Tag Archives: vitamin angels

One Note in a Beautiful Symphony

One of the greatest tragedies to befall a man is the belief that what he does is irrelevant. The more meaningless life becomes in his head, the quicker his life will mirror the belief. For me, one of the greatest paradoxes of life is the knowledge of how small we are in the universe, but how significant even the smallest of our actions can be. This video can give you a glimpse of the magnitude of the universe.

We may just be a tiny dot in the grand scheme of things, but we have a part in the play. In fact, even the action we believe to be the most insignificant can be life changing or world altering. Two of my previous blogs come to mind:

  • Your Small is Someone’s Large – This was my reaction to Vitamin Angels’ guest post. They wrote how: 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. Tiny contribution. Life changing consequences.
  • Life as a Textbook – One simple act of responsibility by my wife changed the way I look at litter forever.

I bring all this up because this past week I heard another story that emphasizes my point. I was at a leadership conference where they highlighted different social causes. One was Compassion International. They interviewed a 28-year-old (?) man who had been sponsored through Compassion since he was 8. He had lost his dad and his mom was very sick. He had even had to move to his Aunt’s house where he was the eighth child. His life was not going well. At that time, a 20-year-old college student (Mark) from Canada sponsored him for no more than $35 a month. Because of that generosity, the man was now training to be a pastor and was preparing to go back to Kenya to help others. The man had even saved the first letter he had received from the Canadian college student.

It was a touching story, but to top it off they asked him if had ever met his sponsor. “No, I have not”, he replied. And that’s when they brought his sponsor out. You’ve never seen a grown man cry as much and as hard as this man from Kenya. He hugged Mark for about five or ten minutes and they tried to continue the interview. However, he could barely stand and he just sat on the floor bawling. The look in his eyes contained a thousand words. They ranged from inexpressible joy to “I can’t believe I’m meeting you!” to “Thank you!” It was a beautiful moment.

Many of us may never receive that moment. Mark could have never met the man he once sponsored. But would that have changed the significance of what he had done? No. The Kenyan man’s life was forever changed.

Remember the small things. They are never really small. They are just small in the moment. Never believe the lie that says your life is irrelevant. You matter. I matter. People halfway around the world matter. Our lives may just be small notes  in the grand symphony of life, but imagine the ugly silence if those notes were removed.

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A Great Example

Africa1I am often encouraged and inspired as I read the firsthand accounts of people who have given their lives to serving others. As we explore what it means to Become Last,  we can all learn from those who have modeled that in one form or another. Over the last couple of months, we’ve heard from Vitamin Angels and the Fissels about their adventures in serving others. If you’d like to read what they wrote, just search for them in the search box at the top and you can read their guest posts. You can also click on their names to go to their websites.

Tomorrow, we have another amazing opportunity! We’ll hear from Nikki, another person who puts compassion into action. She’s a college student in Canada who has a heart for children. I ran across her blog last week (she actually has several) and wanted to give her a chance to share her heart for Becoming Last.

As a free preview (ok, so it’s all free…), here is a link to an encouraging and useful post on her Ethiopia blog. She describes meeting the child she sponsors through WorldVision and the encouragement it was to see the letters and things she had sent her. I would highly encourage reading her post because she recommends several organizations through which you can sponsor a child and some tips for what to write and what to send.

If you’ve never sponsored a child, she provides links to look up information for each group. My wife and I have never actually done this as a couple, but I think we may discuss finding some place in our budget. For some reason, I’ve just never thought long and hard about doing this. Like I’ve said before, it’s just easier not to make the effort sometimes. Life just gets moving and unless we’re intentional about setting aside our time and money we easily forget the difference we could make. That’s been the most encouraging part of this blog. I know a handful of people read this from time to time, but it really helps my family and I put our thoughts and promptings into action.

I hope you’ll come back tomorrow as Nikki shares with us a little of her heart for others. Until then, check out her post I on child sponsorship and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!

Have you Become Last this week?

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Inconceivable!

As Vizzini from the Princess Bride would say, “Inconceivable!” It was almost as miraculous as this…

Most of you know, we had a goal of 200 clicks on our SocialVibe widget (look on the right if you don’t know what that is) by September 1. To be honest…I didn’t believe. We were about 30 clicks short with a few hours left. Knowing I had to wake up early (4:50am) today, I went to bed conceding defeat.

Before I left for work, I decided to see how close we came. To my astonishment, 200 clicks had been surpassed! I didn’t even realize it immediately. At first, I noticed the blog had quite a few more hits than normal (insert canned joke about how that would only take a handful!). That piqued my curiosity so I quickly checked the number of clicks and we hit a high of 206! Awesome. Very awesome.

The astute among you will notice the widget on the right now gives the number of days of treatment we have donated. That changed this morning, right after we beat our goal! As of now, you guys have donated 23,892 days of Vitamin A treatment just by clicking a couple of buttons! Is that not great? The more you click, the more Vitamin Angels can provide life-sustaining access to vitamins for kids in areas of the world who battle for their lives everyday due to malnutrition and poverty.

I haven’t decided on a new goal. To be ambitious or not, that is the question? I know clicking can become monotonous at times, but Vitamin Angels and the children they help thank you.

And before I forget, special shout out to Mike. Through some digging, I discovered he funneled people to the site last night to make the goal of 200 clicks! Thanks to all his friends who stopped by and I hope to see you back again! Until then, keep clicking!

How can you Become Last today?

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Turning Lemons into Lives

I found a cool story in the Vitamin Angels newsletter this month. I love hearing about kids Becoming Last. Here’s the story:

Lemonade for Vitamin Angels

What’s better than lemonade on a hot summer day? Lemonade for a great cause!

8 year old Declan set up a lemonade stand to help teach others about our important work and raised $50! Remember, all it takes is 25 cents to provide one child with vitamin A for a whole year. So in one afternoon, this one child was able to impact the lives of 200 children, and refresh many passersby at the same time! Inspired yet? Get Involved!

What a great example for kids who want to help! Simple, small, yet significant. He helped 200 kids. Awesome! Don’t forget to click our “Help Now” button on the right of the page and have a great Saturday!

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100 Clicks and Counting!

Look for this on the right side of my page!

Congratulations to Becoming Last readers! We’ve reached one hundred clicks on our SocialVibe widget! I’m not sure what that translates to exactly, but I think it’s around 6,000 days of Vitamin A treatment for a child. It may not sound like much, but it’s life saving to many of the children Vitamin Angels helps.

If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, please scroll down and look at the right side of my page. You’ll see a box with a big “Help Now!” button. There’s no spam or personal information involved. You just watch a 30 second video (actually, you can rate and click without watching…shhhh…don’t tell!) and rate it. Then, Sprint (my SocialVibe sponsor) donates money to Vitamin Angels. If you missed out, Vitamin Angels wrote a blog a while back.

So thanks for clicking! You really have made a difference just by visiting my blog. I hope you’ll come back and click often. Our goal is to get 200 clicks by the end of August! That’s ambitious, but it can be done! If you want extra credit, go to SocialVibe and set up your own account. You earn money towards a charity of your choice just by using social media. I’m signed up as BecomingLast!

Become Last today and don’t forget to click the “Help Now!” button because you can make a difference!

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Your Small is Someone’s Large – Day 32

Thanks again to Vitamin Angels for guest blogging yesterday. Their blog had me thinking all day yesterday. Particularly this part:

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.

WOW…

So I got to thinking about that and I realized how I take for granted such small things, like a dollar, when it could be used for four years to provide a child with life-saving nutrients!

Which makes my main excuse…”I don’t have enough to help” invalid. We just live in such a different world that our small is HUGE for a child overseas. It translates to my life in this way…

Do I want that cookie so bad or can I give the dollar instead?
Can I drink water instead of my morning soda?
Biggie size? No thanks, I’d like to help a child.

My goal is to make five small (large to a child overseas) changes to give at least another five dollars away each month. I’m very prone to forgetting these things so I need your help reminding me. Or better yet, would you join with me? Even 5 people sacrificing five bags of chips, cookies, drinks, or Starbucks would help 25 kids for four years. That’s such a small sacrifice, but it’s life-saving for those children.

Becoming Last means sweating the small stuff, one dollar at a time. Thanks to Vitamin Angels (click their “help me” button on the right to help for free!) for all you do!

How can you Become Last today?

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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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