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Simple Living Challenge – Week 2 …and a Giveaway!

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Welcome to the Simple Living Challenges week 2 challenge for June!

… how did the storage unit cleaning go last weekend?

Week 1 was some hard cleaning and the reward is week 2.  Week 2 is all about growth.

But this week we are going to reach a bit farther, past ourselves, and are even going to end up with an awesome giveaway!

So let’s get started!

The Back-Story

A few weeks ago I was reading on Jen Hatmakers blog about adoption.  I love the way this lady thinks!  If you are interested in international adoption check out her series here with part 1, part 2, and part 3.

What really got me thinking was part 3.  To summarize the idea (though I recommend reading the whole article) she was talking about how we can fight the problem of so many children needing homes by empowering families and communities.  Many children who are considered orphans have one parent who is still alive or other family in the area that don’t have the ability to support and keep them.

Children can be sent to orphanages and considered orphans because their family can’t afford to take care of them.

And this is just not right.  I love this quote by Jen:

It is unacceptable that poverty makes orphans. That is a gross injustice at the root of these astronomical numbers. If you must relinquish your child because you cannot feed, educate, or care for him, the international community should rise up and wage war against that inequity. Every family deserves basic human rights, and I should not get to raise your child simply because I can feed him and you can’t. – Jen Hatmaker Adoption Ethics Part 3

I am not ready to have another child in my house, but I am ready to fight for families (single mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles… or other) to be able to help raise these children.

I love helping families and communities who need help… but this is growth week, and I think we can help some other people do some growing.

The Challenge

Sometimes people need a ‘hand-out’ and I believe it is our responsibility to help these people in tragic situations.

But, what I love even better is when I can help someone have the tools to help themselves.  Not only does the money go exponentially farther, it builds self-esteem and helps the whole social structure.  That is big!

So today I want to challenge you to help someone else grow.  

I will share with you my three favorite organizations that help empower families and communities.

kiva1. Kiva

This is a pretty popular organization… because it is so cool!

We have been lending with Kiva for almost 2 years now and we have had all our loans paid back 100%.  Then that money can be given in another loan.  It is a revolving and empowering circle.  Instead of just giving people money, Kiva lets you help people start businesses that can provide the money for their children to eat, go to school, and learn how to operate their own business.

Since Kiva was founded in 2005:

  • 942,083 Kiva lenders
  • $439,958,500in loans
  • 99.01% Repayment rate (source)

Want to loan someone money?  You can browse through the countries, people, and projects to find someone you connect with.  So fun… but so hard to choose.  Check out how you can help Kiva here.

worldvision2.  World Vision Micro Loans

This is another organization we have been working with for several years.  It is a large and very respected organization.  World Vision is most known for their sponsor-a-child program (which is pretty cool), but they also do micro loans.

For as little as $25 you can go through and select which loan you would like to fund.  Check out all the loan requests here.

Amazima3.  Amazima Ministries

This is one I wrote about before on my blog, but was reminded of while I read Jen’s post (linked above).

The story behind Amazima ministries is amazing.  It is a beautiful story about what God can do through someone (even a young woman) that is committed to following Him.  Check out Kisses With Katie for the story, or take a look at her blog.

She does many amazing things in Uganda, but one of them was to train very poor ladies how to make jewelry.

Check out this from their site:red_necklace_close_up_large

  • When you buy from Amazima, you employ a Ugandan woman, feed a hungry child, and receive a beautiful piece of jewelry to show your solidarity with Uganda wherever you go.

  • The women in our vocational program are paid a fair wage and given financial training by Amazima’s social worker.  Each woman shows proof of deposit to ensure she is saving some of the money she earns for her future.  (source)

Here is a video of how the make the jewelry:

The Giveaway!

When I was scrolling through this site last weekend I really wanted to get a necklace and help out with the project.  I love the idea that I can purchase something and send a message of hope and help to a woman who is trying so hard to support herself.

But I am in a small city in China… and I haven’t figured out how to get mail sent to me from outside the country yet.

So, I thought I would make it a giveaway on the site.  I will buy a necklace and send it to one of you!

  • The prize: 1 Kwagala necklace (red) made by Amazima ministries.  Link hereAmazima Kwagala
  • How to enter: Leave a comment on this post about a way you have helped/or would like to help empower someone else.
  • Dates: Leave a comment between June 10 and June 17.  I will notify the winner and ship the prize within a few days after June 17.
  • Extra rule stuff: No purchase necessary, one entry per person, you should be 18 or older, and you can’t sue me if you are somehow hurt by this giveaway.  Value of the price is 19.95 plus shipping.  You agree to let me post your first name on my blog if you win. If you are outside the US you can still enter to win if you agree to pay the extra shipping (necklaces are shipped from the Amazima office in the US).
  • Extra cool points: Help spread the word about these awesome organizations!  Please share this post, and like these organizations on your social media so your friends can learn about them as well.

There is your challenge!  Help someone else grow.

All these organizations are asking for money to help others but money isn’t the only way you can help someone grow.  What can you teach?  How can you encourage?

These can make a huge difference to someone else’s growth.  

Love you all!  Good luck!  (remember to comment on how you have/or want to help someone else grow to have a chance to win the necklace)

And the winner is…. Shannon!  (I put the total number of entries into random.org and it told me comment #2 was the winner).  Thanks everyone for your comments and how you help!

8 Comments

  1. Based in Wisc, WCCN (Working Capital for Community Needs) is another micro-loan organization. http://wccn.org/ We have a couple revolving loans with them. We have them keep the principle of the loan to re-loan, but we get an interest payment check each year, which is a reminder of the good our loan is doing. There are so many good, worthwhile opportunities available for us to help someone else.

  2. Shannon Shannon

    Every year my family puts together 12 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Its such a great way for us to give back. I’m looking forward to checking out Amazima for Christmas gifts this year too! Thank you!

  3. Jolene Jolene

    I have been lending with Kiva as well, for over 2 yrs, and all of my loans have been repaid 100%. After the initial investment, I just reinvest in someone else when I get repayments, I would highly encourage anyone to loan through Kiva. I have been to all of the countries of the women that I chose to support, so know how important this help is for them.

  4. Thanks for bringing this up, I had been meaning to look into Kiva for a while. It seems like a really worthwhile thing to do. So little money can make such a big difference. (No prize required).

  5. Britney Williams Britney Williams

    I have a heart for educating young women so they will be better wives and mothers when the time comes. To that end I’ve started a study group in my home once a month for young girls and their moms to learn how to think Biblically. I would really like to expand this idea to include practical skills like herbal remedies and home management.

  6. Brenda Haskin Brenda Haskin

    Thanks for the push to do more. I currently give a lot of my time to helping those in need but not sure if it is a handout or a hand up yet, still evaluating that. My funds (and a boat load of time) are going to renovating a home for transitional housing for young adults in my area who are trying to live independently but not quite able to make it financially and have no family support to help them. I am very optimistic that this is going to be a hand up for these young ladies. I have been on the side lines wanting to give for a Kiva loan. I am thinking that this will be a great thing to ask for for my Christmas gift this year (I have many goats out there and this will be something new!)
    Thanks for the motivation!
    Brenda

  7. Roberta Roberta

    What an awesome giveaway! I just finished reading Kisses from Katie and was so moved by God’s love demonstrated through her life and willing heart. Amazing! As a family we have supported financially, and in prayer, children through Gospel For Asia.

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