Eugene Cho

using facebook to fight global poverty

After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago.  And while there are still some things that I strongly dislike about Facebook [e.g. constant invitations to Applications], I am a big fan.  It works.  I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and college.  And Facebook is helping me to stay connected to the growing community at Quest. 

But asides from just connecting with past and current friends, I’ve been dreaming how to leverage the power of technology and the internet to further social causes.  This is one of the primary hopes with the new organization we are working on.  How do we utilize and converge technology and human relationships to fight global poverty?

With that in mind, I started this GROUP on FacebookBecause we haven’t yet publicly revealed the name of the organization, we thought of the catchiest name:  “For each person that joins, we will donate $1 to fight Global Poverty.”

We need your help. My wife and I [and our three children] want to sincerely invite you to join us in helping Fight Global Poverty. We will donate $1 to the cause of global poverty for EACH person that JOINS this group – with hopes of this group growing to at least 100,000 people.

We might not be able to save the world but we can certainly make a difference in a family, a town, a village… Even a few dollars can make a difference.

Why are we doing this? Our motivation is not to appear altruistic or righteous. We don’t want any pats on the back. We are simply convicted to ACT. We can’t afford to not do anything. We have decided to make some life decisions to give $100,000 to fight global poverty through a new Humanitarian Organization and simply ask that you consider learning together how we can CARE and ACT. Together, we believe we can make a difference.

Our hope is that AT LEAST 100,000 people will join by the end of August because our conviction is to donate $100,000 in hopes of encouraging others to consider giving.  Thus far, 21,119 people have joined since the group started one month ago.  Our goal is to launch the organization in September and we hope to leverage this group to help build momentum.

Would you help us?  It’ll take you no more than 5 minutes but if you can help us with these simple five ideas, it’ll be a great help to our organization.

1 ► If you haven’t done so, please join the group – CLICK “Join this Group”
2 ► CLICK on “Invite People to Join.” 
3 ► SELECT all of the friends that you want to join.  Think strategically about friends who might invite other friends.  Think of friends who are strategically located around the world.
4 ► CLICK on “Send invitation”
5 ► SHARE on your “Posted Items.”  This may be the most effective way of spreading the group.  After you’ve joined, would you simply share the group amongst your “Posted Items.”

Question: Any other ideas you have?

Filed under: family, health, technology,

16 Responses

  1. Kacy says:

    I am actually a member of face book and never had the time to really delve deep into the benefits of what site can do for people aside from making friends. Your idea will certainly be put to the test “and work”

  2. ripplegirl says:

    To be honest I have been sceptical of groups like this, not understanding how the process works. But I guess if you have made that commitment then it makes sense and I will join and invite others.

  3. Andrew says:

    Great idea. I joined and have invited as many folks as possible. Good luck to you.

  4. Daniel says:

    Joined! I love ideas of “leveraging” technology for good.

  5. minabina123 says:

    I think that using Face book is a good idea! Nice work! I’ll see if I can join!

  6. gettheconcept says:

    I have tried the social networking thing.

    I think its probably really fun if you’re in school. But so many of the social networks seem to have a lot of people on the sites with empty content, (i.e., the users don’t and cannot write,) that they reling too heavily on sophomoric applications that reduce the users to electronic popularity contests and product placement campaigns. That is why I for one are switching switching over toe

    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

  7. Aaron says:

    Have you heard of milliondollarhomepage.com? Basicly, some kid decided he would sell blocks of pixels on his site. $1 per pixel. (The smallest you could buy was like 10×10.) But anyways, its all advertising. He was in the news for his website, and I think he actually made $1 million off of the idea… seems pretty crazy to me but he raised a whole lot of money (probably for himself though).

    I only mention this because it seems like the closest thing I could think of to what you are doing with the facebook idea. Maybe it will give you some more ideas on how to rase $1 at a time!

  8. […] click here for the original post or keep reading  […]

  9. leftoverkumquats says:

    I don’t understand enterprises like this. If you commit to X dollars per person and your goal is say in this case 100,000 people, why not just donate the $100,000 straight up? Sure you could say I am promoting global awareness but most people that join these groups do so and then completely forget about it, investing no less time than a click of a button and your promise to donate $1 in edgewise.

    I’m not condoning your project, just questioning how efficient it is.

  10. eugenecho says:

    @leftoverkumquats: good question. it’ll make sense in about 6-8 weeks.

  11. Jred says:

    Have you ever used KIVA? I recently discovered it and it’s pretty amazing. The person won the Nobel Peace prize (if I’m not mistaken) and it’s a noble goal of alleviating world poverty through micro no interest loans. I like being able to read through people’s stories and giving them money to better their lives. When they pay it back then I can pass the money on to the next person. Honestly I don’t really care if I get paid back, but when they do it gives money to the next project. I don’t know. I just thought you might be interested and it might fit in with what you are doing. http://www.kiva.org/

    Your use of facebook made me think of how they are also using facebook. It’s a good use of technology.
    http://apps.facebook.com/kiva_org/about_page.php

  12. eugenecho says:

    @Jred: yeah, KIVA is great. it’s an example of how philantropy is changing and how they’re leveraging technology for good.

    also, they haven’t won the nobel peace prize. you’re thinking of muhummad yunus who put microcredit/lending into effective motion to empower the poor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Yunus

  13. invited all my friends.😀

  14. mattbusby says:

    Speaking of leveraging technology for good, have you heard of searchkindly.org? It is a search engine that uses Google but it donates any profits it makes on advertising when you visit the site. I know it is probably less than a penny per visit but I remember reading on there that if they can generate 1 million page views a day it is something like $12,000/day! And you get to vote on which charity gets the money that month. So if nothing else maybe you could register your humanitarian group with them come September.

  15. djchuang says:

    I’ve used http://www.chipin.com/ to do a short-run online fundraiser. What’s nice about chipin.com is its integration with Paypal (who doesn’t have a Paypal account now?) and the live thermometer that instantly shows the progress of donations made online, live!

  16. […] comes from my friend Eugene Cho using facebook to fight global poverty After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago. And while […]

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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