“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”Phil 4:12-13
LindaBen Foundation was created in memory and honor of Anna S. Beavan’s parents Linda Santos (1945 – 1997) and Ben Dimatangal (1950 -2019) and for those people who died homeless or those who suffered in poverty, severe depression, mental health illness as well as drug and alcohol addiction. Linda and Ben were both funny and generous people who loved ballroom dancing and were always longing to be loved. In their honor, the foundation began its journey to uplift and save discarded lives whom suffer a similar fate just like her parents.
A Personal Message From Anna Beavan (Dimatangal), Founder & President
At a very young age, I remember that my elementary teacher once suggested that we borrow a book entitled ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ by Og Mandino. For some reason that I can’t explain, this book & author was engraved in my mind but I never really bothered to take the time to borrow or buy it. Several years passed by at which time I successfully finished my college degree. One day after work, I decided to stop by to a bookstore. Then I saw the series of books by Og Mandino and browsed them. I decided to get ‘The Greatest Miracle in the World’ for now. This book is about second chances, about a mysterious wise man called ‘the ragpicker’ whose mission is to transform a life that had been cast aside. So I bought it and I planned to read it each time I commuted to work in Manila. A few days after that, my mom suddenly passed away due to her addictions. I was 21 years old (1997) when I lost my mom. I realized that death is something that will happen to all of us, but when it happens to someone you love your whole life, it gives you pain that’s hard to even describe. In a way, it was a blessing that I was reading this book that somehow its message is slowly making its way through me like a seed growing. It gave me a new perspective, otherwise I may have a different outlook in life. This book and my overall faith in God had planted a seed in my heart that had kept me on living.
Fast forward, after two decades, I’m blessed with a family of my own having a firm and deeply supportive husband and two brilliant and amusing teenagers. However, I still have this longing for something else. I’m fully convinced that eventually I would be fulfilled once I created a foundation in my mom’s behalf at some point. At that time my biggest question was what type and when I’ll do it. About three years ago (2017), my neighbor Jen had reached out to me and invited me to join her for “I Am Free’ sessions. Then my longing to do something more started again within me. It was also during this time that I got a message from one of my sisters about our dad, my long lost father (he abandoned me as a toddler to my mom and we didn’t keep in touch). My dad had suffered from stroke and was currently in poor health. I found myself letting it go by embracing forgiveness, but I didn’t speak to my dad. I began opening up my communication with my three half-sister’s and even promised them that I intend to schedule a trip to my hometown to visit and spend time with them. During this time, we also started participating in Linda’s Legacy through PCA for their annual giving back event for the homeless. We had fun packing these backpacks with winter items and we decided to join their other event. On Christmas Eve, the day of the distribution of donated items, one of the homeless shelters that got assigned to us by Linda’s Legacy was named The Ragpicker. That day I had a chance to meet Jo and her wonderful husband. She confirmed that her daughter (who’s the founder of this shelter) also knew about Og Mandino and was inspired by it. Since then, my family continued to support The Ragpicker. I knew from my heart that I found the foundation that I need to startup, however, I still had some doubts.
In 2019, my dad’s condition took a turn for the worst. I booked a trip back home hoping I can still see him in the hospital but I was too late. Along with my daughter, we both went home to visit my dad’s family as well as meet my older sister for the first time I never knew existed! During this trip I found out about the life my dad had and that he too had suffered until he become homeless himself. That erased any more doubts of what type of foundation I’ll create. Convinced what I want to offer, I began to plan ahead until COVID hit us in a big way that no one had imagined.
2020 had proven such a very difficult year not just for my family but for everyone in the world, due to Pandemic that COVID had impacted us. The extent of effect and impact is still unmeasurable since we’re still going through this as of now. This virus had altered countless plans, broken dreams and caused millions of lives to fall ill as darkness seemed to temper moods worldwide. Will this also alter my own dream? Shall I decide to pause again, which seemed like the obvious choice? The voice inside of me, has a different direction, so I took a leap of faith. I decided to pursue this now more than ever, as they say “the right decisions are always the hardest to make”. I believe many additional helping hands and kind hearts are needed during this time. People are isolated and being torn apart to thinking about their family finances as well their own safety and survival. But some will be called to step up and help the homeless and those in need as safely as possible which is the goal of the LindaBen Foundation.