Fifteen years ago, Roland Dib established Giving For Living International.
Today, the charity has distributed more than one million articles of shoes and clothing to over 1,000 children and created mobile lending libraries that distribute books for children.
The organization also provides micro-loans to women in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haiti to start their own small businesses and improve their lives.
To help finance the charity’s work, this year Dib launched www.giving.coffee, an arm of the charity that sells organic bags of coffee harvested by the people on farms in the same areas where they do their charity work.
For every bag of Giving Coffee they sell, Giving for Living donates a book to a needy child.
“One bag of coffee donates one book and directly impacts a child’s life and future,” said Dib. “By purchasing a single bag of our organic and fair-trade coffee, you give a child in need access to reading.”
Dib pointed out that, in the regions where Giving for Living distributes books in Central and Latin America, 45 percent of children live in poverty with restricted access to reading and education, according to UNICEF, or over 81 million children living without immediate access to books.
After repeated visits to Latin Central America and Haiti, Dib, the CEO of Dib Management, was inspired to pursue a new dream.
In 2003, he saw poor neighborhoods, people living in slums, hungry children aimlessly wandering the streets with little education and no future: scenes and images that brought immense sadness to his heart.
“There is so much need in Africa, Latin America, Haiti, other parts of the world, and also here at home,” said Dib, who was born and raised in Lebanon and came to the U.S. in 1984 as a young man to attend college.
“We help in whatever way we can and where ever we feel connected,” added Dib.
“Because of us, these kids have access to books and their mothers can begin new lives and support their families.”
Dib hopes to grow Giving for Living by spreading the word. All of the Brooklyn-based organization’s staff members are volunteers, with almost 100% of money raised going to help the disadvantaged.
“I want my friends, family, business associates and clients to get involved for the love of our fellow human beings and help ease their suffering, added Dib, who now lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where his extended family lives today.
Dib’s other passion is real estate. As a young teenager he first started working in construction alongside his uncle. “I have always loved real estate and the value of it,” said Dib, founder of DIB Development, the growing real estate development company he founded in 1987 that focuses on property acquisition and development, construction, asset management and investment sales.
Under Dib’s direction, the company has completed in excess of $100 million in commercial and residential projects throughout the U.S.
Today, as head of new business development and acquisitions for DIB Management, Dib spearheads many of the company’s largest projects.
He transformed a 1917 landmarked building into a high-end luxury rental building at 37 Great Jones St. in NoHo, (37greatjones.com), that features a three-bedroom, four-bath penthouse with 14-ft. ceilings, two outdoor entertainment spaces, in addition to three full-floor apartments and ground floor retail space.
DIB Development also completed a seven-story, 24-unit rental building opposite Lutheran Medical Center in Bay Ridge, as well as, several industrial and office projects throughout neighborhoods like Sunset Park, Red Hook, Gowanus, East New York and South Brooklyn. To find out more about the organization’s work, log onto www.givingforliving.org.