Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day 15: How 45 meals became 20,000 in 15 days

I made it half way! 

Today my friend Aaron came over and traded me two tomatoes, one mango, and one apple for a bowl of egg drop ramen carrot soup and french fries. Pretty good trade, right? I've never seen bartering as fitting with the rules of the challenge, but it is something that happens in poor communities I've visited in the developing world, so we're rolling with it. I'm seriously looking forward to some fruit in my oatmeal, and fresh tomatoes in my next soup!

I told you I'd get back to you on more data from the field on what exactly $0.33 buys you (the average cost of my meals) in the countries where we work. In India, $0.33 is about 20 Rupees. In the developing world, the poor do not have the luxury of coming across 30 day's wages in one lump, so most buy ingredients on a per-day or per-meal basis.

So my friend Hudson in India took 20 Rupees down to the market and was able to buy some wheat and two eggs for 19 Rupees, then used some existing stock of oil and seasonings to prepare a small meal of chapati bread and scrambled egg masala as seen in the photo below. So again, as in Manila, we are seeing "purchasing power parity" about at equilibrium in terms of these common food commodities.

In case you missed the previous post discussing this, I'm highlighting this because of a common contention I get from readers asking, "But doesn't $1 buy a lot more in the developing world?" So far, from my experiences traveling abroad, and in these two case study examples we've now looked at, it does not appear that $1 buys you any more or less in these countries, in terms of basic foods.

Great news of progress on our "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart"! We finished up the $37/mo heart, and someone sponsored the $38/mo heart in full! And we are now $6/mo into the $41/mo heart! This is fantastic news! Remember, now, thanks to the new "Heart of Gold" option, you can pool your monthly gift of any amount with others to help sponsor a "full heart." 

We are now at 17 "monthly hearts" sponsored since I launched this challenge! The value of these sponsorships is $545/mo, or annualized at $6,540/year. When these funds are combined with the virtually "free" ingredients from our farmlands and gardening projects, these 17 newly filled hearts represent almost 20,000 meals we'll be able to serve to children in need over the next year. So, this is definitely something that's keeping me going! Because of your generosity, my 45 meals have been multiplied into almost 20,000.

Let's take a look at this "Heart-Chart" progress! Please help me keep the momentum toward reaching the remaining 33 hearts of my 50-heart goal for the campaign! We can do this!

For today's photo essay, instead of a dedication, I'm going to celebrate our success with the Heart-Chart by showing you some happy kids at meal time in our programs; basically, these are images of your generosity in action. I have so many of these kinds of photos from my visits to our orphan homes, schools, and after school care programs over the years that it would take me hours to compile a good mix of the shots, but here are some that I could find easily to share with you tonight.

Charitable goal explanation. For those of you just tuning in, I'll recap what I'm trying to achieve with the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" and my goal of finding 50 new sponsors for these "hearts" which I like to think of as representing lives being transformed and, ultimately, saved.

Why am I seeking monthly donors? The orphan care, child labor response, and human trafficking response programs we've pioneered at Peace Gospel and She Has Hope— while sustained in part by small business enterprise— need charitable support to be fully sustained. The budgets of these programs have fixed, monthly expenses. Thus, while one-time donations are deeply appreciated, it's the monthly donations that give us something to count on and plan with. Therefor, long-term, they're the most powerful.

If you're willing to make a small monthly sacrifice of any amount to help ensure that the following merciful actions are fully funded each month, I would be grateful for your partnership with me in this effort. With your help, our monthly budget enables us to…
  • Provide resident care for 290 orphans in 11 homes in Asia and Africa
  • Operate 4 schools and 4 after-school care programs reaching over 1000 children
  • Serve approx. 50,000 fresh meals to children in our programs
  • Train 100s of girls how to avoid the dangers of human trafficking
  • House, rehabilitate and empower 20 girls recovering from human trafficking

On to what I was able to create with just $1 worth of food today. I had saved up a couple of days' worth of potato rations so I could use the largest potato of my first sack as a special half-way-through-the-challenge baked potato feast.

Click or tap on image to enlarge...




Take Action!

1) Please consider helping me reach my goal to find 50 new "Sustainers"— donors willing to give a small amount each month toward our work helping vulnerable children and trafficking survivors. Learn more and sign up here!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to the work of Peace Gospel's programs helping orphans, at-risk children of the slums, and human trafficking survivors.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. One of the main goals is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!

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