Eugene Cho

prayerfully fighting poverty

Thanks for the feedback on last week’s entry on [Wisely] Fighting Poverty.  After reading the responses, I wanted to share a few more details of what we’re envisioning.  Details are still to be worked through but here are some more random thoughts:

  • Our vision cannot eradicate poverty.  If I am honest, poverty – locally and globally – will likely persist on some level but extreme poverty can be eradicated.  But our simple hope is to be moved and move others into action because while we can’t save the world, we can help one child, one family, one village, one area, etc.  We can make a difference.
  • And yes, as I shared before, we are simply joining in what is already going on around the world.  We are not the first and thankfully, we will not be the last.  Nevertheless, our hope and prayer is that our Foundation and NPO can provide a unique opportunity for many around the world to engage this fight.
  • We aspire to be an international non-profit Foundation that seeks to a] educate and inspire, b] receive financial donations, and c] wisely redistribute those funds.
  • Our hope is to create a newer model of integrating the following elements:  Human Suffering & Compassion, Global Community, and Web 2.0.  Our goal is to see the convergence of the Web & Philanthropy to create a simple global community and movement.  Clearly, easier said than done.
  • Our hope is to primarily support smaller organizations and NGOs because our conviction is that they have a deeper idea how to help their villages, people, and contexts more than we ever can. They may lack the resources or tools but from my limited experience, they are sharp people who are able to care for their own with some assistance and resources. 
  • We want to make sure that folks know that we’re not directly or indirectly stating that global poverty is more important that local poverty since they do exist and cannot be forgotten.  It’s simply an encouragement for folks – whether locally or globally – to pursue their convictions.  We must care.
  • We’re not ready to release the name of the organization because once we do, it’ll all make sense.

HOW CAN YOU PRAY:

1  Pray for all the necessary documents to be completed in the coming months.  We’ve received our official articles of incorporation with the State of Washington and we can proceed forward with the next steps.

2  Pray for our 3 month sabbatical this summer.  It will be a very critical time for our family and for the organization.  The Elder Board of our church has graciously granted us the sabbatical to rest and devote our time to the work of this Foundation. 

3  Pray for a team of volunteers and eventually staff that can help with web design and developing, accounting, non-profit legal support, marketing, networking and connections, fundraising, etc.  We are planning on hosting at least one INFO meeting in the local Seattle area for those who want to learn more about the vision and how to volunteer before we head off near the end of June.

4  Pray for some very big financial decisions.  We are blessed and owe mortgages to 1.5 homes.  We will need to sell our home by the end of August and are getting concerned with the housing market.  Lots of work to do to get the home ready as well. We’re hoping to find a real estate agent who might list our home pro bono.  We need to sublet our current home for this summer and possibly through the Fall.

5  Pray for strategic relationships with women and men that can possibly serve as Advisors or potential Board of Directors. 

6  Pray for wisdom.

7  Pray for generous donations as we’ll be raising funds in the coming weeks for the Operations Fund.  As I shared before:

While huge organizations such as World Vision, Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and others are doing wonderful work, our hope is to create a different model – not necessarily a better model. We will establish two funds in our organization. The MAIN fund will give away 100% of every donation to the cause of fighting global poverty. We will give our year’s salary [$66k] to this fund to help jumpstart the collaboration. We are scouting and reviewing organizations to support – right now. It is through this Fund that we hope to eventually raise $20+ million dollars [while simultaneously giving it away] to fight global poverty. 

The second FUND is called the OPERATION Fund. We will raise funds separately via fundraisers and donations so that we have modest funds to cover our operations to run the organization. While numerous have already offered to volunteer their time, we hope to hire two employees in the next several months to assume certain vital roles to carry out our implementation plan. Minhee and I will volunteer our time as members of the Advisory Board/Board of Directors and I will lead the organization as the Exec. Director. We will give an additional $34K to help jumpstart this Fund and will be sending out letters in the coming weeks in hopes of raising an additional [minimum] $66K and totaling at least $100K – which we believe will sustain us for at least 1.5-2 years to build the this movement. Our goal is to create this organization with minimal expenses from the OPERATION Fund.

We are starting this Foundation not only because we feel “convicted” but because we are privileged.  We are privileged because each of us have the power and capacity to exercise CHOICE.  I sincerely hope you’ll consider partnering with us in the upcoming months.  The goal of our Foundation is to making “Fighting Global Poverty” as accessible to each person and to remind people that generosity is not reserved for the rich and famous…

The world is a beautiful place but there are many things that are just not right.  But not doing anything when we clearly know something is wrong and evil might be the “best” example of our human depravity.

Relevant Links: 

Filed under: health, religion

8 Responses

  1. Jules says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your requests Eugene. Our family and I will be praying.

  2. Kace says:

    Yes we most certainly can help a child. Sadly we now have more saddened people in Burma. When is it ever going to end.

  3. DK says:

    How you set up your structure from the beginning and how clearly you’re able to share your vision will be really important. Someone’s else comment on the other entry talked about that. There are so many things out there wanting support but it’s really hard to know what makes them different from others.

  4. Jim says:

    Dude I can’t wait to hear what you have planned – rock it! We need to band our churches together to crush poverty. Who then can deny that God does miracles?!!

  5. Loba says:

    I am very moved by your vision and would really appreciate it if you could review Humanity First. While I totally respect, admire and love initiatives to further help the world, I still believe that it is quite costly to set up and reinvent the wheel everytime and being able to support an established foundation and possibly work together would ensure that more funding actually goes towards the core purpose of the program.

    Humanity First and its projects are administered by its own members – all of whom are volunteers. Fund raising and aid work is undertaken by unpaid volunteers who donate their time and money to ensure that the maximum amount of funds raised are used for direct aid work.

    I am a volunteer in this organization and am working on various projects and, God willing, will be working on orphan care soon as well. Please feel free to contact me for any further details or any information you require, and I’ll be more than happy to assist.

    http://www.humanityfirst.ca

  6. […] If this is up your alley, please keep us in PRAYER. […]

  7. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

  8. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

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One Day’s Wages

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We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor.

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