When Dave Richmond first saw Aileen, she was just 12 years old, sitting on a trough at a pig slaughterhouse, next to an open sewer, in the Philippines. Gazing at the bedraggled child, Richmond could only think sadly to himself that the girl “had absolutely no future.”
But Aileen’s story doesn’t end there, fortunately. Fast forward eight years, and today, she very much has a future, an extremely bright one. She’s a college graduate who recently began an internship in the U.S. at the Baltimore Country Club. How she journeyed from an unschooled preteen to college graduate is due largely to the charitable endeavors of the Lingap Center, an orphanage in Toledo City, Cebu, Philippines that Richmond, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, president and founder of Richmond Brothers, Inc., a RIA based in Jackson, Mich., helps run along with its founder, John Drake.
How it all began
Richmond’s association with the Lingap Center began in 2003 when Drake, a human resources executive with a Fortune 500 company working in the Philippines, was about to leave the country. Before he departed, a local official asked him to visit the city’s orphanage, which at the time was housed in an abandoned pig slaughterhouse. Haunted by the image of children living in such squalid conditions, he vowed to build a proper place for those youngsters and enlisted the help of his friend, Richmond. Today, the center cares for 92 children (it has room to house up to 100), making sure they have place to stay either temporarily or permanently, and access to schooling.
Giving at the office
This isn’t a one-man charity show, Richmond emphasizes. His 12 employees get into the act in various ways as well. For one, he allows them paid time off to participate in community outreach, like blood drives.