What potholders, tigers, and Ethiopia have in common
“Mom, I’d like to sell my potholders so that I can give the money away.” Tate, my 8-year-old said this rather nonchalantly as we were driving from school to gymnastics. She got one of those rite-of-passage potholder loop kits from the grandparents for Christmas, and she’s been a weaving machine this spring.
“I like that idea a lot, Tate. How much would you sell them for?” I asked. “Oh, something like twenty-five cents or maybe fifty cents or maybe a dollar,” she replied, quite the entrepreneur.
“What would you give the money to?”
She thought for a moment. “Well, I can’t decide between homeless people or tigers.” I tried not to laugh. “Tigers?” I asked.
“Yeah, there’s a certain type that’s endangered, and I’d like to give money to people who are helping stop that.” She’s always been an animal lover.
I loved her heart and her ideas, so I promised we would look in to how she could give her proceeds to organizations that helped both these efforts. And then I also remembered that we’re about to launch the second phase of fully-funding some work done in an Ethiopian village.
“Hey Tate, would you also be interested in giving some of your profits to work being done in a small village in Ethiopia? It helps lots of mamas with little babies, giving them supplies they need and teaching them how to take care of them.” One of our Compassion children lives in Ethiopia, so I knew she’d recognize the country.
“Ooh, yeah! I wanna do that, too.” Bless her.
So I’m gonna help my little entrepreneur with some more supplies, and she’ll be making potholders and raising money to give an even three ways: our village in Ethiopia, work being done in our local homeless community, and the tigers.
What’s this about a village in Ethiopia?
In case you forgot, we (meaning, this blog) are dreaming big to fully-fund a Child Survival Program in central Ethiopia. It costs about $25,000 a year to keep the lights on and the program alive and kicking. To make things easier, we decided to break up the effort into four phases of $6,250. And phase two starts today.
This is why I care
To me, living simpler isn’t an end—it’s a means to an end. I don’t try to live with less, keep my calendar emptier, and live life more fully… just because. We do it because there’s something greater at stake, because life isn’t about me. I’m not the center of the universe, so it doesn’t applaud me when I take more boxes to the thrift store, live with one family vehicle, or make more room in our budget.
I am passionate about living simpler so that others can simply live. Sounds cliche, and maybe a little cheesy, but that’s okay to me. I love that freeing our resources, our time, and our energy means blessing someone else with it.
And you guys—these mamas need blessing.
The work done in this village
In Ethiopia, thousands of girls in poverty are growing up without good role models. As these girls grow up and have babies, they lack the basic skills and knowledge needed to raise a healthy baby.
A CSP is a local work done via Compassion International, and they’re all over the world. It specifically focuses on mothers and children under four (when kids then typically start being sponsored by individuals), and its efforts are all about teaching how to provide a safe home for families. In weekly gatherings, moms are encouraged, and children are given a fun place to play, learn, and explore.
Here’s a short little video that visualizes well the simple power behind a CSP:
These women are also given monthly food supplies, nutritional and hygiene training, and regular medical checkups. And all this is provided for $25,000 a YEAR. For an entire village. That’s nuts how inexpensive it is to do this amazing, much needed work.
(And yes, these moms and children also learn about the life and teachings and Jesus, but “being a Christian” is never a prerequisite for finding love and help. Truly.)
Why you matter
I’ll just say it, because you readers are smart people and can read between the lines—I’d love it if you joined my family and gave to this project. It’s being done through Pure Charity, which means you can give one of two ways:
• You can shop online at many of your usual places, and a percentage of your purchases will be dumped in to your PC giving account, which you can then direct to whatever project you like. Or,
• You can give directly.
I, personally, do a mix of both. I like that my giving is instant when I give money, but I also love that things I’d buy online anyway help a much greater cause than just my own family. It’s really pretty great.
Here’s a post I wrote a few months ago about how both giving directly and giving with your online buying works. This video may help explain things, too:
We’ve already made a huge dent
So Great Day Farms loves this project, too, and they’ve given us a $1,500 grant to kick-start this phase. How awesome is that? Love it. And others have already started giving, too, so thank you for that.
Would you consider allocating some of your giving funds to our village in Ethiopia? And would you also consider signing up for a Pure Charity account, so that some of the online buying you do anyway could also bless others? We have about three months to fund phase two.
Any questions? Thoughts? Info about endangered tigers?
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