|Please allow me to share my excitement for The Buddhist Center in my first week as its new Executive Director. The long journey to having our own permanent home is nearing completion. What started as a dream nearly 10 years ago when our leaders launched a capital campaign to buy property became reality when we bought the space at 130 Rabbit Road, right as the pandemic began.|
This got me thinking about another big dream. Just as the center’s long-term vitality requires its own base – so, too, should we have a parallel base for our beloved Resident Geshe – Thubten Sherab.
For about a decade when Geshe-la would come to Santa Fe for six months of teaching, many in our community would take care of him by inviting him to stay in their home or by renting a casita for him. We were so grateful for their kindness. Still, the search for where to house Geshe-la proved a constant challenge each year and he needed a home.
I have wonderful news. As of last month, Geshe-la has that long-awaited home here in Santa Fe!
|Geshe-la with the keys to his new home|
|How did it happen? |
One of our board members, Matt Bunkowski, likes to keep tabs on the local real estate market and when we thought we found the perfect house for Geshe-la, we pounced. Before making an offer, our board met to strategize and some of us toured the home near the center, along with Geshe-la.
Matt, who also serves as the center’s Giving Manager, and Charmaine Hughes, my predecessor, signed for a mortgage in their names to finance this home purchase. They share the title of the property with the center, with the center having a 5.5% equity stake in the house from its contribution toward the initial down payment.
We’ve had a few conversations with individuals in our community to ask for support to pay off the mortgage at which point Charmaine and Matt can be removed from the title. In the four weeks since we closed on the purchase, the entire board, plus 21 community members, have donated a combined $100,238 towards the Geshe House fundraising project. I rejoice in the generosity of our community and their shared love for our beloved Geshe-la!
I am now asking the greater community to help support our fundraising efforts. There are a number of ways you can give as listed on our Geshe House webpage – or checks can be made out to Thubten Norbu Ling and mailed to 130 Rabbit Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508.
Geshe-la’s brand new kitchen and living room
Our fundraising goal is $384,000 (of which $100,238 has already been raised) to cover the purchase of Geshe-la’s home.
Donations to Thubten Norbu Ling for the Geshe House are fully tax-deductible. Any money we raise above our goal will be restricted for future house expenses (such as for utilities, maintenance, and insurance).
Would you please consider a gift in any amount? For any questions, please email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org – or me.
I thank you for your vigorous support and for your compassion in building our faith community.