Baby’s Breath

Plain and uncomplicated but stunning in their lace-like simplicity

Plain and uncomplicated but stunning in their lace-like simplicity

In the field grew all kinds of plants – no particular organization, just plants randomly taking root and thriving, reaching for the sky. Some more established plants stood tall above the tangle of weeds and grass, their flowers dominant under the bright sunlight. How beautiful a sight to behold. Purple, orange, pumpkin, bright yellows, oyster shell white, hot white, even lavender and of course red – myriad of colors. I stood there transfixed soaking in the view, breathing in the subtle perfume and sweet scents wafting all around me.

Cropping up in bulges like a rooster’s comb, out to my far right at the edge of an irrigation ditch or water splash culvert, several layers of tiny flowering plants grew in profusion. The plants themselves were not showy at all. They looked rather plain and common – much like weeds, saw grass and dandelion. In the breeze their spindly branches danced. Their tiny flowers sprouting at the end of long stems looked like tiny popcorn bursts, or white buttons and even tiny white daisies. But upon closer scrutiny the flowers were actually very dainty and fragile like snowflakes.

What’s so special about Baby’s Breath? These plants are definitely related to the dandelions and buttercups – lowly ground creepers largely ignored by nursery growers. Bunched up in a bouquet by themselves, they would look like some white duster contraption – or even maybe a witches’ fly swatter. Yet when tiny Baby’s Breath blossoms surround long-stemmed red roses, the roses seem more prominent – almost ostentatious in their red velvety petals becoming deeper red still.

Such is the way our organization works. We are a non-profit manned and operated by unpaid volunteers – each doing their specialty, keeping the organization humming like a well oiled engine. We have our executive officers – I suppose they would be the long-stemmed regal roses, or exotic blossoms and orchids. And all around them are the support folks – the baby’s breath blossoms in a bouquet, simple, uncomplicated – or the many volunteer workers in the background dedicated to making things work. Ultimately all members of the organization as in a bouquet – be they roses, orchids, ferns, baby’s breath, squash flowers or plain ever green leaves – help our group achieve its mission and vision.


“You must believe…

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Scholars having lunch in San Fernando

“You must believe in a cause to support it.” James Rebosado Olvidares, SAS Class 1951

The conversation went round and round. “All I am asking is for you to help us out,” Jing said.

“Help you with what? I still can’t see why you are helping these kids!” James Olvidares, Class 1951, a retired baker was getting weary, tired and irritable. He believes in self-sufficiency. “You know what you are doing? Handicapping these kids.” He answered his own question. “Listen, if they want to attend SAS high school bad enough they should do something to help themselves. Simple as that,” he continued.

Jing was speechless – but only momentarily. “Mr Olvidares, have you ever been helped by another person in your life? Are you handicapped as a result of the help you received? Please give to the scholarship fund. Help us send these kids to high school at SAS. These kids have nothing. Any amount you wish to give helps.”

Mr Olvidares replied. “Look, I don’t believe in scholarships and all that goody-goody stuff. I attended SAS on my own. Nobody paid for my tuition. My family was poor; we had nothing. I was shoeless until my senior year. I missed meals and I walked to school. I worked for everything I own. Go ask somebody else to help you… somebody who believes in your cause. And oh by the way, what are their parents doing for them?”

Jing knew when to end the conversation. “Well Sir, I tried. Thanks so much for hearing us out and if you ever change your mind, here’s my card. Please give me a call.” She waved goodbye, politely leaving Mr Olvidares.

Her heart throbbed with the hurt caused by the unequivocal rejection. She thought of the scholars. Jing felt Mr Olvidares delivered his frank pronouncements harshly.

In hindsight, not all folks believe in helping others specially those who are in need. These same folks who don’t have charity toward others believe that people are poor because they are lazy and too incompetent to help themselves. They work in absolutes and are hard to convince.

On the other hand there are folks who are decent, caring, and generous. They share with others whatever they have. These folks understand that no one wants poverty as a way of life. Not a single person would miss a meal if they have food to eat. They also believe that it is terrible to waste a brilliant mind. Finally, these generous people believe that Education is Freedom. They believe in SAS Ai’s cause and mission. They support SAS Ai.