Jim Luce pursues goodness. He’s done it for 20 years now. His quest, spurred by a serendipitous moment, completes a circle and begins a second.
Reporting by David Stone / Photos courtesy of Orphans International Worldwide/The Stewardship Report
The state of mainstream media is such that a man who saves or uplifts hundreds of lives gets nowhere near the attention of another who takes one. Jim Luce is one of our widely ignored heroes, even in his own hometown, but we’re out to change that.
Last we checked, Jim Luce reported that a fire ravaged an orphanage in Indonesia. But it wasn’t just any orphanage. It’s where his life — and, consequently, those of countless others — changed forever in 1995.
Not only was this orphanage Mathew’s home for most of his first year, Luce’s foundation, Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW), supported it ever since.
The children were safe, but they were now homeless. Acting fast, fundraising geared up, and Mathew, now a young man following Dad’s footsteps, volunteered to oversee rebuilding.
Both Jim and Mathew Luce call little known Roosevelt Island in New York City “home.”
More Good News for Roosevelt Island’s Neediest: Momo Warms Hearts at Coler
Pursuing Goodness, Jim Luce Completes A Circle
Shortly thereafter, OIWW completed the circle by the end of 2109, anticipating its 20th Anniversary in February, 2020. In spite of the fire, the remaining months of the year bubbled with inspiration, discovery and giving.
Luce and Dr. Kazuko left the Dalai Lama, heading to Manjushree Orphanage for Tibetan Children in Tawang, India. The orphanage is high in the Himalayas, on the Chinese Border.
Jim says he’s “…proud that Orphans International Worldwide played a
small role in Dr. Kazuko’s grand vision.”
Never more shocked…
In the Stewardship Report in November, Luce wrote, “Never in two decades of helping humanity have I been more shocked than I was this week. On a tour of an important site, I was directed to notice a sign on the side of the road. It was a sign that my life work has moved to the next level…
But the shock required two steps…
Luce was in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India to visit the The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation India, Inc., founded by friends and named after his father.
“But what made my mouth drop open, my heart skip a beat, a feeling of incredulousness, a pinch-me-this-can’t-be happening moment was when we stopped along a dirt road returning from the school at an enormous banyan tree – one which Lord Buddha sat under 2,500 years ago. Serene. Cool in the shade. Inspirational.”Jim Luce
The Stewardship Report
“We then crossed the street and walked a few feet down the road. Look in the bushes, I was instructed. This is what I saw!”
“Our Luce Leadership Centre in India will be in the shadow of the Saraswati banyan tree. I received the shock of a lifetime and my dream has become fulfilled under Lord Buddha’s tree.”
Pursuing goodness is not new to Jim Luce…
But Jim Luce’s pursuit of goodness always harks back to the beginning.
The Work Goes On
In 2020, Orphans International Worldwide starts its second decade, and the Lotus Free School opens, serving once “untouchable” children in India.
Alert the media! You never know. Someone might be listening…