Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rice and Beans With Friends

One of the goals we have in our Giving Up To Give campaign is to bring groups of people together in their efforts to Give Up--even people who wouldn't otherwise be connected to the Congo or to Giving Back to Africa. Last night in St. Louis, MO that happened! Adriel and Emily Ramirez hosted a rice and beans dinner in their home and invited their friends....
"Some of our friends and community group came together at our house last night to work together to Give Up To Give. We enjoyed an all you can eat rice and bean dinner and donated the money we normally would have spent on our Friday night dinners to Giving Back to Africa. It was the easiest party to host, not worrying about the food, and ended up being super fun with lots of hanging out and game playing after our dinner. After all was said and done, $70 was raised in the Giving Up To Give effort. We're grateful for the opportunity to share this effort with our friends."
Rice and beans may not be your idea of a great party menu, but look what happened here. A simple and inexpensive dinner brought together a group of people who not only enjoyed each other's company, but also gave them space to give in community. Together they thought carefully about the money they spend on food, how they could Give Up in order to help someone else, and they forever connected themselves to positive change in the lives of Congolese children. What seemed like something simple turned into something much bigger than what any of us can do on our own.
Thank you to Emily and Adriel (who aren't even doing this because they are related to us, right?:)), and to your group of friends. We love seeing this movement spread to new places and people.
What about you? Could you host a rice and beans dinner with your friends and join this growing Giving Up To Give community?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Don't Just Give, Give Up

We have all done it. We hear about a need, we feel guilty and perhaps helpless, and so we skim off the top of our bank account balance and give a little money. We feel better, but we are usually remain disconnected from the need and we don't always know that our money made any difference at all.

The idea behind Giving Up To Give is that instead of just hearing the need (quality education for children in the Congo) and giving some money in response, that you actually feel connected to your giving, that it becomes more than just money. When you Give Up something in your life that you can do without for a day or a week, you stand in solidarity with the Congolese students at Centre Salisa, with the teachers who are investing in their lives, and with the community surrounding the school that is being transformed by what the students are learning. When you don't pull into the Starbucks drivethru, skip seeing a movie in the theater, eat rice and beans for dinner, or cancel a date night, you are intertwining your life with the lives of people in the Congo. You are making a bold statement: that people matter no matter how near or far they are to you, and that your small daily decisions can make a difference in the lives of others. And you are giving to an organization that is making the most of their funds while also making a tangible difference at a grassroots level.

So while you could just read about the need for Congolese children to receive a quality education and send a little money, we encourage you to do more. We urge you not just to Give, but to Give Up.