World Wide Initiatives
A Class Act: Jeannie Ling honors her parents’ memory by donating to schools
Back in 2013, Jeannie Ling of Long Beach, California, decided to “tag along” with a cousin who was embarking on O.A.T.’s The Wilderness Beyond: Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & the Chilean Fjords adventure. She enjoyed the trip so much, she has taken six O.A.T. adventures since.
One of the highlights of the trip for her was the visit to a local school. “I was so impressed with the children, they were so enthusiastic,” she recalls. “I just fell in love with O.A.T.” During the school visits on her subsequent trips, she has continued to be touched by the children’s passion for learning—even when they come to school without shoes or lack books and computers.
Jeannie’s parents immigrated to America from Malaysia, and “at home, we were always told how important education was,” she says. “So, I wanted to improve the situation for them and provide them with whatever the school needed.”
In all, Jeannie has donated $120,000 to the Foundation. Her generosity has supported the construction of a library at St. Mary’s primary school in Zimbabwe, the renovation of dormitories at Khatgal school in Mongolia, the renovation of kitchen and bathrooms at Escuela Rural Sol del Pacifico in Chile, and the construction of classrooms at Adarsh Sen Secondary school in India. Each time, she asked first where the greatest need was at the school and then targeted that need with her gift.
Most recently, she made a donation despite taking a year off from travel. She simply called the Foundation and asked where it would do the most good. Her donation supported the construction of a computer lab at Ramachen primary school in Bhutan.
Jeannie appreciates the fact that 100% of her donations go to the schools, without administrative fees. “I’m donating for the children,” she says. “I’m just hoping it will help give them a head start in their future.”