Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Day 27: A special appeal

Today was only my second day on the road, but it definitely felt like my third, at least! There's something about having to travel and be "on the go" that adds an entirely different dimension to the challenge! But I'm so proud of my son for being on top of his registration and orientation at the University of Texas, that it really makes all of these "challenges" pale in comparison. What an exciting time, and I love this part of Texas. Definitely looking forward to returning to Austin when I can actually EAT, because some of my favorite cafes are here! But of course, I know you didn't come to my blog to hear small talk.

You probably want to know how in the world I'm cooking up three decent meals a day for less than a buck, and how I'm managing on day 27. Well, the meals are actually quite tasty; I've figured out some seasoning tricks that make all the difference. It's just that they're not enough to really sustain you for any long period of time, and I'm no nutritionist but I would imagine they lack some key nutritional values. In short, manageable short-term, but not something you'd want to endure long-term: I've already lost over 10 pounds.

With just three days and nine meals remaining, and a quick review of my rations, I know that I'll make it at this point. I've given it everything I've got, and still holding out hope that somehow, we can reach the goal of 50 hearts filled for the charitable goal. Great news today! Someone stepped up to sponsor the $53/mo heart, bringing my total to 31 "monthly hearts" sponsored, leaving just 19 to go before the end of the challenge! 

I want to spend the rest of this blog post making a special appeal to two types of prospective donors. If you've been one of the several hundreds of blog readers watching from the sidelines, not sure if you should take action or not, then the following is a sincere challenge I would consider you very brave and honorable to consider.

Ok, so you're still with me. Amazing, thank you! Just bear with my train of thought here. So the next 19 hearts on the "Monthly Donor Heart-Chart" when added together, will represent $1,272 in monthly recurring support for our programs. That's the power of this "sum of consecutive integers" math!  

It's also the exponential power of community, collectively pooling our "spare change" to make lasting change. If we're able to get these next 19 hearts sponsored, this will represent about 3,800 fresh-cooked meals served to orphans, child labor victims, and trafficking survivors in our programs each month, or over 45,000 meals annually. 

If we count 3 meals a day as ending hunger for one child, then this means that if we can fill these next 19 hearts, we can end hunger for 42 children, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. 

As already established in the past few blog posts, we can take the evidence of my own $1/day food challenge here, research on "purchasing power parity" of food staples across the world, coupled with the fact that our organization grows much of our own produce overseas, and come up with a rough metric that tells us $1 equals approximately three nutritious meals per day when invested in our programs. Not Kirby's $1/day type meals. Imagine my meals combined with fresh ingredients from a copious gardening or farmland project! 

Thus you may be someone who can only afford $5/month to contribute toward our programs. I can understand, if you hadn't read this blog before, and you weren't aware of what $5/month can actually achieve, that you would feel indifferent toward making such a contribution—why bother? I get it.

But now, equipped with this knowledge, you should be aware that a $5/mo donation actually represents 15 fresh-cooked, delicious, nutritious meals for a hungry, at-risk child. So your $5 becomes five days of meals. And that makes a real difference. 

Let's say you're a second type of donor who might be sitting on the fence, thinking, what good is my contribution really going to do? You look at all the huge charities raising tens of millions of dollars, and the $500/mo contribution you're considering committing to just seems like a drop in the bucket.

But in our work, thanks to the multiplying effects of our farmland and gardening projects, and our low administrative overhead (we only have two western staff overseeing 16 programs in 5 nations, the rest consist of local leadership living off of the profits of their own businesses), your contribution makes a significant impact with exponential results. Please consider filling up more than one of our remaining 19 hearts before my goal deadline. Your consistent and generous giving will make a life-changing impact for dozens of children, every single month.

So you're still skeptical. Why so much talk about meals? Why should we target ending hunger as a charitable cause to promote? Aren't the poor actually happy because of their simple lifestyle? It's actually a great question. But the point is, without nutrition, children are not able to progress at key developmental stages, and students are not able to focus on their studies while distracted by the nagging pangs of hunger—pangs I can fully relate to this month. While you can work to diminish the distraction, there is always an undercurrent you're working against with hunger. For children, it's worse, as they're not as disciplined to overcome such physical challenges. This is a fundamental problem on many levels.

Ok, so now once again, after a long day, it is late and I should conclude quickly! I will leave you with a few photos of those who benefit from the "heart-chart" and its consistent charitable impact, thanks to your generosity in being a part of this dream to change the world through sustaining empowerment... 

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. Therefore, 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. Again today, being in a rush in the morning and having only a small to-go meal for lunch, left me with some extra rations for a very delicious potato tortilla soup. I was grateful again for the amazing time with my dear friends Joe and Hollis who have been gracious enough to allow me to invade their home (and kitchen) for three nights!

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, Amazon.com 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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