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What can you do with $100.00?

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posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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I suppose this is one of those proverbial "If you stopped buying a coffee at Starbucks for a month, what could you do with the money you saved?" screeds, but here in the west, for many of us, a hundred dollars isn't what it once was. I've spent $100 on gadgets for my kitchen, or a handful of books, or a couple of shirts that I wear once a year, without even thinking about it. If I give a hundred to one of my nieces or nephews for their birthday or Christmas, they can buy one video game, the guidebook for it, and that's about it.

A number of years ago, a woman at my church stood up to talk about a charitable organization that she was involved with. They are focused on children in Latin America and Africa, running schools in areas of extreme poverty, where the government doesn't provide such. (As this is not a sales pitch for that particular charity, I will not name them -- PM me if you really need to know.) By sponsoring one of the kids in the school, you support the school directly, and the kid writes you letters a couple of times a year, and if you want, you can write back.

Well, this presentation at church was shortly after my wife died, so I had less expenses and was feeling the need to be connected to someone, so I sponsored a kid in Bolivia. Turned out that I sponsored him right as he was graduating (the school taught him tailoring as a trade,) so when they sent me a notice that he had graduated and did I want to sponsor another one, the monthly cost (about $50) wasn't missed, so I upped it to $90 and sponsored two kids (both in Bolivia, and I made sure that they weren't too old this time, lol.)

In addition to the monthly fee, which goes to the school, you have the opportunity to send the kid's family money directly (it goes through the charity -- for security and privacy reasons, you never have direct access to anyone,) so for the past couple of years, I've been sending them both $100 for Christmas, Easter and their birthdays.

They must have used the first couple of gifts to buy a camera, because of late, they've been sending pictures of what they bought with the money, and the first one literally brought tears to my eyes.


Look at all that food that they bought! When I saw that, I was almost ashamed of the way that I treat money -- I doubt that they bought all that stuff as "bonus food", they had a real need for it. The kid also got a set of clothes and a pair of shoes.


Second picture, more food and clothes, and I think he said that he got one toy, as well.


Third picture, not much food, but a bed! I don't know what he was sleeping on before, but now he's got an honest-to-pete bed!


That's the second kid, he's just sent the one picture, and he got a bit of food also, but the family got a nice table "for dinners and for me to study at." Nice.

So, what can you do with a hundred bucks?

If you're a poor kid in Bolivia, apparently a heck of a lot.




posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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Thats good work dude, it actually made me happy looking at those pictures.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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You could put it in the bank for a while or put it under your bed!

Both would buy you less stuff in 6 months....
edit on 11-9-2013 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


That's amazing!


What a great and positive way to remind us all of the things we take for granted here.

My gf and I have a dream of sponsoring tons of kids like that. Imagine, an entire fridge FULL of pictures just like that from children all over the world?? That's our goal...but we've yet to start helping even just one.


I guess that comes from dealing with our own struggles. It's hard for most of us to put our eyes on others when we're struggling ourselves. But my "struggle" is nowhere near the same as these kids.

You've inspired me to talk with my gf about canceling our cable. With the money saved, we could easily sponsor a child or two. Not to mention freeing our minds from that hypnotic presence.

However, it would be a BIG sacrifice for this Canadian, since the start of the 2013 NHL season is less than a month away.


But hey, watching grossly overpaid athletes chase a frozen hunk of rubber around a sheet of ice probably isn't the best use of my limited time and money anyway.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Great post! Good to see some perspective on what a handful of trivial purchases could mean for someone else.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Fantastic thread and great poke in the ribs to the rest of us to do something.

Thanks very much



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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I would love to do something like this, but I'd want to make sure it's actually getting to the child/family. I don't like the idea of being 'discreet' because I'd never be sure the child/family got what I sent. I'd want it to
go directly to the family, no middleman involved--which means I'd have their address and they'd have mine.

Question: You say you can send money directly to the family, but then you say it goes to the charity. Does the child write to you, or does everything go through the charity? I really am interested but would like more information. How do you know the child is getting the cash for sure?
edit on 11-9-2013 by virraszto because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


Honestly, that's a big concern of mine as well. How do I KNOW that my donations are going where I'd like them to go? I suppose pictures with huge sacks of food helps.


I just really don't like the idea of a middle-man in between me and my efforts to help...but at the same time I understand that somebody has to facilitate the logistics for these kinds of projects.

Does anyone know what the most reputable organizations for this type of thing are?

Obviously World Vision is the first one to come to my mind (thanks to television) but I've never dealt with them so I really have no idea. I have looked into their program but it didn't seem as "hands-on" as I would prefer (as in, they feel like too big a middle-man). That was just my impression based only on about 5 minutes of browsing their website; hardly enough study.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate any advice people have based on their experience with various organizations like this.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by Coup_Detat_Cam
 

( On seond thought, after reading, this organization takes your money, then transfers it. Don't like that idea.)

My first google search and I came up with this. Maybe something like this would be worth looking into? Haven't read all of it, but it looks interesting.

www.npr.org...

I'm going to look into it and others sites and try to do the best research to find the right one for me.
edit on 11-9-2013 by virraszto because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 05:34 PM
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virraszto
I would love to do something like this, but I'd want to make sure it's actually getting to the child/family. I don't like the idea of being 'discreet' because I'd never be sure the child/family got what I sent. I'd want it to
go directly to the family, no middleman involved--which means I'd have their address and they'd have mine.

Question: You say you can send money directly to the family, but then you say it goes to the charity. Does the child write to you, or does everything go through the charity? I really am interested but would like more information. How do you know the child is getting the cash for sure?

Well, there are the pictures, and like I said, the boys write me letters a number of times each year and thank me for the gifts. Yes, you need to have confidence in the charity, and I did some research into these guys before I signed up, and they're definitely on the up and up. I am completely comfortable with not having direct contact with these kids (they don't speak English and I don't speak Spanish, so we'd need a translator anyway, which the charity provides.)

Charity Navigator is a good tool to use to evaluate a potential charity. Here's the "score" for the one that I use:




posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 06:15 PM
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That is really awesome. That is a really nice thing to do. Keep it up, you're making a difference.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 06:42 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


You are an angel to a family in bolivia. That is pretty special and touched my heart. Kudos to you. You are a special person.

I believe there is a special place in heaven for people who give and do for others. It is amazing to see what $100 can do in another country. It makes me feel so wasteful.

I often wonder when I throw away the scraps from dinner, how many people in this world would love to have the scraps.

It makes me so sad. I would love to know the name of the program. I would love to do that for a family or child who needs it. Can you U2U me the info?? Please??



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Can you "U2U" me the charity as well? I'm new to this site and haven't tinkered with private messaging yet, but this really touched me. Is there any way to receive their measages in Spanish? I took it for 10 years in school and think it would be a blast to stay fresh with it.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Ah! sure we all know the inequality that exists, or rather we should know. The poorest countries in the world are also the richest in resources, and exploited by us, living in the West. Someday maybe soon, we will get any balance right. presently, any government is not our friend.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:34 PM
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Op,
I forgot to mention that it's a really great thing you do
, and since others have been asking you to u2 them the name of the charity, it would be nice if you posted it. That way anyone that is interested can see the charity name and it will be posted for years to come on this site.

I can just imagine someone browsing this thread in two years from now thinking, wow...that sounds like a great charity, I'd love to sponsor a child----but no charity name! It would make it frustrating and extremely hard to find out ( esp. if person browsing the thread isn't a member and can't u2u).

I'm also interested, and would like to check into it.

edit on 11-9-2013 by virraszto because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:35 PM
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Way to go brother, that's awesome of you. I think about things like this and honestly I wonder if there is something comparable here in the states. At the end of the day, as long as your doing something, that's all that matters. It unique here though, you have kids that are part of a decent middle class that are living below poverty level. The whole situation is just made worse (if that's possible) because no one around them is suffering in the same way. I can say from experience, you feel very alone in your suffering.
Sadly, it seems American charities are so overwhelmed with corruption. I think in many cases, the money gets a little "detour" in to some jack off bank account. If they involved with a church, the chances are that much higher. Anyway, back on topic.
Keep up the selfless work!



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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When the U2U system is back up and running I'll let you both know


The letters that I get are written by the kids, so they're in Spanish, and then it has an English translation which is done by someone at the charity (who is not an English speaker, I'm guessing, because it's pretty choppy.) I presume that they get my English letter, along with a Spanish translation, and I've sent them pictures in the past (usually of Oscar the dog.)

Thank you all for the kind words, but I don't think I'm doing anything particularly noteworthy or noble -- it's a small sacrifice for me, but it can reap big rewards for a couple of kids I'll never meet, but I love all the same.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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virraszto
Op,
I forgot to mention that it's a really great thing you do
, and since others have been asking you to u2 them the name of the charity, it would be nice if you posted it. That way anyone that is interested can see the charity name and it will be posted for years to come on this site.

I can just imagine someone browsing this thread in two years from now thinking, wow...that sounds like a great charity, I'd love to sponsor a child----but no charity name! It would make it frustrating and extremely hard to find out ( esp. if person browsing the thread isn't a member and can't u2u).

Well, I suppose that you have a point there.

There are a number of charities that do this, but the one that I use is Compassion International, which is a Christian organization (and which might turn off some people, hence the note that there are others, such as Save the Children, which I have no experience with, but which seems to provide the same sort of program.)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Thank you for posting that. I'm presently looking through the database of children.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


double post deleted
edit on 11-9-2013 by virraszto because: (no reason given)






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