Friday, November 20, 2009

RAOK! Teaching them to Fish

I am often contacted about charities and organizations looking for donations of gifts or gifts in kind. I think this is due to my own efforts with Operation Santa in the past and my RAOK that I do on a regular basis. I am contacted by those looking for help as well as by organizations looking to help others. I was asked recently by Mom Central to blog about Oxfam America Unwrapped and received a credit for a gift on the Oxfam site. I was so excited to do this to be able to have a gift to help others thru this site and went straight over to find out what it is all about.

While I appreciate organizations that help out third world countries and those that are less fortunate abroad, it is my personal opinion that help should start at home.
I know a bit about charities and non-profits and how they work. I am a cynic by nature and have read all of the "horror" stories about how people donate $10 and $1 actually goes to the cause.

With my "expectations" for what a charity should be or shouldn't it would be hard for an online company to "impress" me or get me to promote , endorse or donate in anyway. A perfect example of this is a popular online "click to donate" type site that makes a lot of money and actually donates very little to the actual charities. A lot of unknowing sites promote these thinking that it doesn't cost anything to help out. Little do they know that they are sending people to a BUSINESS that actually donates very little of the proceeds.

This is why I stay mainly with the donations of ITEMS that will actually go directly to the cause. I am also a person that believes "if you teach a person how to fish they will have food for a lifetime" and that this is much more effective than giving a person a fish.

I was so happy to read........

Oxfam America is one of the top charities rated by leading charitable watchdog organizations, including the American Institute of Philanthropy. Charity Navigator gives us 4 out of 4 stars. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability." immediately upon arriving to the site, but even more happy to read this story......

With a little training, village women in Mali lead a community finance revolution, helping others start their own savings and loan groups.

Minata Coulibaly takes a straightforward approach to her business raising chickens in the village where she lives in Mali: "I sell the largest ones for the most money."

Coulibaly got the capital to start her business from her Saving for Change group. Since she joined the group, she has been impressed with the way it has helped women earn money and improve their lives. "If you need money, you can ask for a loan," she explains outside her mud-and-thatch home. "When you earn some income, you can buy clothes for your children, buy food, and solve a lot of problems."

Married, with a six year-old daughter, Coulibaly, age 30, launched her business with a $14 loan and four chickens. Now she has 23 chickens and has earned enough money to set up her newly wed goddaughter with a new bed and a well-equipped kitchen.

With her business flourishing, Coulibaly wanted to help other women. "I decided to create another group in this village so more would benefit," she says—as if starting a group is like filling a bucket of water at the well: when you see a need, you fill it. To date, she has helped form four new groups. Thanks to Oxfam and the efforts of women like Coulibaly, there are now more than 11,000 Saving for Change groups globally with 223,000 individual members. Participants—mostly women—have collectively saved more than $2.7 million.

I LOVE THIS COMPANY! I can't wait to find out more of what it is doing, especially locally. S please take a second, and check them out. HERE I expect to read and hear GREAT THINGS about them now and in the future. If you are looking for a charity or organization to help over the holidays and are like me and would rather "teach them to fish" rather than give them a fish, then don't overlook this great opportunity.
“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxfam America Unwrapped and received a credit for a gift on the Oxfam site.”

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