Wednesday, March 18, 2009

By request: how to help

I've shared a number of organizations and individual stories on this blog thus far, along with a few specific requests for help should anyone be in a position to offer it. I know most people already have their charitable budget determined and set (especially in this economic climate) but I've been inspired by how significantly small amounts can make a difference in some of the lives I've come across here. Take the $18 dollars that covered a month's worth of transport for a young friend starting a job from scratch who had no way to get there but walk (2-3 hours each way) until his pay kicked in. Or, the $6.40 that covered two months of rent for a mother of 4 I met during the visit to coffee country that let her and her kids have a roof over the heads for more than a few nights at a time.

It's amazing what some pocket change can do to give someone a small leg up. Support aimed at providing sustainable training or resources is best and what I am trying to focus on with my time and resources - but in honesty the need is plentiful and whatever can be spared can be put to good use. A friend recently asked if there was a way to send funds that could be directed to some of the organizations I've highlighted. In response I've added a paypal donation button in the right hand sidebar if any of my past or future posts inspire you to give.

Let me say that asking for money, no matter how noble the cause, is probably my least favorite thing in the world. I'm doing it because people have asked me to make it easier to support the people and orgs I've written about, and, in all honesty I feel like it's part of my responsibility as a Rotary Scholar to mobilize whatever resources available to help respond to the opportunities I come across.

Previous posts:

The good, the bad and the ugly
Support immediate needs for the boys at the Expanding Opportunities home in need of clothing, school fees, sporting equipment and monthly sponsors. Donations can also be made by way of the organization itself here.

Hidden Masai
Provide funds to purchase books and help keep the Masai children of this off-the-map village in school.

Further Out, Further In
Help grandmothers raising orphaned grandchildren in Mathaato to start a sustainable business raising chickens and selling eggs.

Help with school fees for Damaris and her sisters, a family who lost both parents a number of years ago.

Support the children of Red Rose Elementary school, currently participating in a pen pal project with the kids of Red Hill Elementary in Orange County and St. Johns Primary School in London.

I will share the results of any donations received and how I'm putting them to use. In terms of the schools and kids I visit, it's great to have some resources to help purchase those things I see immediately lacking - puzzles, balls, notebooks etc. In regards to potential projects - it would be wonderful to have some funds to help establish the chicken project in Mathaato, or to help when specific cases (like Be's work transport or Cecilia's lack of housing) arise. Feel free to send any questions/comments my way. Asante sana to all!

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