Eugene Cho

we need your help to get to 1 million people

shoes

Let me begin by saying that generosity and fighting injustices & poverty should not be abdicated to celebrities, millionaires, rockstars, and A-listers.  We should all care. We have the capacity to make a difference. Don’t mistake what I’m saying:  I appreciate their voices but we can’t hide behind our excuses. I’m no celebrity and no Ashton Kutcher – who recently made more headline news for being the first person on Twitter to amass over 1 million “followers.” The last time I checked, he now has over 1.35 million followers.  Well, we’re not that far behind with our viral vision.

It’s not going to make any news but I am very excited that we have 647,888 people (and counting) in our Facebook Group for our Poverty Organization.  When we started this group on May 15, 2008, I thought we wouldn’t even come close to gathering 100,000 people which is why the group is entitled, “We will donate $1 for every person that joins this group to fight global poverty.”

As some of you know (and some have strongly criticized), we’ve gone public (for these reasons) with our pledge in hopes of starting this grassroots organization.  We are giving up this year’s salary + some additional funds (over the next few years) and donating a total of $100k for this vision.

But with nearly 700,000 people, will we be able to honor donating $1 for each person? If the vision catches on, we’ll be able to do that and more. We hope to raise and give beyond 1 million dollars over the next couple years.  For the time being, we’re not really asking for public donations because we haven’t publicly released our name and vision letter.  Once we get the green light from our lawyer, I’ll be sharing it soon (and eventually, the beta website).

But there are some ways you can help.  While it wasn’t a goal initially, I’d love to get our group to 1 million members.  So, could you help by taking 3 minutes to partner with us in the following ways:

1.  If you haven’t, simply join our poverty group on Facebook.

2.  Please share this group on your Facebook status or on your Posted Items.’ And whenever you think of the group or our vision, share it again…. To help share about the group, you can simply say something like:

Check out the vision of this group:  http://fightglobalpoverty.com

To make it easy, just click HERE to share it on your FACEBOOK profile (you need to be logged into your FB account).

3.  Share this on Twitter or retweet the occasional news you might receive from my Twitter account about the poverty org.  A simple suggestion for a Tweet:

“Check out the vision of a new grassroots poverty organization:  http://fightglobalpoverty.com”

And if you can, share it on FB or Twitter every few weeks. Why is the Facebook group important?

Because we want to leverage the group to help us start our grassroots viral movement to join others in helping eradicate extreme global poverty.  We will demonstrate integrity, transparency, and efficiency and believe that we can make a difference.  It’s important for folks to realize that we have no interest in re-inventing the wheel but rather, partnering and collaborating with women, men, and children (and orgs) that are already doing some amazing work.  We also want to remind people that generosity and philanthropy shouldn’t just be reserved for Hollywood A-listers, millionaires, and rockstars.  We all need to get involved…and get make a difference.

* On one more exciting note, I’m excited that the I’ll get to spend some time with the good folks at ONE.ORG. We’ve received our share of criticism and borderline hate emails so it feels good to receive some affirmation as well.  I’m very excited and humbled that they’ll be flying me out next week to Washington DC to allow me to attend the Mobilization to End Poverty Conference and spend some time with their staff at their ONE headquarters.  Asides from the possibility of having President Obama speak at the conference, I am super humbled and excited to meet and learn from the folks at ONE.  I hope Bono shows up…

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11 Responses

  1. queermergent says:

    Eugene,

    i think what you are doing is fantastic. Thank you!

    BTW, i am an Ashton Kutcher fan but was really disappointed in how he went about amassing 1 million followers. It shows the narcissistic side of Twitter i think. He certainly has not returned all those followers who helped him amass that great number. i unfollowed him because of it. Then he goes on Oprah to help her set up a Twitter account. Now that she is Twittering, it has gotten even more people on Twitter, slowing it way down. Sometimes i think Oprah plays into our consumeristic culture. Is it a bad thing more people are signing up for twitter. Not necessarily, but i think Facebook is perfect for that. i like some things to stay smaller and not over-popular. Just my persoanlity i guess!

  2. Like the previous commenter, I certainly agree what you are doing is fantastic, but I think if you’re teaming up with Bono, then you have to be careful. Bono hasn’t done anything to challenge the affluence in the church (unlike Claiborne, who’s challenge I find painful but seek to follow).

    If we are to “Make Poverty History” we must also “Make Affluence History” too. Also, a lot of very respected NGO’s in the UK are still annoyed at the way Bono intervened in the UK’s Make Poverty History campaign in 2005.

  3. queermergent says:

    Graham,

    i would have to disagree with your comment, ‘If we are to “Make Poverty History” we must also “Make Affluence History” too.’ AFFLUENCE IS NOT THE PROBLEM IT IS THE CONDITION OF THE HEART! There is nothing wrong with having money. Much gets done with resources. Also, i do not believe G-D expects us all to be poor and not enjoy life. We just need to remember the least amongst us. Not all affluent people are bad and greedy. Many do great things. Look at Bill Gates and Bono. No, they are not perfect, but none of us are perfect the last i checked!

    Also, didn’t Jesus say something like we will always have the poor among us? So, how does ridding the world of poverty jive with this? i really struggle with this and how to interpret Jesus on this. What are your thoughts?

    Pax and Warmest Regards,

    EP

  4. Randall says:

    @queermergent

    I too agree that affluence is not the problem. It’s what people do and how they steward their money that matters.

    As to Jesus’ statement that “the poor you will always have with you. . .” I’m not sure if I entirely buy his reading of it but Shane Claiborne suggests that perhaps that phrase can be read this way: “the poor you will always have with you because you should always be around them, helping them, serving them, advocating for them, loving them.” <- that’s not a direct quote, that’s me paraphrasing what I remember from his book.

    @PE Congrats on getting the attention of one.org!

  5. queermergent says:

    @Randall,

    Thanks for your thoughts on Jesus’ statement re the poor. So, according to Claiborn, we will always have poor people amongst us. Maybe Jesus meant that as a way of keeping us humble and to know what our priorities should be? If we don’t always have the poor amongst us, then we become even more self-focused i guess.

    Warmest Regards,

    EP

  6. Dan Hauge says:

    While it may not be that we all need to “be poor”, it seems to me inescapable that the issue of poverty is directly connected to the excessive wealth that we enjoy and take for granted in our culture. Jesus’ call to remember the poor most often came along with calls to give, and give signficantly, to the point where our lifestyle would significantly change. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”: it’s pretty straightforward.

    I think there are two important things to emphasize: 1) much of the poverty in our country and in our world is because we have very unequal distribution of wealth and resources, and we have that inequality largely because the people who have are not content with a little, but need to have a Lot. Our whole economic system is based not on making a reasonable profit, but on profit maximization. There’s no room for ‘contentment with a little’ in our system. (It’s also because of how we value our individual freedom over what is more beneficial for the community as a whole–but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.)

    2) I believe Jesus encourages us to be free from our attachment to wealth, that we just don’t need so much to have a truly vital life. I believe our culture as a whole is pretty deceived as to how much stuff we need to have personally in order to have a fulfilling life. This has a lot to do with our heart condition, to be sure, but our heart condition is directly tied to our actions. If I say “I have plenty of wealth for myself, but it’s OK because my heart isn’t tied to it,” well, that may be great, but giving more of our wealth to help the poor, and being willing to live on less so that others may have a decent life–those help even more. And if I’m really not willing to live on less, doesn’t that say something about what my heart is really tied to?

    Here’s the point where I admit that I am completely hypocritical when it comes to this stuff–yet I have a strong desire to keep a radical standard in front of my face–it is something I must always be challenged by and always keep reaching toward.

  7. queermergent says:

    @Dan,

    Your words are true, convicting and challenging, but it all needed to be said. i struggle to, but my desire is also ‘to keep a radical standard in front of my face–it is something I must always be challenged by and always keep reaching toward.’ Thankfully, by G-D’s grace and transformation and willingness to co-create with us, we have our entire lives before us to work out our ‘salvation in fear and trembling’. We need to be convicted but the entire world’s problems can be overwhelming and daunting. We must do our part but not walk in condemnation. So, THANK YOU, Dan!

    Pax and Warmest Regards,

    EP

  8. eugenecho says:

    @randall: the one.org thing is no big deal. if anything, i think they’re just trying to encourage us in the journey which is pretty cool in itself.

  9. lauren e says:

    My prayer and encouragement is with you Eugene.

  10. anne says:

    See you at M2EP! Woot!

  11. atif shayneeel says:

    Hello sir ,
    My name is Atif shayneel , and i am running and NGo. My Ngo name “End poverty”.
    I am sending u prayer request for me and my Ngo.My Ngo base on the needy persons , who are very needy and poor. Are some of Christian did not have any jobs to do, did not have the money for survive, our Christians houses are full of poverty. I have a vision to do something for these people.But i don’t have to much resources to do this job. therefore i am sending u a prayer request to pray us and help us me at any other king of things. Always people thinks that some one must be came to us and hold our hand with love, i am trying to do something for these people. Will u please help us and pray us .
    For any response its my Email address: atif_shayneel23@yahoo.com
    And also i am sending u some pictures of the poverty please look at these pictures and pray us.
    thank you and God bless you .

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One Day’s Wages

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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 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.

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