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Day 314 - I need your money! (Well, Uganda does)

>> Monday, July 19, 2010

I need your money.

Well, to be more accurate - Uganda does.

Our Uganda 2010 Team leaves in less than a month now and we still have quite a way to go in terms of fundraising. I'll be honest and say it's been a lot more challenging this year getting donations than it was for last year's trip. I think there are two main reasons for this:

The first is that last year we were taking high school students, so a lot of the money coming in was from parents, relatives, school friends and the parents of school friends. This year it's all adults, and I think people are a little more hesitant to donate to adults than to a younger group. Plus, last year if one of the kids fell short on their fundraising, we could pretty much count on the parents paying the remaining of the balance owing.

The second reason I think is that people are just being a little more careful with their money now due to the economy. Even though they would like to donate, they don't feel like they can afford to. Of course this is completely understandable, and there's not much we can do when people are financially strapped and don't feel they have the means to donate.

We do have high hopes though as we gear up to this weekend and our last "big" fundraiser which is this Saturday July 24th. It's the "Run for Uganda" - a 10k run or 5k run/walk along the Don Valley Trail. We're aiming to bring in another $10,000.00 on this event, but even if we do we'll still have about $20,000.00 to raise in the span of about three weeks.

I don't know how many people read this blog, or if you're in the position where you can donate money for our trip, but I thought I'd put it out there anyway and ask. If you're reading this and you can afford something, even if it's just $5.00 - that $5.00 would be more appreciated than you could ever imagine. If I may, I'd just like to outline exactly where the money would be going and how it benefits Uganda.

It costs an average of about $4400.00 for each team member to go to Uganda for two weeks. That covers everything from both individual travel fees (ie. roundtrip airfare to London, Kenya, then Entebbe, travel and medical insurance, accomodations, transportation, Visa fees, etc.), to the costs of running GIVE International and being able to go over in the first place (ie. payment for the local GIVE guides, paint and construction supplies for building projects, the costs of buying the family kit elements, etc.) I think this is important for people to know as your donations are not paying our way to a vacation or an exciting adventure on the other side of the world. Every penny that isn't going towards the actual travel expenses goes directly to benefitting either the local economy in Jinja, the people in the villages in and surrounding Jinja, and the many, many babies, school children and orphans we come into contact with each day on our trip. The benefit of each of these GIVE trips for the people of Jinja and the people of Uganda is overwhelming. I saw it first hand when I went last year, and I hear it in the many stories from other GIVE volunteers who have travelled to Uganda in the past few years.

We simply can't afford not to go. The need is too strong, and the timing too immediate. The work GIVE and other humanitarian organizations are doing in Uganda and other African countries is truly inspiring and amazing, but there is still so much to be done, and it will be a continuous need that cannot be ignored.

If you do decide to donate towards this trip, please know that your money is a blessing greater than a "thank-you" would ever suffice. Your money can literally save lives. The mosquito nets we give out as part of our family kits for example, has helped in the drop in malaria infection rates amongst both children and adults. The water jugs, pots and pans we distribute help families in their daily safe meal and water preparation. The portable health clinics we're doing this year will address and teach the vital importance of proper wound care. The books, clothes and toys we hand out to children put a smile on their faces that could light up a room, and the teacher education and playground construction we're doing this year I know will help draw in more kids to school, education, and perhaps a future where they too will have the skills and knowledge to pass on to the next generation and benefit their country.

If you can donate (and again, no amount is ever "too small") there are a couple of ways in which you can do so:

1) You can mail a personal cheque (made payable to GIVE International) to:

Cheque memo line: BVG Uganda Project 2010
763 Zermatt Drive
Waterloo, Ontario
N2T 2W8


2) You can make a credit card donation online:

• Click on www.giveintl.org
• Click on DONATE NOW icon (bottom right side)
• Click on DONATE NOW icon (top right side)
• Enter Donation Amount $:
• Enter Fund/Designation: BVG Uganda Project 2010
• Enter my name in the Message/Instructions
• Fill in your contact info. for your charitable tax receipt

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I would ask that even if you can't make a donation at this time, that you please keep our team, the work we're going to do in Uganda, and the people we're going to meet in your thoughts and prayers. Although these trips are of course exciting, there's also a lot of hard work and struggle involved (physically, emotionally and spiritually). We need all the prayers and support we can get.


Suzanne Judge

GIVE INTERNATIONAL is a non-profit, relief and development organization committed to working alongside existing health, education, and development organizations in East Africa. This is accomplished through establishing, directing, and supervising our community-based health and education programs; through donating supplies, equipment, and materials to our programs where needed; and through providing trained volunteers to assist with our programs.
(Canadian Registered Charity #: 85914 1970 RR0001 ).

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