So far I’ve raised almost $400 for the two charities I selected. I think that’s great and it excites me to know that good things will result from the money. However, on the other hand I’m kind of disheartened by how hard it is to fundraise. I’m obviously a horrible salesman! I was speaking to a friend about it this weekend and lamenting how I don’t think I will make it to my goal of $2,000 and my friend suggested that part of the problem is that people don’t feel secure in giving to something they don’t recognize. My friend said that I would have more luck if I was raising money for something well known like the American Cancer Society or UNICEF. I think there’s truth in that train of thought. I’ve had a few friend express trepidation to giving money because they don’t feel certain the funds will be used appropriately. I guess I’m not doing a good enough job expressing the fact that these two groups were not chosen randomly but were chosen because I know the people heading them. OMNI is being run in Zambia by a member of my church (used to be the youth pastor). The other organization is run by someone I’ve been FB friends with for sometime and I have spoken to people who’ve helped them. Claire, the woman who runs it has invited me to visit when I arrive in Arusha. With all this said, I feel confident in these two organizations.
Allow me to explain why I chose two small organizations rather than some large group: There are plenty of gigantic organizations such as UNICEF that do good things for people; however, I think groups like that get plenty of donations and money from all sorts of sources. The little guys don’t. Also, I question just how much money given to large groups gets gobbled up by administrative costs. For example, if I donate $25, how much of it goes to things like salaries, advertising, and all the other extraneous crap that large places spend dinero on?? What percentage of the money I donated actually helps the intended?
Now, let’s look at what I am doing. I am collecting money for two small groups that probably don’t have a lot of financial support. ALL the money someone donates goes to the charities I selected. The same $25 is equivalent to almost a month’s wages! In this case, the money is going directly to the people in the trenches doing the hard work and not to a finance department, in a building, in a city far away from the people the organization is dedicated to helping. In the case of Claire at Neema House, she personally holds the babies and cares for them and sits with them at the hospital when they are sick. These are children that, literally in some cases, have been rescued from toilets where they were discarded. In both Zambia and Tanzania a large percentage of women die in childbirth and so many of the children born are infected with HIV via transmission from their mother. It’s estimated that nearly 1.5 MILLION orphans in Tanzania are infected with HIV. It’s hard to complain about much when I think about the odds these babies face. Thank God for people like Claire and the Krause family who soldier on daily, against the odds, the make a difference in the world. They are better people than I am.
In the case of the Krause family in Zambia, Robert and Emily uprooted their two small children and moved to Africa to be in the place where they are needed. I remember listening to Emily speak at church about the dangers she was about to subject her children to in the name of making a difference in the lives of poor and orphan children in Zambia. Dangers such as malaria, deadly snakes, violence and social unrest, etc. But she and Robert are passionate about helping the smallest and weakest among us…children. OMNI educates and feeds over 200 children each day at the OMNI School. Children receive a quality education and a hot meal thanks to generous donations and child sponsorship. This is not some far off group of children the Krause’s are helping. It’s their neighbors in Zambia. The Krause children play with the children that OMNI assists. Personally, I just prefer to help people who are directly involved in changing lives and certainly the Krause family are doing just that.
So with that said, I will keep collecting and fundraising but I hope I start having more luck. I do realize times are difficult for so many and it’s hard to find extra but I’m also hoping some will be touched by the plight of these children and can find some spare change. Even $10 is a HUGE amount in these impoverished countries. I’m not giving up on this just as I won’t give up on making the summit. I can’t wait to visit Claire at Neema House when I arrive in Arusha and see the faces of the children that all this money, thanks to wonderful people making donations, will help! Thanks to all who have helped so far and to those who will help in the future. It means so much! Not all of us can uproot our lives and move to a far off continent to help but we can make a difference with our pockets. The cost of a extra value meal at McDonalds or a cup of coffee at Starbucks can feed children for days and days. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you’d like to give, please go to my fundraising site:
You can also check out the organizations for which I am fundraising by checking out their sites: