vocational school is set for July 22-29, 2017.
Although this is a lush, fertile zone where agriculture flourishes, 87 percent of the population lives in poverty, and access to education is a challenge. The innovative vocational and training center that Advancing Life volunteers will build with the support of CHOICE Humanitarian will provide opportunity. It will be a place where youth and underemployed adults can live, study, and gain a nationally certified vocational certificate in masonry, carpentry, cooking, or tourism, helping to elevate opportunities for more than 1,500 families.
In addition to large expeditions and fundraising, the Advancing Life Foundation embraces one of Tyler Norton’s personal mottos: Have an Impact, Make a Difference, with services days planned throughout the year that coincides with Envision Conferences.
We welcome all to share the vision and do what they can to have an impact and make a difference.