"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"We're bored...there's nothing to do..." Oh...really? Kids in East Africa aren't "bored" right now...how can we help them???

Yesterday morning, my kids were hanging out with some neighbor kids. I wouldn't let them come inside and play video games (it was a beautiful day!). I heard them say "there's nothing to do..." REALLY?
What transpired was a good day...we shifted their "boredom" to "purpose."

About the same time as the kids' "boredom" comment, I received an email of the following video:

Humanitarian Crisis in East Africa from A Glimmer of Hope on Vimeo.

I immediately asked the "bored" children if they would like to see something on my computer (it was technology after all...as close to a video game as they were getting...). They came inside and I showed them a few videos of the famine stricken people of East Africa. We focused on Glimmer of Hope's videos...set specifically in Ethiopia. The kids were pretty quiet as we watched images of tiny children (starving children) and families without water and food.
I asked the kids if they had any ideas how we could turn a "boring day" into something with purpose...They decided that they would spend the day making posters, selling lemonade, and even going door to door to sell Africa cookies in the hopes of receiving donations.

"Phase One" of the kids' fundraising was a lemonade stand. A few people took notice of their sign and stopped to give a donation. The slogan on the sign was totally kid driven...they decided on "Every dollar makes a difference." I agree.
The lemonade stand only yielded about $12, but their hopes were still high.
After taking a break for dinner, it was time for "Phase Two."
We baked 30 Africa cookies to sell to our neighbors. The kids rehearsed their sales pitch. I quizzed them about what a famine is, where the famine is, how many people are effected, etc. They were pumped and ready to get selling!

With the wagon loaded, we were off. The cutest thing happened as we began to walk around the neighborhood. Lots of other kids on bikes, scooters, etc. began to follow us. Our sellers did an excellent job of bringing awareness to our neighborhood. The kids decided to ask for donations instead of putting a price on the cookies...turned out to be an excellent marketing strategy. Their other (smart) strategy was to stick Grace in the front while they were pitching their information to people. They were equipped with little handouts that provided people with more information on the crisis in Africa and a website that they could visit to make a donation or learn more.
Here are some of the kids hitting the pavement...
And after a night of spreading "hope" and bringing awareness, they got to count their money and enjoy a cookie (which I made them BUY to donate more to Glimmer).
I'm so proud of the kids! Their "boring" day raised $64.04 to donate to Glimmer of Hope's emergency relief efforts in Ethiopia.
Our day goes to show that everyone can do something to help out. My favorite quote from the video above (and what I really want my children to know deep down in their hearts), is that
"A person in Africa matters just the same as you or I or anybody that we know..."


  1. Do you have an africa shaped cookie cutter? If so would love to know where you bought it! Great idea!

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  3. Next time you want to leave a comment Majid, please make it something that I wouldn't mind my kids reading...there is no reason to use God's name in vain. I agree that Haiti is a beautiful country that needs continued support, but using negative and demanding language is not going to get you the support needed.

  4. I hope you don't mind me stealing this to put on my FaceBook page. I LOVE this!!! It really has MY kids thinking now. Tell your sweets that they are an inspiration!!

  5. OKAY.....so where'd you get your cookie cutter? Is it 4 x 4, or 3 x 2? Just wondering what would work best and if you helped an adopting family on Etsy or something I would love to order that way. We have a plan. ;0)



  7. I LOVE this idea! I just sit around feeling hopeless and look what you do! And, sorry about the rude comment above. Good for you for giving him a piece of your mind!! And you must post where you got the cookie cutter!