We’ve received our share of criticism about our public pledge to donate our 2009 salary to fight extreme poverty. Everything ranging from “Stop boasting” to “You’re lying” and
How about Matthew 6:3 and “…when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
For the record, I have no good response to people rebuking me with that scripture. I know some of you are sick of me mentioning it but this will be the last time I mention it (although I know that this is what most of the media and bloggers will focus on as we get started).
I need to share it because there were many (mostly anonymous Facebookers) that doubted our pledge. While we weren’t able to honor the pledge by the October 20, 2009 launch date as we had hoped, I went to the bank yesterday and walked out with a cashier’s check for $68,000.
When we made our pledge, we had a plan to make it work but the year proved to be much more difficult than we had anticipated. But after this past year+ of saving, scrimping, subletting, saving, borrowing, and other creative things, we were finally able to make the donation.
And while it was a difficult year, we learned much; grew more in love and respect for my wife; experienced many teaching moments with our children, and are excited for all that is in store…
There are two main reasons why we did this:
- It was a matter of obedience. We felt this was what God was inviting us to do. ODW is a non-religious organization but our faith compels us to do what we do.
- We didn’t want to ask you or others to do something we’re not willing to do ourselves
If you choose to partner with us by donating your one day’s wages (and renewing that gift monthly, quarterly, or year), we hope the reason behind it isn’t fear or guilt but because you encouraged by our story or inspired by stories like the one I shared yesterday of a Harvard professor & her fiance who asked people to donate to ODW in lieu of engagement/wedding gifts for them.
Last month, I did a brief interview with a small news source in California. Take a few minutes to watch it and if you feel compelled, share the video, this blog entry, or the ODW website with others.
Thanks for your patience this past year, for your prayers, for your investment in the startup costs for ODW, and for dreaming with us.
I know it’s not going to be easy but let’s kick ass.