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♥ Help Charitable Causes Through Your own Channels ♥
By Jodie Brown

Mrs. Jodie Brown, owner of a soap business called Soap Country Bath Products, in the Denver, Colorado, USA, gives a personal example of her support in charitable causes through personal established channels.

How it all began
A couple of years ago I was watching a PBS special about Zimbabwe Africa and the bad things going on there economically. I wondered how I could help. I contacted one of the people, George Ayittey that I had seen on the show that was interviewed and trying to make positive changes there. We emailed each other many times and the short of it was I wanted to start my own mission of helping these people with no middle man skimming money off the top.

I wanted these needy families to get 100% of the money.  George gave me a list of people I could contact to get actual families that needed help. I contacted a man named Isaac Chakuma, who just had moved to the United States on a school scholarship. He grew up in Zimbabwe and knew many families in dire need of help.

Well that was 10 families and 2 years ago and my families are improving!  In one of my families the mother got some nursing assist training with the money.  I was able to remove that family from my list, and now they are making it on their own and living in Botswana (a better place to work and live).

In this short 2 year period the economy has deteriorated so much that now the money is just for food as the inflation rate sky rockets to over 4000%.  I am committed to helping these wonderful people but would hope there is someone out there that would like to “adopt” financially their own family from Zimbabwe and start making a difference as well.

How does it all work?
When you adopt a family, you are the only one who handles your money donation.  The money will arrive in a bank in Zimbabwe or nearby Zambia for your family to pick up. You can sometimes email your family as they have internet “cafes” there where they can get your messages.  It is not easy to mail these families clothes or gifts because “Zimra” (their postal service) is not to be trusted to get your family their package, in fact they often keep the packages for themselves under government direction.

I have mailed many things that never got to them. That is why I send money because they can buy things there and it’s so much cheaper than mailing it.  If you adopt more than one family you may want to appoint one family member to pick up the money for all the others at a local bank and distribute the money to the other families. These families do not have a car so you will need to talk to your Wal-Mart money gram person to find out what cities in Zimbabwe have a money gram.  Then let the family know which city and bank they can pick up their money. You will find your local money gram inside most large Wal-Mart stores so it’s convenient to help these families on your shopping day.

How much will it cost?
What it costs is entirely up to you and your budget.  I send $25 per month per family.  I would send more but I have 9 families that I handle. There is a small fee from money gram. When I send $200 U.S. dollars (USD) the fee is about $10.

If you have a family that is on the western part of Zimbabwe (like Victoria Falls), it saves them money sending it to banks in Zambia (the country NW of Zimbabwe).  Always you should find out if one member of your adopted families was born in Zambia or another country in Africa because if they were born elsewhere, they are more able to travel across country borders to collect the money you send.

The other issue is that your money is coming from the United States so there is an expensive foreign exchange rate that the receiver of the money must pay. Sending to another country (one next to Zimbabwe) insure they will get a much better rate.

How much you send is up to you, the more you can send the quicker the family will move out of poverty. It’s a beautiful thing when you can skip going out to dinner twice a month and give one or more families the gift of a chance in this world with such a little effort.

How often should I give?
This is also up to you.  I send my families money each month just as I would send money to a child in college or any other ministry.  But once you commit to helping a family they are depending on your help so you must do what you say are going to do.  I think once a month is better than sending one large sum for the year as you must teach them how to budget, plus it has less of a chance being stolen.

Many times they will write you a very heartwarming letter and send a picture. If you have any questions or need help sending your family the money please call me at 303-948-8568 and I will even go to Wal-Mart with you. It’s easy and will leave you so happy to have done something for someone you didn’t even know.


List of Charities Tips on Supporting Charities AIDS Effects Orphan Crisis Solutions
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