It occurred to me recently that while we live in an age where the world around us is desperately in need and we are constantly being asked for money to help - I have come to feel more powerless than ever. I do want to help. Many of us I believe, truly want to make a difference. However when I donate $50 towards a $16,000 target it somehow seems like a pointless gesture and yet that's $50! Even if it's a small amount going towards a huge cause like "Save The Rhinos', it just doesn't feel significant enough to have any real impact. I feel guilty if I donate and guilty if I don't, and so often I end up doing nothing at all. I wanted to know why in a world where we can and do help, why are we left feeling like we could have done more?
I think it's because there is a disconnect, because our money becomes a digit on a screen and we don't really see the end result. And that's why we're doing it after all, because we want to see the affect we can have in this world, rather than our gesture vanishing into an online vortex of taking our credit card information and then that's it. You're left sitting there at 10pm, an empty glass of wine, feeling rather deflated and that your gesture hasn't changed anything. Often I'd just prefer to help someone with their shopping. I think we crave the need for human contact. It's knowing that we've participated in this life rather than just 'liking' something on social media.
I also know that even in our relatively comfortable first world lives there are plenty of people who are really struggling. They look at those less fortunate and want to help but $5 is too much. I also feel on the other end of the spectrum people can be inclined to throw money at something without really being a part of change at a deeper level.
So I wanted to create a movement where it's not the amount of money but the amount of people that create change. I wanted to limit the donation so that all donations are the same, everybody's part is equal. I get so moved when I see what the masses can do when motivated from a place of kindness and good. I want to be a part of that. It may only be a small ripple at first, but if we could get 500,000 people to give just $1 a month, imagine the lives we can change, every, single, month! Without being told if we can or not, or if it's in the budget, or if it complies with legislation or not. I just want to buy a homeless guy a warm drink if he needs one. Or buy flowers for everyone in a care home, help someone get surgery to help them see again or even just pay for a mum's shopping trolley when she's holding two kids and has no change. We can help anywhere in the world, the local girl down the road who's busking or helping a remote village buy water producing turbines. We can help pay for immunisations, a coffee, or to help a spouse leave enduring abuse. We get to choose.
Each month I pledge to be as creative as I can be with the dollars I have and to document it. Because that's what I feel is important. I want people to see exactly where their $1 went.
I'm starting in January 2017 with my $1.
From little things big things grow.
To buy your membership for a whole year ($12), then click below and follow me on Facebook and see who's life we've changed this month! (It's also a nice gift to buy someone else I think - slightly more imaginative than a card and a candle?).
Thanks guys, I can't wait to see where we go!
All images from Pintrest