Luce & Love
I’m in Barcelona today, and was unable to attend The J. Luce Foundation’s annual gratitude event that was held last Thursday, February 26th. I was recently introduced to Jim Luce, founder of the Foundation, last fall by a mutual friend, and spent time with him where he is based in New York City.
Jim came out to support one of the organizations I love, the Margaret Okari Children’s Foundation. I was in NY at Birds Nest Foundation, thanks to the hospitality of Avis Richards and met Jim where he was only one of a few men in a room filled with women from all walks of life. Jim gave an inspirational talk earlier that morning at a breakfast honoring Kwamboka Okari whom I worked with at the United Nations during the first annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
The moment I met Jim face to face for the first time, I could feel his authentic passion for helping people, particularly children and orphans, causes to which he has devoted most of his adult life after leaving a successful career on Wall Street.
Here’s Jim’s story. Jim has been recognized with a number of awards in the last few months; however he does not do the work for personal recognition. He helps others because he has an innate sense for “the gap” between the haves and have nots, because he was deeply inspired by his mother, and because he believes in a thoroughly modern approach to “philanthropy” and helping others regardless of your income, your status or your family name.
I had to convince Jim to allow me to share his story!
Jim Luce comes from two great families in Boston. On his father’s side was Lt. Richard Warren on the Mayflower in 1620, and on his mother’s, Gov. Thomas Dudley, a signer of the Harvard Charter of 1650. Jim’s father rebelled against three centuries of convention and moved the family to Ohio a few years before Jim was born. Jim was raised and encouraged by both his parents to give back and help others. He founded two non-profit organizations The J. Luce Foundation (The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW). Jim also frequently speaks at and works with the UN through the work of his foundations. He previously worked on Wall Street and is also a writer that has been published in several online outlets including the Huffington Post, Daily Kos and the New York Times.
The J. Luce Foundation was inspired by Jim’s father, Stanford Luce, with a mission to support global citizens around the world with micro-grants and spotlighting organizations and individuals that strive to help humanity in the areas of Arts, Education and Orphan Care. The J. Luce Foundation was founded in 2008, and is most active in the U.S., Afghanistan, Haiti, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The foundation uplifts these individuals and organizations through their communications platform The Stewardship Report, where articles are created by over 100 different authors showcasing how people are making a difference in the world. The J. Luce Foundation also helps connect volunteers that want to help others in another country to organizations that the foundation works with in a dozen different countries; helping the volunteers get connected with the organizations that best match their skills. The J. Luce Foundation has also started several other award, fund and scholarship programs to help young leaders in their quest to help others including:
- Young Global Leadership Funds: Designed to help provide funds to young global philanthropists to help support their causes and foundations.
- Luce Leadership Awards: Annual awards are presented to young leaders working to better humanity, either in the U.S. or abroad, who embody the characteristics of honor, intelligence, benevolence and integrity.
- Luce Global Scholars: A scholarship program providing awards to students exhibiting aspiration, intelligence, integrity, and compassion to cover school and living expenses.
Jim founded Orphans International Worldwide in 1998 with the encouragement of his mother, Frances Alleman-Luce, after seeing the conditions of the Indonesian orphanage where his son lived prior to his adoption. OIWW is an organization whose goal is to help orphaned and abandoned children grow into solid citizens. Early on, OIWW created Global Standards for international orphan care, covering both family care and full care of orphaned or abandoned children. Jim has a mission to replace orphanages globally with his organization’s UNICEF approved Family Care Model of placing children in a home with relatives or other members of their local community. For its first ten years, OIWW provided uniforms and school fees for the children, after school care, parenting education and support at a local community center, as well as healthcare and food assistance for the entire family. This care model leads to healthier children that are more successful socially, emotionally, and in their education goals. Today, OIWW funds orphan care run by other organizations.
Jim is a pioneer in that he recognized the power of media and storytelling long before others caught on. He is social – he is noble. To learn more about Jim and his organizations please watch the video below:
Jim, I am sorry that I had to miss the event – I am sure it was inspiring and beautiful!
I look forward to continuing to follow all of the amazing things your foundations are doing to help others!