Tag Archives: donate

Why World Water Day Should Matter to You?

Today is World Water Day. Currently, there are almost 1 BILLION people without access to clean drinking water. To put that in perspective, that is 1 out of every 8 people on the planet.

Some quick facts about water (credit is due charity:water for these facts):

  • Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.
  • 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old.
  • In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children bear the brunt of this labor.

Here’s the deal. We have many problems in America. For the most part, access to clean drinking water is not one of them. I completely agree we should work on problems here, but that need not necessitate us leaving millions without hope. For the price of a night out to eat, a movie, or a couple of Starbucks, you can drastically change someone’s life.

Christians, let us put our money where our mouths are. “For God so loved the world” means more than our tiny part of it. We build up vast nest eggs to live lives of luxury by the time we are 60, but can we spare a few dollars for some who may not see 60 without our help?

Let me be clear: this IS a gospel issue. Why on earth would people care to hear about a loving God if His people will not care for their most immediate needs? Let us not be so cruel as to send missionaries to the farthest corners to share the Good News, but willfully neglect millions (many children) as they suffer the cruel fate of being born into an impoverished area.

Love knows no borders. Love knows no race. Love knows no culture.

If you would like to give, these organizations do fantastic work (there are others, just do your homework before you donate):

charity:water
Samaritan’s Purse
Wine to Water

Even if it’s just a few dollars, would you please consider giving the gift of water to someone today?

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Filed under Challenges, christian, hunger, making a difference, poverty, Serving Others, Uncategorized

Unleash Your Inner Nerd!

If you know me well enough or have followed my blog long enough, you think are fairly certain know beyond a shadow of a doubt I’m a nerd. I admit it openly. I like books. I like crosswords (even ones where I have to look up stuff and learn! ugh…). My wife and I play Scrabble on Facebook…while sitting in the same room (I know, I know…).

If the above doesn’t prove my supreme nerdability, check this out. At a New Year’s Eve Party…yes, a New Year’s Eve Party, I got sucked into figuring out the probability of something happening in a game of farkle (I thought about trying to explain myself at this point, but there’s no use…nothing can explain doing statistics on New Year’s Eve…although I did get the problem right!).

You may also know I care about helping people. At heart, I’m a very selfish person. I catch myself being selfish all the time. But I try (and this blog helps) to serve others as often as I can.

Which brings me to FreeRice. I recommended this site a long time ago, but I completely missed a key part of the site! What? I said I’m a nerd, not observant! 🙂

FreeRice lets you play a game answering vocab questions and for every answer you get right they donate 10 grains of rice. That may not sound like much, but with a ginormous (you may think that’s a new vocab word, but I learned that from the movie Elf…)  amount of people playing, 63,672,800 grains of rice were donated yesterday. That’s awesome.

Now, the part I missed. What I didn’t realize was you can change from vocab to all kinds of different subjects: Art, Chemistry, English, Math, Geography, even foreign language learning! The nerd in me is as excited as this woman.

So instead of playing another game of Bejeweled, Mafia Wars, Zuma, etc. take a swing at the FreeRice game and help spread some free food to those who need it.

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Pack Rat Rehab

I admit it. I am a pack rat. I don’t know how to let things go. I keep almost everything. You just never when you might need it, right?

A couple of years back, my wife made me go through like 50 shirts I hardly ever wear and I begrudgingly gave up about five. I can really find any excuse to keep something. “I might need it one day. I could still wear that. That has too many memories to throw away.” The list could go on. I’ve just never been good at getting rid of anything.

But I think I’m starting to come around…

I’m beginning to realize how MUCH I have. So last week I began my rehab as a pack rat. I’ve begun cleaning out the closet and I’m going to work my way through the house until we’re a lean, clean, efficient machine. Here’s a few good reasons you may want to go to pack rat rehab like me…

  1. Organization is Next to Godliness. O.k. Not quite. But you get the point. I agree with much of what this article says about efficiency. Basically, the more organized you are the better you will function. I’m not the most organized and I don’t think you have to be a neat freak, but, at a minimum, being able to identify where things are is helpful.
  2. Hidden Treasures! I love working through a pile of junk and running across a hidden treasure. Just that simple pleasure makes the time spent cleaning/organizing worth it. A few of the fun trinkets I’ve found…$5 in the pocket of a fleece I hadn’t worn, a book I had been looking for, cd’s, and pictures of the year I met my wife.
  3. Giving it Away! You know this had to eventually get to Becoming Last right? Well, my perspective is completely changing on all my stuff. Before, I kept everything because I’m frugile and hate to get rid of something. However, my heart has really been broken for all the clothes, toys, etc. we have around our house. Especially stuff we don’t use or even remember exists anymore! I really want to begin to be a giver. A lot of times I don’t think I have much to give (and I don’t to a lot of my friends who are better off than I am), but there are plenty of people in this area and around the world whose day would be made by receiving some of the things I neglect.
  4. Recycle, Reuse. This is not a blog on politics so no worries about getting into whether or not global warming is taking place. I’ve just realized two things recently. One, I should recycle. If the stuff can be broken down and made into another product, why not recycle it? It’s way easier to throw it away, but I want to begin to make a better effort at making the most of what I’m given, even as I dispose of it. Second, I love the people who are really thrifty at reusing things in a different way than it was intended. It’s creative, it’s being a good steward, and it saves it from the trash. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Maybe you can join pack rat rehab with me. Take a look around your house this weekend, think about what you use, think of the benefits of cleaning house, and think of the people/kids you could help by donating your stuff or selling it to give the money away. Good luck!

How can you Become Last this weekend?

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Filed under Chances to Serve, Uncategorized

Giving Made Tangible

I’m becoming a Twitter addict. It’s way more than a way to kill time or a way to tell people what you just ate, it’s an information superhighway. I’m not kidding. If you are doing research on the Internet, Twitter should be in your top five places to start. Of course, you need to know what you are doing or it could take forever, but it’s worth the time to learn.

For example, today I found this amazingly awesome website. It’s a group called Global Giving. They connect donors with community-based projects that need support. Here are three reason why you need to visit:

  1. Ease of Use – Their website is extremely easy to use. You can donate to a cause of your choice in just a handful of clicks.
  2. Tangible – I’m convinced the #1 reason people don’t give is because the problems are out there (wherever out there is, it’s not here, so it’s easy to pass off). Global Giving connects you to real projects helping real people. You know where your money is going and I think that makes it easier for people to give. For example, in four clicks I discovered for $25 you can support a child (one month’s vitamins, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion and other basic supplies for a child) in an orphanage in Central America.
  3. Start Ups – If you are a non-profit struggling for money, this is a site you should consider. Not only will you generate more money for projects, but the amount of times your organization’s name will be in front of people is invaluable.

So check them out. I get excited about non-profits who are using their website and social media to maximize the benefits of what they do.

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Filed under Chances to Serve, Websites

Vitamin Angels – Day 31

Becoming Last is excited to give you an opportunity to learn more about an awesome organization named Vitamin Angels. Last month, I adopted them as my SocialVibe non-profit on the blog and they were kind of enough to share with us a little bit about what they do. So without further ado, here’s Vitamin Angels:

Thanks to Matt for featuring Vitamin Angels and allowing us to guest blog! We’re excited to be here.

The UN announced last month that one billion people throughout the world suffer from hunger. This number has increased by 100 million since last year due to the global financial crisis. Not only are millions of children suffering each year from not having enough food, these children and many others must suffer from not having the right food. Often referred to as the “hidden hunger,” lack of nutritious foods leaves millions of children without the nutrition they need to survive and thrive in their environments each year.

Last May a report issued by the Micronutrient Initiative reported that approximately 670,000 children under the age of five die due to lack of vitamin A in their diets each year. Vitamin A is essential for proper immune system and bodily function and growth and also plays a large role in eye health and function. According to the World Health Organization, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections.

The lack of awareness about the effects of micronutrient deficiencies is stunning, but what’s more surprising is how much change can be made with so few resources. Studies have shown that supplying vitamin A to children in high risk areas can reduce child mortality by 23%. It costs Vitamin Angels just 25 cents per child per year to provide vitamin A and antiparasitic medicine to children in need. That means that for $1, you can provide a child under 5 with enough vitamin A for the four most vulnerable years of their life.

Our partnership with SocialVibe has already provided Vitamin Angels with enough funds to provide vitamin A to over 31,000 children across the world. The calculations might be a bit confusing (we’re working with SocialVibe to find a simpler solution), but clicks from the Becoming Last widget alone have already generated 3,952 days of vitamin A treatment (or 10 doses of vitamin A).

SocialVibe makes it easy to make a big impact on children’s lives in just a few clicks and the new campaign we’ve just launched is making it even easier. Check out this link and find out how just by signing up for SocialVibe, you can provide another child with vitamin A for year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5NqKCoJat4

Thanks again to the folks at Vitamin Angels for taking the time to share. You have now donated over 6,500 days of Vitamin A treatment just by visiting Becoming Last and clicking the “Help Now” button on the right!  It’s free and it takes like 30 seconds so don’t forget to give it a click before you leave!

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Filed under General Update, Uncategorized, vitamin angels