ASEA Platinum Executives Hugh and Anne Jenings knew firsthand the effects of poverty and the need to do something about it because they had lived in Mexico, El Salvador, and Panama for years before joining the Advancing Life Foundation for its first service expedition.
“We witnessed poverty on an up-close-and-personal-basis so when we heard about the expedition, joining was an easy decision,” says Anne. “As we learned more about Advancing Life Foundation, we were impressed that 100% of donations go to support the people helped because all the work and administrative support are done through volunteer service.”
The Beginning of a Service Journey
The first year Anne and Hugh joined the expedition to Mexico, they helped build ovens, stoves, chicken coops, and water cisterns in just five days. When the couple returned home, they knew that they had begun a very special journey with the foundation and decided to continue to help fund and participate in as many expeditions as possible.
In Ecuador, they helped erect the exterior walls by digging ditches, filling them with rocks, and securing rebar before pouring cement to support the bricks of the new vocational school. The next year at the site, they helped mix more cement, mortar bricks, and secure the walls. And in the third year, they were happy to help install the foundation of a second building for the vocational school by digging holes and ditches and securing columns for the corners of the structure.
Many Hands, Many Hearts
“The most fun part of an expedition is not only getting to know the volunteers on the trip with you but knowing the families who hosted us and the people from the village we worked with, side-by-side,” says Anne, “It has been a joy to see the continued progress on the school in Ecuador and to hear about the students who at attending and know we helped make it possible.”
Anne says that the foundation is changing lives. She has heard from so many others about the impact the expeditions are making, with every story from Ecuador and Cambodia, with every broadcast of the efforts with OUR, and other fundraising and relief efforts. Seeing the impact of these contributions has inspired Anne and her ASEA team.
“The experience never leaves you,” says Anne. “If you decide to go on an expedition, be prepared to receive far more than you give the ones you serve and know that even the smallest gift has a monstrous impact. You will come home from an expedition with a full heart knowing you made a difference.”