Give your 1% this season – #GivingTuesday

Posted by Christopher

Today is December 3rd and it is a day coming to be known more every year as GivingTuesday. It marks the start of year-end giving cycle, following #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday which are both just about buying things. Giving Tuesday is about making a real difference in the world.

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So many people hear about global issues like poverty and disease in other parts of the world, and they want to help – they really do! – but they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. There’s a common belief that you can only help by giving lots of your time or money.

I’m here to dispel the misconception that charity has to be costly. Like almost everything else in life, if everyone did just a little bit – something well within the means of everyone in the United States and Europe – we could not only get a handle on horrors like famine, poverty, and disease from sanitation problems, we could conquer them in short order. Practically overnight!

How much would it take from each person? $100 a month? $50 a month? Not even. 20% of your income? Maybe 10%?

Would you believe only 1%?

The truth is that as little as 1% of your income could make 100% of difference to someone in need. If society as a whole could get enough people like you to pledge donating just 1% of their income every month, together we really could bring a lasting change to the world. Take stock just for a moment: how much is your paycheck every month? If you’re at the average income for the United States, you’d be bringing home almost $4000 a month. And when you’re making that much, $40 is only like skipping a single dinner out for 2 each month. Less, even, with tips factored in.

Of course, not many of us are making that much these days. Trust me, I know. If you only bring home, let’s say $1200 a month, giving as little as $12 of that would still go so far toward fixing these problems. No one in the non-profit sector expects any one person to give beyond their means, but if everyone would pledge only one little percent toward social change – literally a penny on the dollar – we’d easily be able to solve these global problems.

Will you, dear reader, take the pledge this #GivingTuesday to donate 1% of your monthly income starting now to a worthy non-profit like SUM1? Whether that’s a $10 or $20 monthly repeating donation or a lump sum based on the last 12 months? And even if you are more passionate about another cause that isn’t ours, please still pledge to donate your 1% toward that cause and help solve these problems.

And please don’t take the pledge quietly: proclaim it loud and proud to everyone! Put it on your Facebook, Tweet it to the world. Tell others that you’re doing your part to fix these problems – your 1% – and they will be more likely to follow suit.

If we all did our part this holiday season and in the coming year, then more hungry children would go to bed with full bellies, more girls would finish school and go on to successful and well-deserved lives instead of starting families at age 15, and more mothers would not have to bury another of their babies.

Albert Einstein said “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” That idea is something we’re really passionate about at SUM1. Even if you can’t take this 1% Pledge right now, then as a gift to us please tell your friends and family about it and send them to read this. Hopefully we can touch enough hearts this season to save the whole world.

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Open the Doors and Here’s All the People!

I received new pictures of the community center today, and they couldn’t have come at a better time.

Lately, I have been dealing with writing to NGOs (Non-Government Organizations), various companies, trying to help plan the upcoming fundraiser, and doing my best to communicate the need to a number of other people in an effort to get support for the project in one form or another.  And I will be honest in saying that the feeling that I am screaming into the void has been strong.  It’s hard to feel like you are accomplishing anything when you are desperately grasping for a helping hand and are only ignored for your effort.

Thank all that is good for Kathy at EcoFemme!  We recently had a Skype call where she shared with me several ideas and product possibilities for the upcoming intervention.  Plus, she shared with me the wonderful opportunity they have regarding micro-finance of their project.  It is a real chance for the women of India and the organization to help sustain its important work, as well.  I implore you to send some money.  Any amount will help! You can change the world for the better, and all it takes is for you to click here or visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Avag-Microfinancing-Grant#_=_

When the problem starts coming down to numbers it loses its face, its humanity.  The numbers I refer to are not only monies.  There is also social marketing surveys and scientific data.  And nothing seems to be possible without the numbers.  They become so important to everyone that they eventually become my focus, as well.  And a frustrating focus it is, too!

But today I saw faces.

Community Center Meeting

I think that's Dr. Mohammad in the striped shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mohammad’s words  from the email:  “The community center project is on a fast pace. Two days ago Mr. Raghu Raman was in town. We visited the village, invited every one for a meeting and informed them of our plans. Upon first announcement, only men came.  We then sent out word that we want men and women both and suddenly there were more women in the community hall than men. What was even more interesting is that more women came and talked with us after the meeting and expressed the desire to participate. As a result, we have decided to have three women and three men in the steering committee to oversee the community center. Watching during the meeting through my other glasses, I realized that women would be an ideal audience for you for they have a lot to say and a lot to learn. ”

In regards to the numbers: “Suggest we should focus on the common wisdom and continue as we have planned. Beside general awareness of hygiene, hand washing for all and women managing their periods hygienically should be two focus areas where we can make most impact in the shortest time. Even if there are no ‘measurable’ benefits, acts alone will make the society cleaner and help them focus on health and hygiene. The intangible benefits of this change in the mind set will be immense. Just by helping them stay clean, you’d shift the social paradigm in that you would be leveling the playing field between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. Conventionally, in India, the poor and the untouchables were identified by their state of cleanliness.”

The immeasurable will be the reward.  ‘Nuff said.

A full room and an eager crowd!