In honor of Gawad Kalinga’s Las Vegas Hope Ball …. a symbolic “bridge” to the Jewish National Fund and, hopefully, beyond…

After attending this morning’s session of WeAreOneFilipino [see the photo from twitter below] and after watching a lengthy amount of the festivities via livestreaming from both Las Vegas and from the Philippines at the Gawad Kalinga Bagong Silang site [from the link below] and after long reflection, I thought about how I might be able to add to the GLOBAL partnership, vision and model in sustainable development which Gawad Kalinga represents very personally to me.  And, after some considerable thought, I decided to make a symbolic $18 donation to the Jewish National Fund in honor of today’s important events which are occurring here in Las Vegas.  This small gift represents a part of my ongoing pledge to Tony Meloto after our joint meeting with US Congresswoman Shelley Berkley to promote increased awareness and partnerships between GK, Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel.
You probably know that the JNF has a century long legacy of nation building which parallels a lot of GK’s current projects, visions and missions.  See, for example, the information found at

Jewish National Fund was established more than 100 years ago by a small group of leaders, including Theodor Herzl. By purchasing plots of land, they hoped to establish the groundwork for the birth of our nation of Israel. JNF continues to make a commitment to the land and people in the 21st century. While we still plant trees and create parks, our organization does so much more. Read on to see how we’re making a difference for generations to come.

Our Projects In Israel

Today, JNF performs groundbreaking work to develop the land of Israel through a variety of multifaceted initiatives. Please take the time to learn about the many projects we are undertaking as part of our vision of building a strong homeland for tomorrow. Our work in Israel is divided into these seven action areas:

Forestry & Ecology


Community Development



Research & Development

Tourism & Recreation

As GK continues on with its global mission, it will continue to gain valuable partners and partnerships “along the way.”  …And, it is visually clear from the livestreaming of today’s events with amazing clarity with the technical aid and support of Globe Telecom GK USA and GK Global will continue to disseminate its programs and supporters around an increasingly united and inner-connected world via various social media and technologies.
I will continue to commit to play my own small, hopefully innovative, part in increasing the effectiveness, awareness, reach, funding and development of GK’s programs.  A current example, of course, is my preparation of a proposal that hopefully will link GK, the National Peace Corps Association and the US Peace Corps via a grant application to the NPCA which I discussed with Tony Meloto 
last week here in Las Vegas.  Refer to for more information.
And, after additional further thought and much reflection, I have decided to skip personal attendance at tonight’s Gala and to invest the time and funds instead in working on my aforementioned grant proposal and related projects, while affording myself the wonderful opportunity of accessing the live video streaming online.  My spirit, of course, will be with everyone else in the room at the Monte Carlo tonight but I sense strongly that my inspiration and input will take place in a much more personal and reflective “space.”  The spirit of the evening’s events and of all of today’s interactions will be forged firmly in my heart and soul ….via


@WeAre1Filipino w/ me:) WAOF Summit bottom left, trying to look serious with my legal pad
Not incidentally, I had a couple of great conversations with Derek Aguinaldo of WAOF and Krizia Medenilla of WAOF and Redefined Magazine, who emceed this morning’s events.  Of course, I am just as impressed by the young FilAm generation that I continue to meet via Gawad Kalinga as I continue to be with all the young GK CSI Social Entrepreneurs in the Philippines, whom I am trying to help via the aforementioned grant application, and otherwise.
Mabuhay and Shalom,
P.S. When I receive the symbolic JNF certificate, detailed in the message below, then I will forward it on to Louis Gosioco, on behalf of Gawad Kalinga Las Vegas.  It should arrive some time between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day, which is a symbolic time frame of its own, especially for me.  So this JNF certificate “transaction” is full of vivid meanings, thoughts, heritiage and symbolism for me personally.  Hope springs from the worst of human experiences.  Rebirth comes from the midst of great tragedies.  That truly is what GK and the JNF both mean to me.  Indeed, in my own mind, their joint legacies are so indelibly intertwined that I cannot separate them completely.
One last thought that truly inspires me:  Yom HaShoah begins Sunown on May 1st and goes until Sundown on May 2nd. 
And, last month an amazing Holocaust Museum opened in Skopje, Macedonia in honor of the Jewish Community in the Balkans which was literally wiped off the world map during the Holocaust.  A vibrant 1000 year old Jewish  community, of my paternal heritage, was almost totally obliterated and only a few hundred Jews remain in Macedonia, a community which silently but forcefully rededicated itself with its brethren from around the world in its diaspora.  Via primarily facebook contacts that I found once this museum opened, I now have daily contact and strong interactions with that small, yet vital Jewish community of my father’s birth.  Here is a related article  See also   
But, what is even more amazing and heartening to me is how much response I get from this small yet vital Jewish community of my paternal heritage to my frequent facebook postings on Gawad Kalinga.  Some things “like” diasporas and struggles for dignity and hope in the midst of horror and tragedy truly are universal.   It will not surprise me if GK will have many friends throughout the Balkans in the relatively near future. … as a result.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jewish National Fund <>
Date: Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 5:17 PM
Subject: Thank you for your support

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Dear Richard Passo,

Thank you for generously donating $18.00.

For items without lamination expect to receive the product in 5-7 days or 2 days with Express Shipping. For items with lamination expect to receive the product in 3-5 weeks.

Quantity Item Name Total Price
1 Israel Waterfall Certificate ($18.00 each)

Finishing Options None
How many units would you like to purchase? 1 Units
Shipping Options Standard Shipping
Certificate Type In Honor Of
Tributee Name Gawad Kalinga Las Vegas Hop…
Enter your message hoping to link Gawad Kaling…
Closing Planted By
Signor Richard Passo, Volunteer, G…
Total Price of Items: $18.00

All items will be shipped to the following address:

Richard A Passo

We are deeply grateful for your generosity and support of our efforts. Your gift makes a difference – it enables us to provide vital services to the community we serve. We count on you and people like you to ensure that we can continue providing these services.

Russell F. Robinson
Russell F. Robinson
Chief Executive Officer, Jewish National Fund

For future reference, your confirmation code is 1039-3181-25-1994397-1999518. Please print or save this message for your personal records.

Note regarding the Tax Deductible Portion:
You may print this page as your receipt for tax purposes.

Transaction Date: 4/30/11
Total Gift Amount: $18.00
Shipping Charges: $0.00

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About rictandag @rictandag @LVHelpGro Returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Republic of the Philippines 1979-1980; Financial Management training Program [FMP], G.E., Appliance Park, Louisville, Kentucky 1981-1982 Champion [two days] Jeopardy 1986 Attorney, Los Angeles, CA 1989-1995 Disabiility Rights Attorney,, Las Vegas 1998-1999 Immigration Asylum Attorney, throughout the State of Kansas 1999-2001 Supply Logistics Specialist, UPS Las Vegas, 2006- present [business] advocate for: [Gawad Kalinga, tagalog for "to give care"]
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