Monday, December 13, 2010

good deeds ~ the girl effect!

have you heard of the girl effect? it's another amazing non-profit that helps out girls and young women in poverty around the world. the idea is simple, but radically world-changing! if you can help a girl when she's young to become educated, get an i.d. to prove her age, receive a loan to buy a cow, and ultimately avoid being sold into a childhood marriage or slavery, then that girl can grow up to have a business, avoid childhood pregnancy, avoid hiv, provide for her family, and eventually gain the respect of the men in her village. this sort of girl would pass on her education, self-esteem, good business sense, and smart ideas to her children and other people in the village, which would become a chain reaction leading to a better economy & health in her community. and that's just with ONE girl! think how the world would be if we could help hundreds, thousands, millions of girls!


what would our life have been like if our mothers were illiterate, forced to rely on a man who beat her, or contracted hiv. how successful do you think you would have been growing up? the cycle of poverty is a difficult one to get out of. but the girl effect is working hard to stop the cycle for so many young girls around the world. and you can help!

i know a lot of us don't have much money to donate these days, but i hope that doesn't stop us. there are actually some pretty low donation amounts that have a huge impact on educating girls in poverty. $10 can buy a year's worth of school supplies for a girl in ethiopia, $20 educates a girl for a whole month in paraguay, and $25 can give a girl in tanzania a loan to raise chickens. you can see more options here. you can also give a $10 text donation or an online donation of whatever you are able to give {every little bit helps!}, more information here.

what did i spend that kind of money on in the past couple weeks? gingerbread lattes, a bottle of wine, a book, and new makeup. it's funny how i was okay spending money on these small items. i certainly don't NEED any of them, and these few dollars could have easily been sent to keep a girl in school for an entire month! i am totally guilty of getting caught up in the pleasures of the developed world. but i've been thinking more and more about how easy it would be for me to choose not to buy those lattes or wine, to just go check out a book from the library instead of buying it, or just use the makeup i already own. as much as i enjoy a good gingerbread latte, some little girl in india would probably enjoy getting a good paying, legitimate job even more!




the challenge:
so how bout it? anyone willing to deny a few simple pleasures for the week and send that money to the girl effect? how about asking a loved one to buy only 2 christmas gifts for you instead of 3, sending that unused gift money to the girl effect?


other ideas for helping:
+ spread the word through your blog and circle of friends.
+ download the free graphics for making your own t-shirt, button, stickers and posters.
+ submit the girl effect to your place of business as a great end-of-year charity idea {great for taxes!}
+ throw a girl effect event! this is an especially great idea to do with a community center, classroom or school.

+ or how about helping the girls in your own life? they may not be in great danger of running out of food, losing a warm bed, or contracting a fatal disease, but thousands of girls in our own communities are in need of love, support, and meaningful connections. think back to your own childhood and teen years. was there an adult who inspired and encouraged you? how about being that adult for someone else? maybe we can do a little extra to reach out to the young people in our circle of loved ones over the coming weeks, especially during the holidays {which are pretty tough times for many people}. reaching out to a girl in the form of a simple conversation, a genuine compliment, or an invitation to be involved in something with you {maybe baking cookies?}, are great ways to help a girl in your life be empowered and feel special. and that, dear readers, is one of the greatest gifts we can give!