As you might have already noticed, this is not your typical online store where products are sold and profits are made. Rather, this store is a way of interactively donating to the Roslin Orphanage – a way of giving you, the donor, the ability to see what is needed, and the ability to choose which item(s) you wish to provide for financially.
The idea for this Virtual Giving store came about as a result of my own experience and frustration in trying to send books to Kupang. In October 2008, after learning of Roslin’s commitment to teach the orphans English, I wanted to help by sending them some of my favorite childrens’ educational books. Although Budi had cautioned me that the books might not ever make it to Kupang, I decided to take my chances. I soon found out just how inefficient my donation was: the price I paid for shipping amounted to almost the same as the cost of the books, and after waiting for three months, only some of the books arrived. There had to be a better way…
Since the most efficient way to donate is to send money for the goods to be purchased locally, this website will hopefully bridge the gap between sending gifts and giving money. Please know that all donations, in whatever form they come, are very much appreciated. What I am hoping for with this website, however, is for donors to experience a closer connection and sense of involvement through their giving. Although each transaction on this website is simply a monetary donation to the Roslin Orphanage, the funds will now be earmarked for the item(s) that you have chosen. In addition to this, since all transactions for this store are charitable donations, this means that you will also receive a US tax receipt for each transaction.
Please bear with me as I get things set up and posted. Be sure to check back often, as new items will be posted regularly. If there are groups who would like to raise funds for a particular item, please contact me via email, and I will be happy to hold the item for your group. If you have any questions or suggestions about anything, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I hope that you will enjoy this experience, and know the positive impact that you are bringing to the lives of those less fortunate.
For those who are wondering, I am only a manager for this online store. All of my time is donated, as well as the expenses for maintaining this website. Only the Roslin Orphanage has access to the PayPal account for this website and all transactions go to the exact same PayPal account that is listed on the Orphanage’s website at www.roslinorphanage.org. If you feel more comfortable donating through the orphanage’s main page, then please do so.
In addition to this online store, I also oversee the "Friends of Roslin Orphanage" group page on Facebook, which I started in October 2008. After Budi was nominated as a CNN Hero, I also started the "Supporters of CNN Hero Captain Budi Soehardi" fan page on Facebook. There are lots of photo albums on the fan page, and the pictures tell quite the story.
I have seen firsthand what a blessing Budi and Peggy are to the orphans and villagers of West Timor. It was an incredible privilege and honor to travel to the orphanage with my family in April 2009, and to be able to return again by myself just a few months later in July. The work that the Soehardis do is extraordinary. I'm looking forward to returning soon for another visit. You can see some pictures from my family's trip here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=117377&id=714602463&l=08909d3cfd
Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support.
About the Owner
"With God's help nothing is impossible".
In 2000, after seeing images of East Timor’s violent independence, Singapore Airlines Captain Budi Soehardi and his wife Peggy felt compelled to use their upcoming leave time to go and provide aid to those in need. Upon their arrival, they decided to focus on West Timor, where they began to care for several abandoned babies. Their intention was merely to stay until things stabilized.
Little did they know the plans that God had in store for them.
Almost ten years later, they now run the Roslin Orphanage. Without looking back, the Soehardis have used their own salary and savings to build and maintain the orphanage. Besides this, they also provide support to over 300 impoverished children in the surrounding areas. It has been a long journey, and they have made tremendous personal and financial sacrifice in order to sustain the orphanage in Kupang.
Peggy, a former flight attendant, now lives at the orphanage for nine months out of the year, and has given up precious time with her three school-aged children at home. She works tirelessly to provide for the needs of those who cannot care for themselves. Although she is able to return to Singapore for a short time, she is always in contact with the orphanage, and will return at a moment's notice if necessary.
Captain Budi, who holds a degree in economics, is an A340-500 pilot for Singapore Airlines, flying to New York and LA every month. For many years, Captain Budi has been actively involved in Rotary, and is currently the President-elect of the Rotary e-club 3310 in Singapore. Over the past several years, he has been involved with such programs as Polio Eradication, the Clean Water Project, the Infant Mortality Project, the Avoidable Blindness Program, the My Wish Program for the terminally ill, and so many others.
The Soehardis have also taken the initiative to offer help when disaster strikes. They personally arranged aid for the victims of the Jogjakarta earthquake, the Myanmar Cyclone, and the Tsunami of 2004. Their compassion knows no boundaries.
On October 1, 2009, CNN named Captain Budi one of their Top Ten Heroes for 2009. In November 2009, he was honored by CNN in a globally televised broadcast. You can view his segment on the link posted below.
Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support.