A couple of years ago, I was intrigued by a blog I read from a guy who was attempting to leverage his writing to make a difference in the world. He had several thousand readers at the time, and together through their generosity, they were able to build a couple of Kindergartens in Vietnam. I thought to myself, “How cool is that?”
Since then, I have often wondered if there was something comparable that “Team i2i” could accomplish.
I say, if we are going to measure what matters in 2013 (read yesterday’s blog), that we pick a cause and give it a shot.
When I look at the world, the needs are endless. Honestly, it is overwhelming, knowing there is no way we can do everything. As a leader, I always want to do more. But there is an old saying I love . . . “Do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone.”
Two years ago I had the opportunity to visit Kenya with some friends. Walking through the slums of Nairobi was sobering to say the least. I met child after child who had lost one or both of their parents to HIV-AIDS. When I came back, I felt compelled to try and do something. The words, “To whom much is given, much is required,” haunted me as I considered my comfortable American world.
Not long after my trip, I was introduced to a young leader, Justin Miller, who has created an organization called CARE for Aids. Justin and his team have built centers across Kenya to try to do something to slow down the ravaging affects of HIV-AIDS. Each center provides medical care, education, food, job skills, and a monthly in home visit to those who are suffering. Currently there are 14 centers that have graduated 1735 people through the CARE for AIDS program.
For his work, Justin was recently named one of the top 40 leaders under the age of 40 in the city of Atlanta. He has become a friend and a next-generation difference maker that I greatly admire.
Statistics show that 2 million Kenyans have HIV-AIDS. In other words, this problem is not going away unless someone does something to reroute the stories of those who are affected. CARE for AIDS is doing just that. The vision is to open more centers, and that is where WE come in.
The cost to run one of the centers, which includes all the benefits listed above and provides two staff people in a community to take care of those who are hurting is $24,000 for one year.
So here’s the deal. Let’s take a shot at building a center. As crazy as it seems, I’m nuts enough to believe we could make this happen over the course of 2013.
Last month I personally gave $500 to CARE for AIDS. This year I am committed to giving a set percentage of any profits generated by my new book, FINDING YOUR WAY. Those amounts are not a lot, but they are a start.
I would like to ask you to join me in the cause. If you would be willing to make a donation, click here to DONATE. If you would like more information, feel free to visit the CARE for AIDS site @ careforaids.org.
CARE for AIDS is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization. Therefore, all donations are tax deductible and every dollar you give goes directly to the cost of supporting a center. For the remainder of 2013 you will see a little DONATE button on the right side of the i2iblog home page.
I leave you with the story of the Mwaura family whose lives have been changed through CARE for AIDS. Watch their video HERE and LET’s DO SOMETHING BIG.