How to Help this Season

Wondering how to help this season? Here are some worthy causes to help a lot of people around the world and could use your support.

Toys For Tots

Donating a Toy is one of the experiences that makes Marine Toys for Tots different from other programs.

When you place a toy in a Marine Toys for Tots collection box or donate it to one of the Local Campaigns, you experience the joy of knowing that toy will be under the tree in a families home and will bring a smile to a less fortunate child Christmas morning. This gives our supporters a unique personal connection to Marine Toys for Tots.

Over 97% of your donation goes directly to the mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. The 3% spent on support principally covers fundraising expenses — not one donated dollar goes to salaries or any other manpower costs.

Donate at a local toy drop off or online at www.toysfortots.org

 

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever, and however we can.

First, they assess the needs of each community in which they serve. They work to understand the obstacles, hardships, and challenges native to the area’s particular population.

Next, they build local programs designed to offer immediate relief, short-term care, and long-term growth in the areas that will best benefit the community.

Then, they offer the local programs to the local community, working to continually optimize their efficacy via spiritual, physical, and emotional service.

Donate at a local store, bell ringer or online at www.salvationarmyusa.org

 

The American Red Cross

Each day, thousands of people – people just like you – provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world.

We roll up our sleeves and donate time, money and blood. We learn or teach life-saving skills so our communities can be better prepared when the need arises. We do this every day because the Red Cross is needed – every day.

To learn how to donate blood, money or to volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org

 

UNICEF

UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization.

Thousands of children under the age of 5 die every day because they lack proper nutrition, safe drinking water, affordable vaccines and other basic necessities that most people in the U.S. take for granted. UNICEF’s lifesaving interventions and programs around the world have helped reduce the number of child deaths by more than 50% since 1990.

Rated one of the best charities to donate to, 88.4% of every dollar spent goes directly to help children.

To learn how to donate, please visit www.unicefusa.org

 

The EHG Fund

For the EHG Fund, changing the world begins with helping underprivileged individuals in underserved communities across all corners of the globe.

Established by DentalXChange in 2007, the EHG Fund focuses its attention on helping raise a new generation of peacemakers, humanitarians, ambassadors, altruists and vision seekers, qualified to inherit the world. A world where those who once lived in disadvantaged neighborhoods will become co-collaborators for change and will lead our world to a brighter future.

All donations and resources go towards assisting institutions and programs focused on aiding individuals in the areas of education, healthcare and human services.

To learn how to donate to the EHG Fund talk to your manager or visit www.ehgfund.org

 

 

Michelle Walker in Zambia – Day 8

In June of 2017, Michelle Walker, Content Developer for DentalXChange, attended Full-Circle Learning Center’s Conference in Lusaka, Zambia to represent the EHG Fund and see how the program’s influence has shaped the school system and to learn what more we can do to help the Zambian people. Michelle wrote a daily log of her trip to help us experience her adventures. Here is Day 8:

I wake up this morning excited to see a full day of FCL teacher training at Blessed Vale, only to discover that I not only still feel tired and groggy, but I also cannot speak. Not at all. Its my guess that the 24 hour garbage fires burning near our home have finally taken a toll on my throat, or perhaps there was something very bad in the dust I inhaled while in Misisi. Either way, after checking Teresa and I into our flights, I decide that I should stay home and rest instead of going to Blessed Vale. Teresa, Davidson, Porsche, and Baffour depart around 9:45am. They head to a pharmacy to purchase some throat lozenges for me, which Baffour brings back. He stays with me the entire day. Along with him are Bridget, and Baby Teresa, I am not alone.

It is a very long day, and I spend most of it napping and reading.

Around 4:00pm Peter arrives, and he and Bridget begin preparing dinner using our one-burner electrical cooktop, and a traditional metal cook stove (which looks kind of like a metal Easter basket, and requires wood charcoal). I offer to help cook, but they both shoo me away. I ask Bridget how she cooks the shima, telling her it reminds me of a more solid version of grits, which a lot of people eat in the Southern US. She shows me how to make it (basically, you just put ground maize—from a bag—into a pot of boiling water, and stir every few minutes for about 15 minutes), and I can see why it is the staple food in Zambia: it is filling, healthy, cheap, quick to make, and doesn’t require any of the seasoning that can make meal preparation so expensive here!

A little after 6:00pm Teresa, Davidson, and Porsche arrive after attending the full day of teacher training. Bridget and Peter bring in the meal, consisting of 4 or 5 different dishes, and set everything up buffet style in the dining room that has no furniture. Today was one of the colder ones since we arrived, only reaching the mid-60s, and now that the sun has set it is cold outside, which means it is cold inside. Bridget brings in the metal cook stove and sets in the middle of a little circle we make in the living room, in order to provide heat. Some of us are sitting in the brightly-colored plastic chairs, which serve as our only furniture, and the rest are on the tile floor. There is me, Teresa, Baffour, Bridget, Baby Teresa, Prosche, Peter, and Davidson.

We mostly eat in silence (there is shima, vegetable stew, cooked pumpkin leaves, and a baked chicken). Teresa decides that we should tell a story, round-robin style, with each person contributing a little something.

She begins by telling the tale of Marlowe, a little boy somewhere in Africa, who goes to a watering hole outside of his village, to collect water for his mom. However, when Marlowe gets to the hole, he finds that it is has become filthy because some animals—attracted to the water—have made a mess nearby. Not wanting to take the time to clean up the mess himself, Marlowe decides to go back into the village to find his friends, to convince them to help him clean and get the water his mom requested.

As each person takes turns recounting what happens next, the story gets very dramatic, and at times dark (one of Marlowe’s friends is eaten by what we can only presume is a lion). When it comes time to finish the story, I offer to tell the last portion, even though my voice is so strained I can barely be heard. I conclude the story, but baffour doesn’t like my ending, so he tells the Epilogue to my ending, which goes something like, “And it was all a dream!” Then everyone really does start laughing so hard we can barely talk.

Teresa asks us what the lesson is of the story, because it’s got to have a lesson. For a few seconds everyone is quiet, and then Peter says that it cannot be a true African lesson unless there is a song. So we create a song to explain the lesson, which goes something like this:

When you go to the watering hole (When you go to the watering hole)

Just clean up the mess

Don’t wait for the rest

When you go to the watering hole

Because this is our last night together, we are slow to leave the living room and prepare for bed, but eventually we do around 10pm. I am still humming the watering hole song as I climb into bed and drift off to sleep.