Eugene Cho

relationships, technology, facebook, and fighting poverty

I’ll be posting a more thorough update on our Global Poverty initiative and organization in the next couple days.  I was supposed to be in Haiti this week to visit some orphanages and to learn more abou the global food crisis but had to make some changes due to the increment weather in that area.  Today, I’d like to share about two things that make our goal of creating a grassroots movement to fight extreme global poverty possible:  Human Relationships and Technology.

By sharing a simple vision of compassion and justice, we hope to compel and invite people to join our cause so that 100% of donations to our “Giving Fund” can go towards small NGOs and CBOs [community based organizations] around the world that are already doing some amazing work in the fight against global poverty.  We also envision using some of the funds to help start new initiatives and projects that in turn, can fund and impact more projects to build sustainable enterprises to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty.  You may be shocked what can be done with so little in certain places around the world.  When people scoff at what one person can do, consider this staggering statistic: 3 billion people in the world live on less than $2/day.  The truth is you and I can make a difference and we cannot and must not allow “generosity” to be reserved only for the rock stars, Hollywood A-list, or millionaires. 

We’re banking our vision on the most significant and powerful resource:  You.  Me.  People.  And our relationships.  Both as an “experiment” and in hopes of spreading the word of our vision to start this grassroots movement, we started a Facebook group several months ago asking people to join to help us fight global poverty.  After only 111 days [Sept. 2], we reached our initial goal of gathering 100,000 people and it continues to grow [104,514 as of Sept. 9].  By the end of the year, we are estimating that abougt 250,000 will join the group.  When we’re close to launching our group, we’ll release the beta website, ask folks to consider giving, have people suggest people and orgs that are doing great work, ask them to invite their networks and relationships – all while distributing these funds to sustainable people, projects, and organizations around the world and sharing these stories through every imaginable medium possible.

After checking in with the IRS, we’re speculating that our official 501(c)(3) will be issued to us soon – within the next 30-45 days.   For now, I want to ask you to consider helping us in THREE simple ways:

1.  Join our Facebook group if you haven’t done so.  Invite your friends [think strategically and globally] who might be interested in issues of poverty and justice.  Another simple way to help is to POST the group on your “Posted Items” on your Facebook profile. 

2.  Consider making a small donation towards our organization – any donation. You may have noticed the new DONATE widget on the right hand column of this blog.  Click on the red box or this secure donation link to give [Paypal, Debit, Credit Card].  If you’d prefer mailing in your donation, contact me.  As many of the blog readers already know, my wife and I have personally covenanted $100,000 towards funding this organization which you can learn more about HERE. We are not asking anyone to do what we’re not willing to do.

3.  Help us spread the word by sharing this post and/or sharing our vision video:

Here’s the screenshot to celebrate 100,000 people!

Filed under: health, technology, , , ,

6 Responses

  1. James says:

    Congratulations on reaching that 100K mark. I sent you an email with some questions about giving.

  2. Tyler says:

    100k that is AMAZING! great job eugene.

  3. Hi Eugene,

    I am the Director of Watoto Wa Baraka, a non-profit dealing with HIV/AIDS orphans and poor communities in Kenya – East Africa. We have discovered that you have the same goals as we have, and we focus on food, water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter, education, information and access to other services. We are very interested working with you as your African partner to expand the fight against global poverty. Would you be interested in establishing a partnership with Watoto Wa Baraka?

    Yours Sincerely
    Geoffrey Watoto

  4. Tom says:

    Very encouraging :^)

  5. eugenecho says:

    @geoffrey: thanks for your note. i’ll respond to your email via the message you sent me via facebook. continue the good work.

  6. […] been only able to share our vision through this blog, Facebook, emails, and word of mouth, but nevertheless, we are excited for the growing momentum.  As of […]

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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