How Can You Help Women and Children To Show Them Your Love?

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How Can You Help Women and Children To Show Them Your Love?

How Do We Start To Choose Whom To Help?

Much of this Love and Treasure blog talks about the love issues that exist both within you and outside of you.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about whether or not it’s a good idea to watch the news. I said that it’s not a good idea if you are just interested in watching the news and doing nothing about what you’re seeing.

It is, however, acceptable to watch the news if you do something about the news that you watch.

I’m not suggesting that you raise $50 million dollars for every bad news story you watch… although if you have the know-how, by all means, go ahead.

What I mean is that if you’re going to watch the news, and put that upon yourself, watch the news with an open heart and give to causes that speak to you as often as possible.

A better option to news? Read a book.

What Cause Speaks to You?

As Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, journalists and authors of Half The Sky and A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity say,

“we crave meaning and purpose in life, and one way to find it is to connect with a cause larger than ourselves.”

So, what current event touches you? Infuriates you? Saddens you?

What college humanities course that explained our social interactions did you sign up for and still remember?

For me, one of those courses was gender inequality. Coincidentally, that course was also linked to love. It was a fascinating course that I couldn’t get enough of.

It’s until now, though, that I’ve become aware of just how much it impacted me. But then again, I kept the college textbooks for that course. Pretty telling.

What human issue fascinates you?

What Does Helping the World Mean?

Helping doesn’t have to be done out of sentimentality, although sometimes it is.

Giving is “a source of fulfillment, even joy,” Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn contend.

Best of all, giving doesn’t just help the needy person, it improves the mental and physical health of the person who gives, to the point that their life expectancy increases.

Got that?

Giving helps the person who GIVES, not just to the person who receives.

When we give, we can live for one more day, many more days, or many more years to keep on loving and being with the people we love.

Ooohh. It takes a while to wrap one’s head around that one.

Maybe those we loved, and who are no longer with us, lived longer than they were expected to live because they gave.

What a blessing that is!

Of course, we never want to lose those we love. Ever. But focus right now on the cup half full and notice that your loved ones who have passed possibly lived more, and that you were maybe able to spend more time with them all because of kindness they gave.

Deep breath. Wow. Makes you speechless, almost, right?

Kindness was a gift they gave that gave them life. And that gave you love.

Are We Really That Connected?

Yes. We are connected to the point that it’s in the literal fiber of our being.

Nicholas and Sheryl found a study on how much our relationships with one another support our own ability to live. “One study on mortality following 7,000 people found that the risk of death among men and women with the fewest social ties was more than twice as high as the risk for adults with the most social ties, independent of physical health. Maybe this deep-rooted social element in all of us explains our yearning for a life of meaning. We wonder about our purpose; we care about our legacy.”

And coincidentally, that’s what I spoke about in a recent post, What Is Your Greatest Contribution to Society? which talks about what your greatest legacy is. We want to know that the love that we’ve given is in the hearts and minds of those we gave to and will remain there after we’re no longer here.

Giving increases our health and it increases our purpose for being. “Altruism is a powerful force for health and happiness alike, and it seems to be deeply embedded in human neurochemistry.”

So while you may be wondering how to give, what to give and whom to give to, as you can see, your own essence is eager for the opportunity to give regardless of the specifics because giving is it’s nature.

How Fortunate Are You?

When you read Why Doesn’t the World Love Women Enough?, the last Love and Treasure post, didn’t it make whatever happens to you today in your current body and life almost irrelevant?

In other words, aren’t your problems tiny compared to the problems faced by other women in the rest of the world?

Of course, having this realization doesn’t invalidate your feelings about a problem.

It also doesn’t mean that if you are ever treated badly and are going through one of the unfortunate situations mentioned in that article that you should tolerate it. Instead, knowing the utter disgraces that some people are painfully living really puts into perspective how blessed the majority of us living in first world countries or countries that don’t have that degree of gender inequality are. But certainly, there is still work that needs to be done.

Sheryl and Nicholas believe that as Warren Buffet says, there is such a thing as “ovarian lottery” which is in essence, a lottery of birth, in which some people have better odds of making it. And Sheryl and Nicholas also believe, as they state in their book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity that “those of us who have won the lottery of birth, have some responsibility to use our good fortune to help address these fundamental inequalities.”

If we don’t help, “one of the strongest determinants of who ends up poor is who is born poor.”

It’s just like saying that whoever loses a game is going to be a loser for life.

And you and I both know that generalized “luck” statements like that aren’t fair. Just because we were born where we were does NOT mean, we don’t care for others who suffer…. or that we’re better than them.

Put bluntly, life isn’t just about you living a happy life and being grateful for it. It’s about helping others live a better life with your help– with or without your money.

Really!

Help does not always come in the form of money. Nor should it.

We have to throw love at the situation, not just money.

You Are Much Richer Than You Realize

No matter how insignificant you think that your contributions may be, remember that what you have to give and who you are is already enough.

  • Do you have hope?
  • Do you have a proposed solution?
  • Do you have knowledge?
  • Do you have empathy?
  • Do you have love?

Then you’re a super billionaire, emotionally speaking.

Why? Do you have any idea how many people don’t have any of the above qualities and who need more hope, a possible solution, knowledge to improve their situation, empathy and your love?

What you have doesn’t seem like much, until you shift your perception… and realize how emotionally RICH you really are and how you can share your emotional richness with others around you.

Still don’t believe it’s enough?

You don’t have to take my word for it, let’s take a closer look at what the experts say about your ability to give.

Giving Is Simpler Than You Think and Grander Than You Realize

While the stories from their first book, Half the Sky, which I shared in my last post Why Doesn’t the World Love Women Enough?, may seem dismal and may leave you thinking that you have absolutely NO idea where to start and how to help, believe it or not, there is hope simply because you’re reading this post, right here, right now.

Nicholas’ and Sheryl’s newly released book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, is a thorough resource that can fully help us feel more empowered to give. The fact that it’s already an Amazon #1 bestseller helps prove that they really can help everyone get over how little they think they have to offer and just simply help others in need.

“We sometimes paralyze ourselves with the conviction that global problems are hopeless, but in fact this should be a remarkably hopeful time to be alive”                     – Nicholas Kristoff and Cheryl WuDunn

In the first chapter, you’ll realize that giving, no matter how much you can afford to give DOES make a difference. This is not just wishful thinking. It’s a fact. And it’s been confirmed in research.

In essence, the more people there are that travel in the path of hope, the stronger and more prevalent, hope becomes.

And while the stories presented in both of their books mentioned are heart-wrenching, my intention in sharing them is not to host a pity-party.

It’s an invitation that Sheryl and Nicholas also make you to participate in the movement that is well under way to continue to unleash the freedom and power of women through opportunities that should already be available in their life.

It’s an invitation to give them a gift of equality, that inherently, is already theirs and for some reason, we have allowed their surroundings to rob them of.

How Can A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity Help You Help the World?

“Not everyone can help fight crime in a city’s worst neighborhoods or volunteer in schools, so most of us, are left to engage in piecemeal efforts such as a donation here or there. Like many Americans, we have day jobs, we need to keep, and we have been busy raising our children; that has left us looking for great causes and people to support in modest ways.”

“This book is about innovators who are using research, evidence-based strategies, and brilliant ideas of their own to prevent violence, improve health, boost education, and spread opportunity at home and around the world– and to suggest to the rest of us specific ways in which we too can make a difference in the world,”

Which Charities Should You Focus On?

Nicholas and Sheryl believe that a great amount of impact can be made when you give to charities that focus on spreading opportunity and evening out the playing field for as many people as possible because inequality both in the United States and abroad is continuing to grow.

What this means is that if you can help someone remedy an issue that will improve their quality of life for years or decades to come through early medical operations or entrepreneurial support, that donation, in and of itself, has more positive repercussions overall, than “funding hospice care for dying cancer patients, protecting abused animals, bolstering the arts, supporting one’s church or temple, [or] making a wish come true for a pediatric cancer patient.” While Nicholas and Sheryl believe those are commendable efforts and endorse them (so do I of course), based on the research they’ve done, they highly recommend focusing on spreading opportunity.

Sheryl and Nicholas decided to focus on expanding opportunity worldwide, because talent is universal, but opportunity is not.” They’ve seen talented people around the word, who unfortunately don’t have the opportunity that you and I may have.

How Soon Should the Help Start?

As soon as possible.

Many times, children who are just BORN are further behind and have inequality already stacked against them.

Due to their gender, nationality, socio-economic status, birth “defects,” their parent’s education, their parent’s ability to read and love of reading, and the trials that the family is facing at their time of birth, there are children who are born already behind based on the expectations of their life.

It sounds harsh to think of a child born in these types of conditions as someone who’s already behind, but with love and dedication we can give them more opportunities to succeed by enhancing their education as much as possible and making sure they have their basic needs met.

Therefore, the capacity for change starts in utero because the capacity for change decreases as the years go by especially after the first 1,000 days of life which equates to 2.78 years of life or 33 months. And the capacity to change should start early because, Sheryl and Nicholas say, that in part, humankind’s past failed efforts to break the cycle of poverty has been because the help has come too late.

What Should We Help With?

Health is such an important part of our well-being that we often take it for granted.

There are many environmental conditions and birth defects abroad that are super non-issues in 1st world countries, that it never occurs to us, how much help we can give by helping with an easy, no brainer, inexpensive solution.

For example:

  • Did you know that 50 cents, yep, $0.50, can help deworm a child in the developing world and as a result, that child has a better possibility of going to school, as an adult will be less sick, less anemic, getting educated, learn 20% more by the time they become an adult, and making a life for themselves? FIFTY CENTS!
    • You can help someone live better thanks to deworming for a penny a week
    • I’m sure there’s more than fifty cents stuck in your couch, in the bottom of your purse or thrown in your car.
    • You can do this through an organization called Evidence Action.
      • This organization also allows you to provide an impoverished family clean drinking water for a year for only $1.98.
        • And an amount like this doesn’t only provide clean hydration, it actually reduces diarrhea by 40%, which is a major factor in child deaths.
  • In Africa, there is a type of excruciating blindness, trachoma, that many people have that can be reversed with just $40.00! Forty dollars!
    • As Nicholas Kristof says, “You may not be be able to solve the global problem of blindness, but you can solve the problem of blindness for one individual, and for that person, it’s transformative.”
    • This is especially so, when you consider that the pain caused by trachoma has been compared to the degree of child birth pain. Imagine having that pain for years.
    • This operation, conducted by Helen Keller international can be done in 15 minutes.
    • In 2014, Helen Keller International once again received a 4 out of 4 star rating from Charity Navigator, which made Helen Keller International rank in the top 2% of all U.S. charities.
    • Charity Navigator is the U.S. premier charity evaluator that analyzes the financial health, accountability and transparency of charities. You can use this tool to evaluate any of the charities that you give to via a simple Charity Search bar on the main page.
  • Clubfoot, which is simply when a baby is born with their foot or feet pointing in the wrong direction:
    • Is one of the most common birth defects, with 1/1000 babies being born this way
    • In the U.S. or Europe, if a baby is born with clubfoot, he/she will be health in one month with the help of corrective casts
    • Yet something that can be fixed in 30 days, can actually prevent from people standing or walking in some other countries
    • Unfortunately, this leads people with clubfoot to be stigmatized as disabled or cursed.
      • And as a result, children with clubfoot don’t usually attend school
      • And they have little opportunity to work
      • Or to get married
      • How do they survive? By being beggars
      • And if their harsh life just because of a tiny impediment weren’t enough, these people are often objects of shame and ridicule
    • And all the while, a mere $250.00 simple medical intervention through an American aid group such as FirstStep
  • Keep in mind, that even with the more expensive medical procedures, you can always give whatever amount you can, and that WILL help someone be cured.

One Of The Best Gifts Is The Gift Of Education

  • In the United States, a program called Reach Out and Read, “gives books to young children and advice to parents on reading to their kids to promote brain development. The program substantially increases the vocabulary of the children, as well as the proportion of parents who read regularly to their kids.”
  • You can establish a scholarship foundation, or simply give a teen money to go to college. There is always a well-deserving teenager who comes from a financially struggling family that you can support.
  • If you’re from an impoverished nation you can simply visit your native country once again and talk to parents and children bout the value of education.
  • You can volunteer on iMentor without spending a cent.

Empowering Women Has A Track Record of Being One of the Best Investments

  • For $400, the group American Assistance for Cambodia can provide females who have been trafficked a cart and a starter kit of items that they can sell as a street vendor.
  • If you’re a business owner, offer more women jobs.

Never Underestimate the Power of Kindness

  • Even kindness helps and it can be spontaneous and given as often as possible.

How Can You Streamline Your Giving Process

  • You can create your own giving foundation through Giveback for $1.00. It’ll make keeping setting up fundraisers, donating, and keeping a record of your donations very easy.
  • How incredibly touching, isn’t it— that with five minutes of your time… you can change someone’s life, forever.

What Does Saving One Life Cost?

Although it seems bizarre to ask this type of question, because everybody’s life is so precious, here are the “costs” of a life, for the purposes of preserving it.

Bill Gates has found that for $2,000.00, he could save a life.

One simple life-saving intervention that has worked in Kenya consists of providing children vitamin A (which prevents blindness), zinc, other micronutrients, and antimalarial bed and immunization for $2,000 or less. This is what most people spend on premium coffee in a year.

And these costs are not random guesses. People such as Susan E. Horton, from the University of Waterloo is an expert on these calculations. She says that, “If you can save a life for $5,000, that’s still pretty incredible.”

But that’s something that I’ve always wondered. How much do we value another person’s life?

Based on how we spend money collectively and individually, it seems as though we don’t value each other enough. But what if it were us?

What if we were in dire need, and someone preferred to spend money on a thing, rather than our life?

Of course, we’ve all done this… mostly unconsciously. But now we know better. We know we can help. Not out of eternal self-sacrifice, but out of love.

For me, each person’s life is priceless, but it’s good to know that for $5K, they have the chance to beat the less than ideal odds of surviving that they are faced with.

And remember, you don’t have to be the one who donates the full amount of $2,000 or $5,000, but if you donate whatever amount you can, you literally will save a person’s life.

And although I know you don’t want the title, in a essence, you’ll be a hero.

How Can You Motivate Others To Give As Well?

That’s easy? Make it FUN and let them know how much you’re enjoying it.

Most importantly, make them part of the giving process.

I’ve included a Love and Treasure this Moment of Introspection- How Can You Help Women and Children To Show Them Your Love? PDF filled with some more fun ideas to give back to women and children and to inspire you to get your ideas flowing. 🙂

Remember, every month, you can give thanks for everything you have and give. In other words, you can celebrate thanksGIVING all year round. 😉

Let’s Talk About A Possible But Silly Roadblock: Donation Overwhelm

Did you know that according to Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, when it comes charity, the likelihood that you donate money increases if you see a picture of 1 person whom you can potentially help.

But, if you see that person, plus one of their family members, the possibility that you open your wallet and donate decreases. Why?

It’s not that you dislike people’s families (especially when you don’t even know them), it’s that inherently, you want to make a difference to 1 person, especially when you think that the amount you’re donating isn’t enough.

No matter how small you think your contribution is, you can convince yourself that you’re able to help 1 person, but when you see 2 or more people, you start feeling more doubtful that what you can give is enough.

You think you cannot do enough.

You think you cannot give enough.

But it’s not all about you. There are people who need our love so much, that your courage to give is literally their last lifeline.

So give, to one or to many, but give.

Better yet, just give. Don’t focus on the number. Give to reputable charities and let them divide the money how they need to.

How Do Your General Issues With Money Affect Your Ability To Give?

Quite a bit, actually.

Even if you do decide to donate, there’s often the question of how much you should or can afford to give. And if the amount you can afford to give isn’t enough in your mind, you often don’t give at all.

You sabotage your own efforts to help. And you know what? You can help much more than you think you can.

The Solution?

To focus on others.

Simply put, no matter how small your amount is, it’s more than the people who need your help already have.

Even if this were not the case, think about it this way:

  • You have things, right?
    • Do you ever get upset when somebody buys you a sticker, an item from the Dollar Store, an any item from Walmart, or a trip of a lifetime?
      • No, right? What you have almost becomes irrelevant. Just because your possessions have more value than the gift doesn’t mean that the gift is not appreciated or worthless. A gift is a gift. Money is money. Money is energy. Time is energy. The best energy is love.

So get over yourself, and make someone’s day and possibly life a little brighter.

Two Extra Ways You Can Help

Although I love certain charities dearly and think that what they’re doing is amazing, most likely you’ve heard of them already.

I want to share two that perhaps you haven’t. Even if you have, perhaps you can introduce that charity to one more person in your life so that they can get excited about giving as well.

Kiva

Kiva has been one of my favorite donation sites for years.

It’s a site that allows you to select the country, the gender, the $25 micro-loan type of someone you wish to help that indicates what they’re planning on using the loan for.

Whomever you choose has already committed to repaying the loan during a specific time frame and has been approved by a Kiva member.

While it is possible that the person doesn’t pay the loan back, I’ve never had anyone not pay back. And even if the didn’t, that would be okay with me.

What I like best about donating to Kiva, aside from picking the people I donate to, is that I forget when the loan will be repaid.

Therefore, every so often, I get emails from Kiva telling me that a portion of my loan has been repaid and shows me how much money total I have on my account.

My favorite, therefore, is when I see that there is at least $25.00 on my account and I can loan that money to someone else! 🙂

Just so you know, you can make donations in someone else’s name or buy them gift certificates so that they can have as much fun in giving as you do.

What’s also fun, is to join a lending team, or to create a lending team among your family and/or friends. I would be honored if you joined me on Kiva. Just look me up. 🙂

Dream, Girl

As we’ve learned, if there is anybody who needs our support in the world, it’s females. Dream, Girl is a documentary that inspires girls, and even women to dream a bigger leadership dream for themselves.

Their slogan sums it up beautifully. “Let’s stop telling girls they can be anything they want to be, and show them what it means to be a leader.”

If you have daughters or nieces or even a wife who isn’t sure that she can be a leader of her destiny, be on the lookout for this documentary (by signing up for Dream, Girl newsletter perhaps) and have them watch it.

The Ways You Can Give and Whom You Can Give Are Endless

But don’t let this discourage you. Rather, you should be ~~~excited~~~ to be able to make a difference. If you are, I’m sure you’ll automatically want to share this article with someone you know.

Forward it to friends and have those friends forward this to their friends. Like a chain. But a chain that inspires and helps the world.

Remember this: giving is hip, it’s cool, it’s a blessing, and it’s a form of love and grace that WILL help the people who it’s meant to help.

Just like you’ve gotten help at the most crucial moments in your life from whom you needed to get help from, your act of giving will be perfect for someone. It really will.

It’s Your Turn

  • What is your favorite way of donating?
  • Which donation cause intrigued you the most?

Leave a comment below and share. I’m excited to hear from you.

 

 

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