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Cute Kids in Kenya by khym54, on Flickr

Cute Kids in Kenya by khym54, on Flickr

It’s hard to connect to the ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa: It’s far away in an area that’s been plagued by problems for years. The problem is so big, it’s hard to wrap your head around how we can provide relief.

Leave it to a couple of kids to sort it out. It took some dinnertime Q&A with his 7-year-old twins for Vancouver, B.C.’s Chris Jimenez to take action, but now he’s on a mission: He wants to help raise $60,000 to support relief efforts. And he’s halfway there.

Chris sent the following email to some friends, and one of those friends sent it to their friends – including me. I asked Chris if I could share his email for two reasons:

  • Chris is just some guy who’s out to raise money to support relief agencies because he can, and because he believes we – the collective We – can do better.
  • For the Canadians: Until September 16, the Government of Canada is matching donations to selected relief agencies. And, up to $10,000, so will Chris!

$60,000 in Six Days(ish)

Initially, Chris was aiming for $60,000 in six days – a short time frame to encourage people to act. He’s since decided to extend the date to August 25. Here’s his original email:

 

I was watching the news last night with my family about the famine in East Africa and my 7 year old kids said to me “Dad, can we share some of our money from our bank account to the kids who can’t eat?” Why do you want to share your money? They said, I don’t know, they just seem to need it. So how much to you want to share? They said 100 money (I clarified this to mean dollars, not cents).

So this made me think WOW if my 7 year old kids can feel compelled to make a difference, how can I just sit here and do nothing myself. Thinking back to my recent conversations with various people, it’s amazing how the biggest complaint we seemed to talk about is that we haven’t really had a summer yet. Amazing how easily we forget how fortunate we all really are to be where we are.

Now I know that we all have our own fair share of challenges in our lives as well, but I also believe that even in our worst of days, we can all think of some way or somehow we have all received a blessing. What I am asking at this time, is that you give a blessing to so many who could use it right now.

As I thought to myself how I can make a bigger impact than just contributing money, I asked myself these questions…

  • What if you were watching your family starving? Can you see the sorrow in their faces?
  • What if you were listening your children crying from hunger? Can you hear the sound of their pain?
  • What if it were the people you cared about most that were dying all around you? Can you feel their helplessness?

These are the questions I asked myself. So that’s when I thought about the $60,000 in 6 day challenge for hope and joy.

My vision is to come up with a minimum of $60,000 to be donated from our efforts within the next 6 days. My commitment is to match 50% of your cumulative donations up to my personal maximum amount of $10,000. I am committing to 50% because my hope is that you, my network of friends, family, and colleagues will collectively come up with the other $20,000 (but please don’t let this be the ceiling). If we together come up with a minimum of $30,000, then the Government of Canada will match this contribution if it is done through World Vision which will make our total of $60,000.

I know that it is easy to come up with reasons not to donate and it’s even been suggested to me that donating is not the answer. Now I agree that something better does have to be done in the long term, but please let’s not confuse long term political and developmental aid with the immediate humanitarian aid that is needed right now by over 10 million people. For me, I feel like if I don’t do something, even as little as donating a small amount, then I would be quietly saying it’s okay to turn a blind eye and let them suffer when it’s not!

 

Help reach the $60,000 mark

At time of publishing, Chris says approximately $33,000 has been donated already (I’m not sure whether that includes matched donations or not). Want to add your contribution to the pot?

  • Chris asks that you make a donation to World Vision, because he knows that the government will be matching those donations.
  • Then send him a quick email confirming your donation and the amount; he’ll be keeping a tally on his Facebook wall or will email folks who aren’t connected with him.

If you’d like to do more to help Chris out, please share this with your friends. Thank you very much for your support!

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