A different kind of gift this Mother’s Day

May 1, 2016/Uncategorized

This Mother’s Day, I’m asking you to rethink giving.

Most of us, when we donate goods, donate what we don’t want… things we’re done using. They hold very little value to us. There’s no real reason for us to keep them. It would be a tragedy for us not to donate them.

When we have a little extra money in our pocket (and when I say extra, I mean above what we need for survival), we don’t question who it’s for…. we assume the extra was meant for us. I can think of a lot of little ways and big ways to spend extra money on me!

So when we donate money, for most of us, it’s money we have left over after spending on our needs, and most likely treating ourselves pretty well with our extra income. In the end, it costs us very little.

I’ve been struck by these two thoughts this year so when Becky Straw, Co-founder and CEO of The Adventure Project, approached me to join them in their Mother’s Day Campaign, it became an opportunity for me to lean into these generosity proddings from earlier this year and challenge you to do the same.

About 20 minutes outside the capital city of Uganda, you will find the town of Masajja. Although it’s relatively close to the Uganda’s largest city, access to healthcare and medicine can be difficult. One organization is doing something about it and in the meantime, changing the lives of women in more ways than one.

Uganda patient

Mother and child in Uganda supported by a community health promoter.

Evelyn is 39 and has 5 children. When she was having her babies, she traveled to a medical center where she delivered, but went home alone to care for her children. There were no follow up appointments with doctors or nurses to make sure she or the baby were healthy and well cared for. She certainly wasn’t handed a well-baby check up list like I was when I left the hospital with my four babies complete with what they should be eating, how often they would need to see a doctor for vaccinations and checkups, or how many times to expect them to soil a diaper. No siree, in her words, “They didn’t attend to me. I felt so bad.”

Evelyn working

Evelyn “attending to the young ones.”

She knew then she wanted to change that. “I had a dream to attend to the young ones. I had interest to teach (them).” As a prior shop owner, Evelyn had run a successful business and has been able to transition to becoming a respected health promoter in her community. She’s able to earn additional income for her family “to help [her] husband and kids.”

Evelyn was trained by an organization called Living Goods – a non-profit that recruits, equips, and trains women to become Community Health Promoters in developing countries around the world for a relatively low cost. In fact, the locals call it “cheaper than free”, because the minuscule amount of money charged for medicines and health products, is cheaper for them than paying for transportation to the government center in the city, which will offer them free medicine once they’re there. The model of door-to-door healthcare that Living Goods offers is lowering costs for the people and increasing their chances at healthy lives.

Evelyn patient

Evelyn checking the temperature of a young patient.

This Mother’s Day (now through May 13), *my goal is to raise $250 to help recruit, equip, and train one woman to become a Community Health Promoter (CHP) in her village, and I’m asking you to join me!

*A trained CHP will go on to treat 800 people in her community, paying special attention to infants and pregnant women.

*She will provide life-saving services and over 60 types of products at an affordable price to her community.

*She will also earn a income, providing for her own family, often earning enough to send her children to school for the first time.

*Every  $25 donated will provide 10 people in Uganda with access to health care. Additionally, every dollar will be matched by One Day’s Wages, doubling your impact. (Please note that 100% of your gift is tax-deductible, and that One Day’s Wages will only match if The Adventure Project raises at least $25,000, so we really need your support.)

Will you help me leave a legacy of changing lives? Will you take your extra and bless someone (a thousand times over!) across the world?

I’ll never forget Francis Chan’s modern day parable in his book Crazy Love. He talks about how after death a man comes to God and asks, “How could you let millions of people starve? How could you allow countless children to go without food and healthcare? Why didn’t you do anything to help them?”

God’s response was quiet and to the point, “I provided enough food and money for everyone. The question isn’t why I didn’t do something, the question is why didn’t you?”

If you are as convicted by that story as I am, please visit my fundraising page here. I’d be ever so grateful.

Please help me spread the word and raise funds by sharing this article via the social media buttons below. 

*text taken from The Adventure Project/One Day’s Wages Mother’s Day Campaign 
** Photos courtesy of Becky Straw and The Adventure Project

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(c) 2016 Leighann Marquiss