We Thank Our Donors


Cely Bilaoen Bautista SAS Class 1958

Cely Bilaoen Bautista SAS Class 1958

Mrs Celestina Bilaoen Bautista (left) – we call her “Cely” – supports our mission to help bright kids from poor families finish high school with financial aid. She staunchly believes that education is freedom.

She’s a retired registered nurse (RN), having worked in the Bronx hospitals of New York city for many years. Earlier in her life before finishing college and earning her Nursing degree, she attended and graduated from St Augustine School in Tagudin, province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Cely is a member of the famous SAS Class of 1958.

Never one to forget her humble beginnings, Cely is no stranger to hard work and self-reliance. She remembers the goodwill of others bestowed upon her specially when she was first starting her Nursing career. Her success story is our success story. She loves these disadvantaged kids. She backs her hope for their success with her continued support and donations to the high school fund.

Thank you Cely and may God bless you always.

A Living Legacy


St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

St Augustine School Girls Department Circa 1958

Founded in 1910, St Augustine School (SAS) started out as a mission school erected and run by the Belgian nuns and priests (CICM) who came to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines to help spread the Good News. A short history of the school may be found at the SAS Ai WIKI. The last 103 years has seen the steady ascent of SAS as the premier private school of Ilocos Sur province. SAS Alumni work, live, set up private practice as doctors, engineers, certified public accountants, registered nurses, and do entrepreneurial commerce internationally.

Today’s global economy makes the job market keen and competitive. We have bright, promising and highly motivated kids in the community who come from very disadvantaged families and thus are financially unable to attend SAS high school.

It is so that these kids may get an opportunity to finish high school at SAS that our non-profit organization SAS Ai dedicates and commits its efforts. We solely rely on public financial support. To this end we humbly ask you to please generously donate to the scholarship fund. This is the only way we can fund these kids’ high school education.

We believe Education is Freedom. These children have known nothing but poverty, hunger, and even hopelessness throughout their lives. But they are the future. Investing in their high school education makes possible the ushering in of a living legacy – the next generation of teachers, scientists, doctors, engineers, civic leaders, clerics, fathers and mothers raising healthy families, and highly competitive overseas workers.

This holiday season, we ask you to please consider making your charitable contribution count. Invest in these kids. Help make their dreams come true. Give them an opportunity to finish high school. A $50 dollar tax deductible donation can help send a student for one month of schooling with the funding spread to cover tuition, books, school supplies, and school uniforms. You can even open a monthly allotment using your VISA, MASTER CARD, or DISCOVER card. Any amount you want to donate is truly appreciated and will help tremendously.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Price of Compassion


Dining Room

Faceless in a crowd they shine in their own way when it comes to generosity

You listen to the small talk. “Good soup! Wonder what kind of beans they use?”

These folks came to join in the fellowship after the Sunday Mass. Mostly retired, they live on fixed income, volunteering at the church most days of the week. They were teachers, dental assistants, medics, nurses, librarians, cooks, accountants, and factory workers – some in management, some in the field and mostly individual contributors. At one time they excelled in their areas of ability.

Immersed in simpler living, their casual clothes and no-nonsense frugality puts them in a class of their own. Their generosity and compassion shine brighter than the sun. Would you believe these folks enthusiastically give to the SAS Ai scholarship fund to help these bright kids who are financially poor get a good high school education?

They collectively dismiss the myth that generosity resides only in the wealthier section of the community and that charitable works solely belong to the rich. Donors to our cause believe education is freedom. They prove their point by donating out of their need to the scholarship fund.

“The children must take flight. Education propels them to reach greater heights,” said Mary, a retired missionary school teacher and one time principal. How right on target. How important and relevant the sentiments and beliefs of our donors!

And we are eternally grateful. Like our donors – like Mary, we too believe education is freedom!

The Definition of Poor


Kitchen

A kitchen in its most basic configuration

Monsoon season just hit. It’s been raining day and night for about three days now. No let up.

The family’s been preparing food in this makeshift kitchen. No sidewalls. Not even a decent roof. The fire in the stove is hard to keep ablaze. It flickers with every gust of rain-soaked wind blowing by. But, this is what this family can afford.

Money is hard to come by. This family’s annual gross income from all sources is less than P50,000 Philippine pesos…. a year’s income. Their main house is a one room enclosure made of hollow blocks with mud floors. They sleep on buri mats woven from dried palm fronds. No running water. No electricity. Just a kerosene lantern.

Both husband and wife farm an acre of land for a rich person who lives in town. The sweet potatoes turned out okay but the corn crop was not very good this year. There wasn’t much to divide between owner and  tenant farmer. This means this family’s going to have to make some adjustments to their meals, say, just eat two meals a day – if that.

The downpour turns the rice fields into ponds. Frogs, catfish, tilapia and mudfish abound and this is good for the family. It adds to the staple. The father is very entrepreneurial. He has to for him and his family to survive. He catches frogs and whatever fish swims into his traps and sells the ones they cannot eat in the public market. Muscular frogs and red-eyed mudfish can fetch a handsome price.

For the husband and wife, it’s once again time to be preparing the rice seedling plots. Life goes on for this family.

They have one child – a daughter who has shown promise in her earlier school work. This young girl shows ambition. A quick learner she maintained good grades in elementary school. She applied for scholarship assistance from SAS Ai, Inc. and was accepted. She is now a junior in high school. Next year, she will graduate from SAS high school. It will be the realization of her dream.

SAS Ai, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization with a mission to help bright and promising students who come from poor families get a good high school education through sponsored scholarships. Help us send these underprivileged kids to SAS high school. Donate to the scholarship fund.