How do you celebrate a love that lasts 50 years?
The family of Charles “ Bud ” and Lillian Lagger, of Oregon, chose to honor them by making a donation in their name to have two training centers in Cambodia named after them.
According to Deb Lagger, director of Workforce Development for Goodwill of Northwest Ohio, the family celebrated her parents’ anniversary with a dinner at Cousino’s Restaurant March 10. “ My parents were very surprised to have the schools named after them, ” Deb said. “ It is just a wonderful way to give back to the country. ”
Several years ago, Deb adopted two girls from Cambodia, Hannah, now 8 years old, and Kalliyan, now 7 years old.
In 2007, Goodwill of Northwest Ohio and Goodwill Industries International, along with Digital Divide Data, launched the Goodwill Family Resource Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The center is now named the Charles and Lillian Lagger English Language School, after the couple’s family donated funds to the school.
According to Deb, the center trained 550 people last year.
This year, Goodwill will open the Charles and Lillian Lagger Career Skill Training Center in Vientiane, Laos as well as the Hannah and Kalliyan Lagger Career and English Language Center in Battambang, Cambodia.
“ We expect to train a minimum of 1,000 people in the centers, ” Deb said. “ The career skill programs are designed to help the disabled and rural poor rise above a survival mode to an income level that allows them to be part of the global market economy and to fee good about themselves. ”
Classes offered at the centers include life management skills, basic budgeting skills, job-seeking skills, English as a second language (ESL), interpersonal and communication skills, administrative and secretarial skills, micro-enterprise training and janitorial/housekeeping skills.
“ It is the philosophy of the Goodwill Family Resource Center that people are more likely to succeed and thrive in the workplace if they have stable home conditions, safe and healthy environments for their children, and positive and nurturing relationships with significant others, ” Deb said. “ When these conditions are not present it becomes very difficult for individuals to effectively focus on their employment. ”
Last year, the local Goodwill Industries received the prestigious Goodwill Industries International Global Outreach Award. The recognition was the result of skill training that the local organization is providing at an orphanage in rural Pursat Cambodia, one of the poorest regions in the country, Deb said.
“ The cost for training one person for one year is $28.37, ” she said. “ That amount of money allows them to enroll in any and all of the classes. ”
“ The centers are a wonderful way for us to give back to Cambodia, ” Deb said. “ The poverty there is unimaginable. The people live on less than 45 cents a day there. They (Cambodians) gave my family two precious, precious gifts, and I have decided to try and help them as much as possible. ”
For more information on the centers or to donate toward training, call Deb Lagger at 419-255-0070, ext. 3508.