We are fortunate that in spite of our troubles we are not alone in facing them. Your help has greatly helped my daughter’s recovery.Annelie Chavez, Philippines
We’ve never believed in the word can’t. So when we are faced with challenges like 130 million children around the world without access to education, or presented with situations brought on by natural disasters in our backyards or around the globe, we are stirred to action. We partner with local organization around the world to make meaningful and accountable impact in the issues we think make the world a better place to live, work, and play in.
The Calvin Ayre Foundation is committed to the following areas of giving:
We have undertaken different initiatives over the years to improve the lives of children around the world. In Santa Ana, Costa Rica, we rescued the crumbling physiotherapy pool at the PANARE Adult Handicap Hospital and Children’s School. We ensured the continued care for children born with serious neurological conditions with The Lomonosovsky Dom Rebenka facility in Russia. Housing nearly 100 kids who were either abandoned at birth by their parents or collected by child protective services but the building was slowly sinking into the earth.
We also teamed up with numerous other youth-oriented organizations over the years, including helping to raise $150,000 for the L.A. Lakers Youth Foundation and Sportsfest in the Philippines, a day of team sporting activities and entertainment from local celebrities.
The foundation’s interest in education has been inspired Calvin’s experiences in Costa Rica. Learning of the state of local schools and literacy rates, turned into a search for schools that needed the most help. By funding the Rafael Angel Calderon School, the foundation pioneered an Adopt-A-School program, which has now been expanded to Antigua by invitation of the government and then Prime Minister Errol Cort. This program has evolved into working towards infrastructure updates, field trips, physical education, and safety.
On the heels of the successful Adopt-A-School program, the foundation has gone on to help various families living in difficult condition. This has grown into our Adopt-A-Family program and Adopt-A-Village program. In 2013, the Foundation brought badly needed medical aid, construction materials and food to Sitio San Vicente, a village that had been nearly knocked flat by Super Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Hurricane Haiyan).
In 2014, this concept was taken to a larger level, pledging two million dollars to Antigua’s 500 Homes in 500 Days project. The newly elected government of Prime Minister Gaston Browne had made the project a plank of his election campaign as a way of increasing home ownership on Antigua.
The Calvin Ayre Foundation’s first animal-related effort came shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Animal Avengers, the non-profit group founded by actress Shannon Elizabeth, was helping to find new homes for New Orleans’ orphaned or abandoned animals. The Calvin Ayre Foundation asked it if could help and the result was a celebrity poker night at Beverly Hills mansion dubbed It’s All Going To The Dogs. The event raised $50,000, half of which came from our efforts.
Ayre became concerned with controversial aspects of using of bear bile to cure a wide variety of symptoms in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including pain, fever, swelling, eye and liver disorders and detoxification of the body. Faced with a declining wild bear population due to overhunting, many places have turned to bear ‘farming.’ The practice involves keeping a bear in a cage so small that it can neither stand nor turn around. Some bear ‘farmers’ extract the bile by inserting a long syringe into the animal’s abdomen. The Foundation met with a group that was looking to open a sanctuary in Vietnam to rehabilitate bears rescued from bile farmers and has worked with a documentary crew to interview practitioners and help educate about superior herbal supplements. We have since teamed up with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) on a campaign to raise global awareness of the realities of the bear bile trade.
While we traditionally plans our projects in advance, circumstances sometimes dictate that a more rapid reaction. The Foundation acted first in Costa Rica when it came to the aid of a family who lost two family members and had been made homeless following a devastating house fire. In 2010, the devastation wrought by the earthquake in Haiti prompted the Foundation to issue a challenge to the online gaming industry to open their wallets. As a further incentive, the Foundation pledged to match all industry donations up to $1,000,000.
In 2013, the Foundation made a similar offer to raise funds to help the Philippines recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda). Calvin Ayre kicked things off by personally pledging $200,000 of his own money to demonstrate his support for a country he had come to know and love. We have also focused our attention on the village of Sitio San Vincente, Barangay Lo-ong, Conception in Iloilo City. Decimated by the typhoon’s force, with many families left homeless, our team visited the village to distribute food and materials, rebuild their shattered homes, distribute medicine to those in need, and oversee reconstruction of the chapel in this deeply spiritual community. With chainsaws to help clear away the debris, generators to power a makeshift hospital, and financial assistance for a medical team, our team has also assisted local aid group Help Malapascua.