A Gift That Kept On Giving
Home | Gutsy Leaders | Generous Travelers | A Gift That Kept On Giving
A Gift That Kept On Giving

OAT travelers Jim & Jean Allen find that their donation purchased more than they expected

As experienced travelers, Jim and Jean Allen of Granby, Connecticut, were used to seeing very different living conditions than what we experience in the U.S. But when they traveled to India on OAT's Heart of India adventure, they saw something that startled even them. All the students were standing up.

"The school was nice for India," Jim says. "There was a new bathroom just outside the school and six or eight classrooms. But it bothered me that there were no seats. Everyone stood up all day in class."

He wanted to do something about it, so he contacted Grand Circle Foundation when he returned home and announced that he would like to donate $5,000 toward the purchase of furniture for the school.

According to Mohammed Iliyas, Regional General Manager of South Asia for Grand Circle Corporation, the Allens' gift went a lot further than that. "You will be happy to know that this donation, which was meant only for benches and desks, actually was able to purchase other necessary supplies for the school, as well," he says.

Among the other items purchased were a power back-up unit for classroom lighting, two computers for the computer lab, and 14 ceiling fans for the classrooms.

"I'm very happy to hear it," says Jim upon learning how far his gift had stretched. "I think the school visits are a good idea, because it gives you a grassroots feel for who these people are."

Through their generosity, Jim and Jean showed what kind of people they are, too.

Featured in our February 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.