Every month I spend one day “experiencing the gap.” Inspired by my previous participation with the Live Below the Line campaign, I am eating on less than $1.50 for one day of every month, in an effort to raise awareness of and funds for our work. My goal is to raise $50,000.
To celebrate Heifer’s upcoming birthday on June 18, I am excited to say that all donations made the month leading up to our birthday (May 18 – June 18) through Fundraise for Heifer will be DOUBLED up to $30,000 thanks to a generous donor! This is the perfect time to fundraise and contribute to more happy futures!
It's up to you to decide how you want to raise funds. Or donate instead.
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How We Close the Gap
The amount a family needs per month to meet all of its needs and save for the future MINUS the amount a family currently earns per month from all income-generating activities EQUALS The Gap that needs to be CLOSED.
By 2020, Heifer International will help 4 million families secure an annual living income. When we help a family close the gap between what they have and what they need, we help them go from living in extreme poverty to a life of self-reliance. We do this by helping our participants diversify and optimize every income-generating activity on and off their farms.
There are millions of families for whom the gifts of livestock and training will close the gap. I’m so eager to help Heifer reach our goal of 4 million families by 2020, I am dedicating myself to personally fundraising to make this happen faster. We can do it. Can you help?
I believe in this so much that I am willing to offer the following incentives to you when you join and meet the following criteria:
If you tweet your donation, share this page, or your personal page using #CloseTheGap – I’ll retweet it!
If you create a team and get 20 friends to join you – we'll send you a special Heifer gift.
Have the highest donations in a month to your personal fundraising page – let's Skype so you can tell me the secrets to your fundraising success
Send me a video about what ending hunger and poverty means to you – I’ll share it via my Twitter @HeiferCEO.
Raise the most money to “close the gap” by July – we’ll have an hour lunch together in a city near you.
Send me suggestions for recipes to help me "experience the gap" via email@example.com, and I'll give them a try and share them.
Send me your Heifer Close the Gap fundraiser story via firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll email it to our entire Close the Gap fundraising network.
Inspired by my participation in the Live Below the Line campaign in 2014 and 2015, I have begun a monthly exercise of Experiencing the Gap. One day a month I eat and drink only what I can afford with $1.50.
It is challenging in a number of ways: shopping with so little money is difficult; the food is relatively bland; I’m not always able to meet my caloric needs for the day.
Most importantly, it helps me center myself around the daily struggle of the many people living in poverty and desperate hunger around the world. Any nutritional deficits I experience during an Experiencing the Gap day are certainly made up for the rest of the week. I do a lot of mental work, which is tiring in its own right, but I do not do farm work in a field, which requires considerably more calories than office work.
I invite you to join me on this journey, whether you do it monthly or just once.
Sign up to be part of my fundraising team, and get your friends and family to donate every time you participate in an Experiencing the Gap day. Calculate and donate the gap between what you have to spend for the day – $1.50 – and what you’d normally spend on food and drink. Spark conversations with your coworkers, friends and family, about the issues of hunger and poverty and what they can do do help.
Poor Need More than $1.26 a Day
With the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals this year, there will be both celebration for goals met and a rehashing of where development fell short.
The first MDG target is to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day between 1990 and 2015. That target was met in 2010, and there is great hope that the percentage of the global population living in “extreme poverty” will be nearly zero by 2030.
But anyone who has lived on $1.26 a day will probably tell you it’s not cause for celebration.
Can you imagine a world truly free from poverty? What would the roadmap to get there look like?
The soon-to-be-accepted Sustainable Development Goals aim to pave this road, beginning with Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. I like an ambitious goal, and this is nothing if not ambitious.
But is it achievable? And, if so, what will it take to achieve it?
I believe it is, and I believe it is going to take an immense amount of collaboration and outside-the-box thinking to get there.
At the core of sustainably ending poverty is the ability of all people to meet their own needs in a manner that neither exploits others nor damages the environment.
At Heifer International, our focus is helping the smallholder farmers with whom we work achieve precisely what I have described above. And we do it for good reasons:
75 percent of the world's poor live in rural areas, with most of them depending on agriculture for their livelihoods
Growth in the agriculture sector has been shown to be 2-4 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors
Achieving income gains in agriculture is no more costly than in other sectors
Smallholder farmers will largely be responsible for feeding the world's 10+ billion people in 2050
Investing in smallholder farmers not only helps eradicate the poverty in which they predominantly live; the benefits spill over into the health and wellbeing of the rest of the world's population.