I've been donating to the Center since 2006 and have been to the Center 5 times. It has been the best experience of my life. John took us to visit the schools and homes the children came from. He has saved these children from deplorable conditions and given them a great chance at a new life. The Center and staff are the best. The children love having us there and we love showering with our love. I'm planning on going again this year, and can't wait to see them all
again. Please keep donating to this great Charity.
I was blessed enough to visit the Lingap Center for a week in late May/early June and the experience exceeded my expectations. John Drake spoke at our church 3 years ago and my wife and I have been Place at the Table contributors since then. We were so impressed with the approach to operating the Center, but most of all, the success that the Center has had with children who really had no hope at all. Seeing the squatter villages where several of the children used to live and the Center itself first hand gave me a great appreciation for the truly miraculous efforts of the Lingap manager and staff and the far reaching impact that the Lingap Center has on the surrounding community, especially the schools and a few of the children's families that the Lingap staff provided a small bag of food to, gave me a great appreciation for what is being accomplished. As John likes to quote, "Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God." In this instance though, while I saw many things in the squatter villages that must break the heart of God, what I was most touched by is that my heart is rejoicing at the Lingap Center and it's kids for God's heart must also be rejoicing. We will continue to be strong supporters of the Lingap Childrens Foundation and have already started encouraging others to join us.
Hi this is Dave in Tucson Arizona. I am extremely blessed to be married to an alumni of Lingap Children's Foundation. I met Aileen Bantolinao when she was completing an internship as part of her college degree from University of San Carlos. Aileen was working at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu and I was very impressed with her demeanor and personality and realized very quickly that there was something very special that set her apart from the other employees. After her internship was completed we started dating and I took the time to find out that she was raised from age 8 at the Lingap Children's Center and was now completing her college degree in Tourism Management. This climate of success was created by the Lingap Children's Center under the guidance of John Drake. It is an age old axiom that the values a child learns at an early age are what sets their life time agenda. In Aileen's case it is obvious that the values instilled by her Mother before her passing and the real world, work ethic and personal traits of human respect and pride in self and accomplishment from the Lingap Center are the heart of what sets her apart and makes her a joy to be around. She is appreciated by all who know her. Aileen enjoys life and is obviously, very appreciative of her opportunities and takes every opportunity to help others in subtle ways.. always giving a "hand up" and not a hand out. From the beginning of our relationship and constantly reinforced, is my understanding of just how irreplaceable the upbringing at Lingap is to Aileen and hundreds of other young people who would NEVER have the opportunity to achieve without the Lingap Children's Center. I am very proud to start our continuing donations to Lingap tonight and will continue to do so in the years to come.
After hearing John Drake speak, our family was immediately touched by this charity and the children's situations. After hearing more about the Lingap Center we decided to help with donations, and we are very glad that we have. This charity is a not only saving children from the poor streets of the Philippines, but staging them for a successful life by not only looking after their needs to be feed and clothed, but the Lingap center is amazingly focused on their educational and mental well being of all the children. The team there has also been apart of so many miracles it would be to hard to list them all. If anyone would like to read more about John Drake and the wonderful miracles, he offers his story in a free ebook: http://www.lingapcenter.org/pdf/GodsCall.pdf . This is a real life story of the Lingap Center and the children. It is a story that will touch your heart to what a true miracle that the Lingap Center is.
John Drake spoke at a mission in my parish several years ago and was inspirational. I made a one-time donation but decided two years ago to donate monthly. I know the foundation is saving and improving the lives of many children and am happy that all of my donation goes directly to support the children. I have talked with John personally and his letters are very informative.
What a beautiful project - helping children who would otherwise be hopeless in a hostile environment for little children. Best of all, 100% of donations go directly to the benefit of these little children.
If I only could choose one charity organization to contribute to, The Lingap Center would be it! What this group does is truly a miracle. The Lingap Center is an amazing agent of change in the Philippines! The best part ... 100% of your donation goes directly to the children.
I came across the Lingap Center more than four years ago when I was looking for a good organization to volunteer for. Over time, I have gotten to know John Drake and his story; it is truly inspirational.
I am Filipino, but was born in Canada in the early seventies. I used to watch the Care International commercials that would run on TV as a young child. I told myself that when I am able that I wanted to give to children in poverty.
I decided to volunteer for the Lingap Center because of John Drake, his principles, and wise use of the money donated. Today, I am now at a point financially that I can become a "Place at the Table" monthly sponsor. So glad I am finally able to do this.
It truly is a little girl's dream come true.
Through a mutual friend from Michigan, I learned of John Drake and the Lingap Foundation last year. I was moved by what I learned from my friends and John himself that I joined immediately as a sponsor. My granddaughter read a Lingap flyer on my desk and pledged her Confirmation Mitzbah to Lingap. She, too was touched by the Lingap narrative. Three weeks ago, I visited Lingap with my grandson and son along with my sister. Like those who have reported on their visit to the center, we were moved and overwhelmed. My sister and I were born and raised in the Philippines and have settled in the US. We have been exposed to poverty and its consequences especially to innocent children. To see these children beaming with joy, contentment, appreciation and happiness at meeting us, total strangers, was too much to take in the instant we were in the courtyard. The children came up and hugged each of us and brought us indoors. From this chaos of welcoming gleeful souls, a little boy of 3 or 4 years of age, clung to my leg and would not let go until I picked him up. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and cuddled his little head on my shoulder. All the others seemed like they wanted to do the same. I could not tell whether he claimed me, or, I claimed him. But, we were one for a long time... ! A counselor then whispered to me that they had just taken him in a couple of weeks back. His parents are both in jail. He was a severely abused child ! Now, all he knew was to seek love and give love !
What I saw in the eyes of all of these souls, and felt in each of their embraces, is the one singularly most important gift Mr. John Drake gave them. And that is the gift of HOPE ! For the first time in their lives these once abandoned, abused and neglected children have hope ! Hope that they will see the dawn of another day. An even better day, full of promise and a limitless horizon that has been gifted to them by John and Lingap.
There is no doubt in my mind about this ! The Alumni/Alumnae of this magnificent program are proof of this magnificent work. Lingap needs our support. They need funds and not goods. Well meaning folks have donated instruments, books, equipment that often lie dormant and preserved in closets. These are of no immediate use to the children and the center. What they need are funds, dollars, recurring donations that can be relied upon to enable reliable long term budgeting and planning. I have upped my sponsorship and have encouraged friends and relations to support this tremendous undertaking. I will also include Lingap in my will.
It is the very least I can do. I can no longer travel back to the Philippines readily. I am 76 and aging each day.
My visit to Lingap will bolster my spirits through my remaining years. Those children need our love and dedication. God bless you, Mr. John Drake ! God has a special place for folks like you !
Fidel Exconde MD
I just returned from a trip with John and Judy Drake to visit the Lingap Center. I was amazed at how clean and well kept the facility was. The staff, serving the children, were compassionate and caring. The educational opportunities available to the kids were miraculous. Most importantly, the children were loving, happy and thankful. They understood the significance of God's love, shown to them by the miracle of strangers, who without knowing them, offer them the opportunity of hope and a future. Please realize that due to the generosity of many and great sacrifice by a few, 100% of donations benefit the children directly.