I love the concept of “Every Day Heroes.” I know this topic has been done more than once but these heroes are the people of the world no one knows. They don’t do amazing philanthopic things for the recognition they do it because they believe in what they are accomplishing and have a passion for giving. They are filling the space that is not always filled by the not-for-profit sector. My next guest has changed the way I think about giving. Just when I feel I am doing some “good” in the world I meet someone that amazes and inspires so much I want to keep giving everyday for the rest of my life because of them. Meet my new friend Chelsea Peters.
I met Chelsea through a friend of a friend. You know that 6 degrees of separation concept? That is how Chelsea and I met. I feel like we have always been just 6 steps away from each other and finally we both turned at the same time and we bumped into each other. Chelsea is doing something I have dreamed of for most of my adult life. She is opening an orphanage in Uganda for street kids. She and her partner Morris are not millionaires. She does not
have extensive knowledge on how to go about opening an orphanage, starting a not for profit nor do they have any children of their own. But they care for these forgotten children on the street. They understand their needs and want to help them with a passion so deep in their hearts it is driving them to do what they need to do to make it happen. Chelsea writes about a generous donation she recently received from an 8 year old girl from Colorado. My give is not only sharing Chelsea and Morris’s story but matching the donation of an 8 year old. If she can find $100 in her life savings so can I. They need just $6500.00 to get the orphanage up and running. How will you help Chelsea? How will you help the street kids that have been abandon in the streets of Lira. Even $10 will help. Read the story and hit that donation button. Help Chelsea and Morris bring their dream alive.
Day 209: Give 209 Guest Chelsea Peters
In February I was in Lira, Uganda visiting my partner Morris. I found a little street boy named Junior, who is 8 years old. He had wandered by earlier when Morris and I were sharing food with the other street children. Junior began playing silently with his broken toy car. Each time we peaked out to check on him, there he was playing in his imaginary world. I hoped that world was a better place than his reality. This car was the only possession he had in the world and it had been broken by the local police (they treat the children of the street a bit like rats.) He had painstakingly worked to repair it. He wanted to give me his car to take home and fix. I wanted to get him a new one. When I told him that he smiled sweetly up at me and showed me that all he really wanted was to hold my hand. I think what he really wanted was to come home with me. I sat in the dirt with him in a white dress as dust whirled around and passersbys stared at the ‘muzungu’ (foreigner) and the street kid. I had nothing to give of mine but my old blue hair tie.
Junior needed so much more than a hair elastic. Yet at the same time the simple hair elastic was exactly what he needed. It represented a bond between us that nobody can take away from him. Two months later I am back in Vancouver and my partner Morris (still in Lira) still feeds him everyday. He still wears the blue hair elastic on his wrist.
Morris and I have made a promise to fight for Junior and the more than 100 homeless street kids in Lira like him. That promise is Atin Afrika Foundation and the residential shelter that we are creating for the street kids of Lira.
The other 8 year old in this story is a little girl named Brynn who lives in Colorado. She has never been to Africa and she has never met me. Her mom Hillary and I worked together on animal rescue projects in Mexico and that is how Brynn came to hear my story, the story of Junior and Atin Afrika Foundation.
I received an email from Hillary recently. This is what is said. “Brynn and I hit some thrift stores today to get the goods for her crafty ideas. While we were driving I told her about the fundraising you’re doing. I told her how Morris has been bringing Junior food, got him a jacket, all about the rainy season and the kids having to sleep on the streets in the cold. Brynn was silent for about 30 seconds and I wondered whether she’d heard anything I said.”
After some thought these were the words that came from an 8 year old’s mouth ”Mom, send Chelsea $100 from my bank account.” Her mother was stunned. She’s 8. She has $400 and wants to send 1/4 of her life savings to me because she believes in what I am doing. She knew that I will do far more than the value of $100 worth of good with it.
The email continues from Brynn’s Mom, ” She’s been like this since the very beginning. Thanks for inspiring her!”
Giving is a chain reaction that happens when people are inspired to act. In my case it began with a blue piece of rubber. A hair elastic changed my life. I realize that this sounds preposterous, but truly a hair elastic changed my life.
A little girl from Colorado named Brynn humbled me and my email back to her mother was short, “ Please tell Brynn that its kids like her who inspire us all to act and think beyond ourselves because if an 8 year old can how is it possible that we grown-ups do not?”
Maybe we can’t change the world, but we can change the lives of these street children. Children are our future and despite all the cynicism and scepticism, knowing that there are kids like Brynn and Junior out there, makes me believe there’s hope.
Chelsea Peters took a trip with friends brought her to Lira and after meeting the street children, spending time with them and hearing their stories she made a promise to herself to do everything in her power to give them two things missing in their lives; hope and love. She is in the planning process of starting the Atin Afrika Foundation with her partner Morris Owiny.
Time Commitment: Chelsea is making a lifetime commitment
Cost: 365give is matching the $100 donation made by Brynn
Happy Easter! It’s finally here. The eggs are hidden, the snacks were left out for the Easter Bunny and all hell is about to break loose when my 3 year old wakes up this morning. We will make bunny ears, blow eggs and paint them all finished off with a tradition Easter egg hunt. My son is blessed as was I and my husband growing up. We have fond memories of Easter that have lasted a life time. Whether you are religious or not Easter bring families together, friends together even communities to share in the festivities.
Some families are not as blessed as we have been. Some families spend Easter on the street, in shelters and in poverty without the money to get the chocolate Easter egg hunts that have stayed in my memory since childhood. This next post was sent from my sister in Los Angeles, California. It is the story of one couple and a community that put on their bunny ears to volunteered their time and donate their money to leave happy memories for children that might otherwise have nightmares at Easter time. As quoted by Karen Somers below “isn’t this what Easter is all about?”
Day 207 : Give 207 Guest post by Karen Somers
Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. For Los Angeles resident Terry Sears, this moveable feast is almost a daily consideration as she spends all year shopping for, creating and then distributing Easter Baskets for kids in need over this holiday.
Every year Terry, her husband David and her “Easter Basket Brigade” assemble car-loads of gift baskets for the children of Haven Hills, a shelter for victims of domestic violence and other surrounding church organizations.
This year Terry created over seventy baskets with multiple buying trips over the last twelve months, picking up each treasured item one piece at a time. It’s a balancing act of ingenuity, enthusiasm and organization. She takes advantage of the post Easter sales and donations from store-owners and friends, but on the whole, Terry and David Sears pick up most of the tab themselves. Her efforts culminate in an intensive week of basket packing just before Easter with the Basket Brigade in her dining room.
The “Easter Basket Brigade” is an informal team of family, friends and neighbours who volunteer their time to build baskets tailored to boys or girls, from babies to teens. The results have been a long time hit for the residents of Haven Hills. They look forward to the fun and useful baskets every year as they are filled with everything from Easter candy, clothing items and toys to books and gift certificates.
Terry is one special member of an army of unsung everyday heroes across the U.S. who quietly fill in the gaps for those less fortunate. They contribute their time, money and muscle in thousands of ways without any fanfare or media coverage. Terry and her Easter Basket Brigade have taken a moveable feast and locked it into a yearly expression of loving commitment to the greater good – isn’t this what Easter is all about?
If you would like to contribute to Terry’s efforts she can be reached via email at: email@example.com or make a direct donation to Haven Hills with one click.
What will you do today to give back in honour of Easter?
When initiating 365give I did some extensive research to see what was going on in the world of daily giving. As much as I thought my 365give idea was unique if 10,000,000 other people were blogging the same concept to give everyday for 365 days I may have struggled with the impact and inspiration I could have made. Obviously since I am now on day 205 of 365 days of giving I did not find 10,000,000 doing the same thing. I did find one person that has stood out to me over the course of my journey – Carlo.
Day 205: Give 205
“An ordinary guy’s guide to giving back everyday. My name is Carlo and my mission is to give to charity every day for a year. This mission is built on a belief that you don’t have to be rich in dollars to make a difference, you only need to be rich in spirit. I may not always be able to give a lot, but I will Give Everyday.” - Living Philanthropic
Carlo and I have never except through our social media outlets but we have a lot in common. We believe that one person can make an impact. One person can give everyday. Even if you aren’t rich you can give.
Today is Carlo’s last day of daily giving – it is his Day 365. I feel like popping a bottle of bubbly and celebrating for him. If I lived a little closer I would be attending his Day 365 closing party in Chicago. It’s free and will be excepting donations to raise funds for Foundation Escalara. If you live in Chicago sign up for some serious dancing and celebrating.
Over the course of the year Carlo has personally donated $4165.81. As he explains on his site he does not have a lot of extra money to give but with a little cutting back here and there makes it possible to give everyday. I like to call it the the “Latte factor” a term coined by author David Bach- Live Rich Finish Rich.
On average a daily latte costs $5.00. Multiply that $5.00 by 365 days and you could contribute at least $1825.00 in a year to your favourite charity. Cut back on your 10th pair of blue jeans, 6th pair of shoes or 8th lipstick and you are well on your way to making a major yearly contribution.
On top of his personally donation, Carlo inspired another $14,384 worth of donations from readers. Fantastic! A huge contribution to not-for-profits across the world. Not only did Carlo raise money but her also raised awareness for all of these organizations he featured, a contribution you cannot put a dollar value on.
Today I am going match Carlo’s donation for his featured charity which is in honour of his Mother.
“Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged”
My donation is in honour of Carlo. Read Carlo’s story. It’s simple, it’s possible and he makes giving something we can do everyday. Thank you for inspiring so many through your giving, your writing and your daily commitment. Above and beyond the personal cash donation you made everyday, you shared your research, your knowledge and your own personal time. That is called volunteerism. Those are endless hours of time and energy going towards a greater good. We all look forward to watching year 2 as the new Living Philanthropic grows and teaches us even more.
Time Commitment: 2 minutes