BENEFITING: AFRICAN SOUL AMERICAN HEART
The Goal and Purpose:
To continue the legacy of John Emerson Foss (Jef) by raising $10,000 for African Soul, American Heart (ASAH). These funds will enable his wife, Keiko, his son, Rygo, and his daughter and son-in-law, Roshan and Korbin Anglin, to further his vision for the design and development of the ASAH Boarding School for Orphaned Girls in Duk County, South Sudan.
You can help us realize his dream.
My father was a champion at giving love to his family, his community, and to those in need. On April 10, at the young age of 61, he passed away while resting peacefully in his favorite rocking chair. His family and friends and people across this country and throughout the world are mourning the loss of this exceptional man.
Jef was a member of the board of ASAH from its inception as a nonprofit foundation. He used his talents and training as an architect to design the site and buildings at the ASAH school, located in one of the most remote and underserved areas of the world. To do this, he traveled there three times over the past few years, adapting his plans to accommodate the limited choices of materials, the harsh climate, the low skill level of the workers while preserve the beauty and aesthetics of the natural site.
Jef and Keiko had intended to return to South Sudan on May 17, 2013, to oversee the construction of his recently designed kitchen and dining room complex. The day before he died, he signed the application forms for his South Sudan visa. This was to be Keiko's first visit, fulfilling one of her life's dreams to serve in Africa at her husband's side.
The night my father passed, my mom was with me in New York City. She made a phone call to Deb Dawson, the president and founder of ASAH, informing her of the news and told her that the trip had to be cancelled. Hearing this, I turned to her and said, “No, it doesn't have to be cancelled.”
I felt his legacy fall on my shoulders, demanding to be fulfilled. His spirit agreed.
To learn more about the character, dignity, and love my father modeled for his family and those who encountered him in all facets of life, follow the link to the obituary and testimonies of those who knew him. Also included is a funny and charming three-minute video he made for me and my sister Roshan only 10 months before his passing.
Please, please click ASAH to visit their website, view the videos, and learn more. On April 20th, I attended a luncheon sponsored by ASAH. Though I already knew that ASAH's mission to educate orphaned girls was exceptional, I was more than impressed with how much the ASAH team has accomplished in a few short years! I'm very excited to serve this cause that was so important to my father.
ASAH's mission is to PROTECT, EDUCATE, and EMPOWER 50 orphaned girls in South Sudan through primary school, secondary school, and beyond. ASAH PROTECTS our students from forced marriage at puberty which may save their lives. In South Sudan, a baby girl born today is more likely to die in childbirth than to graduate from primary school. ASAH EDUCATES our girls in school subjects and practical life skills like gardening and sewing and EMPOWERS them to be leaders and to give back to their communities.
Top 10 Reasons to Donate
- You will make a difference in the lives of orphaned girls who without ASAH would face a future of unrelenting poverty.
- You will PROTECT the ASAH students from forced marriage
- You will EDUCATE them in school subjects and practical life skills
- You will EMPOWER them to be leaders and give back to their communities.
- ASAH is lean - your donations are used directly for the cause.
- The leadership of ASAH is second to none under the vision and leadership of Deb Dawson.
- ASAH is a fantastic organization with momentum building to make some real change (again, watch the videos).
- You will enable a wife to fulfill her dream of providing service in Africa.
- You will help his son ensure his father's legacy continues.
- And - the # 1 reason - Donating to ASAH will make you feel good.
But There's More
I know, I know. . . . you don't expect anything in return. However, we understand and appreciate how hard you and your loved ones work for what you have, and our family wants to personally thank every single person who helps our cause. So, in addition to fact that your contributions are going to an IRS 501(c)(3) non profit and are tax deductible (with the disclaimer that tax deductibility is in accordance with IRS rules and regulations), here is the GAME PLAN:
ANY DONATION: you will receive a personal handwritten thank you note from Jef's family.
$25 - $49: We will send you Jef's music CD. Jef was a talented musician and songwriter. Think graceful folk music with encouraging messages - plus the above.
$50 - $99: ASAH photo greeting cards (think gallery photos from Deb Dawson's photo exhibition, not photos taken from my IPhone) - plus all of the above.
$100 - $499: African Soul, American Heart DVD - ASAH's award-winning documentary and a copy of From Africa to America: The Story of a Lost Boy of Sudan, a memoir by Joseph Akol Makeer, the Fargo, North Dakota Lost Boy of Sudan who inspired the ASAH mission - plus all of the above.
$500 +: Your name engraved on a plate for a mahogany bench to be built by a local Sudanese craftsman and placed under Jef's favorite shade tree at the ASAH School for Girls - plus all of the above.