Today I'd like to introduce an idea that's been brewing in my head for a little while. I'm really excited to finally share it with all of you and hope that excitement spreads because I think it's a worthy cause.
I want to encourage Follow Eric readers to join me in partnering up with Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based charity that is all about getting shoes to those who need them. I originally learned about this charity through authors Anne Jackson and Jason Boyett. I've found the organization to be sound with good financial handling and a respectable mission. They've even been mentioned on my blog before dating as far back as November 2008.
Here's why I believe in them
They're a sound organization with a simple goal: "Changing the world, one pair at a time."
They achieve their goal cost-effectively. At a rate of $1 a pair, it's possible to impact an entire family in need with a modest donation of five dollars. Of course I would definitely encourage more if you're able.
It's not about turning consumerism into charity. I have no beef with other charities like TOMS or the (PRODUCT)RED campaign. In fact, I readily encourage you to support their missions. But to me, it's just slightly amiss that American typically have to get before they give. I'm not getting a bracelet or t-shirt or anything for giving to Soles4Souls, but I am learning to give without expecting anything physical or tangible in return. And that's cool. Besides, I look weird in canvas shoes.
Right now they are preparing some major projects. They're currently calculating the best plan to distribute shoes and specifically work boots to help Japan as they recover from the recent earthquake and tsunami. In the past they've responded to specific local and global needs like Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.
Here's the plan
I want Follow Eric readers to pull together for this one. I've set a modest goal that we should be able to attain with participation from existing readers and maybe a little help from some friends and family as well. So I very highly appreciate your participation and I want you to be sure to spread the word also.
Visit the fundraising site. There's one set up just for Follow Eric readers. Visit www.soles4soulsfundraising.org/FollowEric for the donation page.
Think about it. Pray about it if you'd like. Talk it over with your spouse or family if needed. Decide how much you would like to donate and make your donation by credit card through the website.
Let others know. Talk about it on Facebook. Write about it on Twitter. Send an email. You could even tell people face to face! Just avoid Myspace because, let's face it, nobody uses it anymore.
Act soon. I'd love it if we just knocked the goal out of the way as quickly as possible. I have set an end date for April 30, 2011 but I don't want to wait until then to meet our goal. Let's see just how fast we can do this. Sound good?
I hope this sounds as exciting to you as it does to me. I hope you catch the idea that charity does not have to be expensive, it doesn't have to get you anything tangible in return, and it can be something that we can have fun with attaining together collectively.
Here's the website again: