Sunday, June 24, 2012

day 12: one dollar, one child, one hope

I dedicate day 12 to this brother and sister in India who were happy to get a little attention from a foreigner, maybe who felt important for a moment. When you look into their eyes you catch a glimpse of the human spirit, that of finding joy in the midst of struggle. I go barefoot during this 30 days to remember them, even though my clean paved streets and pristine grass-covered lawns of my safe neighborhood are nothing compared to their colony's alleyways lined with trash and broken glass.

It's not a challenge really, I almost wish I had not chosen that word to describe what I'm doing. They're the ones with the real challenge. My effort here is a mere shadow of what they go through. Their smiles shine through and there are rays of hope breaking through the darkness of their surroundings, but truth be told, it's not a happy place.

Right now, in that slum colony, there's the girl in this photo who's sifting through the trash on her bare feet, trying to help her mother find some valuables they can redeem for a few rupees. I know it sounds dramatic, but honestly, it's just the truth. If they're fortunate, they'll come home with about 50 rupees-- approximately $1. From this, they can scrape together just enough food to survive. So your $1 just became much more powerful than you imagined before reading this.

Here's my point... What's a dollar or a euro to you, really? What if you dropped that note or coin in the store in a moment of absent-mindedness? Would you miss it? Would you even notice? Now put the story back on the little girl. What if she misplaced her 50 rupees? Do you think she would notice? Do you not think it would be devastating for her? Do you not think she would cry?

So I'm daring you to do something that you would usually never think to bother with. Donate $1 to our slum scholarship fund. Think about the impact it will have in that kind of economy. Do it just for the principle of the matter. Do it to know that you've done something--that you overcame indifference (see my thoughts about this on my day 7 entry). But not only that--do it because $1 really will make a difference! I thought of a little mantra, a slogan of sorts around this, what do you think?

One Dollar
One Child
One Hope

Your one dollar, for one child, provides, essentially, one hope. When I see the faces of these kids who have already entered our program, that's what I think of. They feel hopeful! Just look at them...

So, why not? Why not give $1? Come on, let's do this!

Earlier I declared... "Together, we can make a difference, if we overcome indifference."

A key word here is together. $1 alone isn't going to change much for very long. But 100 $1's? 1,000 $1s? 10,000 $1s? It's an image of the masses rising up to do something, the masses rising up to say, enough is enough, I'm ready to be a part of the solution. Come on, join the revolution! Let's do this! You balk at this notion as a fantasy? But I ask you, why not use superlative language like "revolution"? That's exactly what the world needs--a revolution against indifference!

Great news! Today, someone decided to do something about it. Someone brought our total up to $2,000 toward our $5,000 goal! Now, together, we've provided a way for 4 children to come in to our slum education center program in Hyderabad, India--we call it "The Children's Hope Center." You can learn more about it here. These 4 kids' lives will be forever changed. They'll be provided an education and literally rescued from a life of trash heap scavenging. Way to go! See, we're doing this! It's getting done!

For those of you interested in following along on my meals, to discover how I'm living off of $1 of food per day for 30 days, here's what I came up with for today. 

Breakfast. Had another go at the potato pancake with raisin syrup. But to mix things up a bit, I substituted my usual oatmeal with a simple mixture of heated brown rice and raisins. It was a bit dry but a welcomed variation to the usual.

Lunch. I've really loved the Chinese coleslaw recipe, but today just put a little twist on it by adding a hard-boiled egg to the mix. This salad, with a splash of vinegar and seasonings, really hits the spot. It's light but just enough protein, variety and substance to satisfy. All for about 30 cents!

Dinner. I perfected what I've been calling chimichangas, although I think they might be more like taquitos. Whatever they are, I'm really enjoying them. It's just re-fried pinto beans with a little brown rice, rolled into corn tortillas, basted in a bit of vegetable oil and baked at 500F/260C for 8 minutes. Added to this a small portion of pasta with one teaspoon pasta sauce and carrots for substance. A really satisfying meal. Again, amazing what you can do for about 30 cents!

Take Action!

1) Please consider giving toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums. So far we've raised $2,000 of my $5,000 goal to cover 10 scholarships. Every little bit helps!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to Peace Gospel. If you're in the UK, use this link.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. The main goal is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!


  1. A friend made a comment to me one day about how it really bothered her that people give to the needy in other countries when we have our own needy here in the US. I'm all for helping those who need it locally and I do several times a year, but you really can't compare poverty here with the poverty in other parts of the world. Your photos are evidence of that. I didn't say anything to my friend, because I'm just not a confrontational kind of person, but I really should have said something. You're doing something really good here...keep it up! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment, Michelle. It came right when I was writing my post for day 13, and it helped me shape my train of thought. Really appreciate you sharing.