Mitch’s $500k Shave!
Hi Everyone. You might be a friend, family member, work associate, or a random friend of a friend, bored at home, during the COVID 19 mayhem. Regardless of who you are, thank you for reading my story. Stick with me until the end for the kicker.
After a 30 plus year career in banking and auto finance, I shifted gears about six months ago, into my current role with Child Legacy International (CLI), a non-profit organization based in Zimbabwe and Malawi, Africa. My association with CLI goes back ten years, when Lisa and I had the privilege to visit, work and disciple in the very beginning stages of a massive project to teach the people of rural Malawi sustainable development in an environment that is the third poorest country in the world.
The passion, vision and dedication CLI has unsurpassed. CLI’s sustainable development project in Malawi started in 2007 with a tent and a vision. Today, the facility consists of a hospital with a maternity ward and surgical suite. Tilapia ponds, farming, a church, a preschool in addition to guest quarters and staff housing. All of this powered by only wind and solar. All this was built with deep red dirt, dirty water, and the helping hands of the local Malawians. Minimal equipment was shipped in from the USA. Since then, CLI has repaired over 4,300 rural water wells which has had a direct impact on 8.5 million people. In a country of 18 million people, this is saving over 700,000 lives a year. In Malawi, a typical day consists of walking 5 to 10 miles with a five-gallon bucket balanced on a woman’s head, so she can gather enough water from a well to cook for and feed her family. It is not uncommon for children to die accidentally, crossing the road to get to a clean source of water.
Currently in the USA, our “locked down” or “safer at home” state of affairs, pales in comparison to the normal life Malawians lives daily. Your average life span would be nearly twenty years younger. We would make on average 98% less income. Many children live with the oldest living relative of the family, because so many parents die of HIV, Malaria or Dysentery before they see their kids turn 10 years old. Not to discount what Americans are going through; however, the fear and uncertainty we are living now, is normal everyday life in Malawi. There is no running water, no electricity, no shoes or diapers for babies, adults and kids clothes are worn for years without a proper washing, no grocery stores, no homes, no variety of diet, no toys for the kids, no jobs, no outhouses or restrooms, no toilet paper, and very, very little hope for anything.
As an American, it is highly likely that your 401k, savings account, or retirement plan is in the toilet right now. Heck, you may not even have a job at the moment. CLI sympathizes and is in the same place. Without donations, our ability to be a light in the face of darkness suffers.
Many wealthy investors would tell us all, now is the time to invest in the stock/bond market, real estate and businesses. Buy low, sell high, right? And for those of us with a roof still over our head, I am urging you that now is the time to invest in the future of those who live this fearful, uncertain and poor life daily.
Child Legacy International is placing its value on our holistic approach, which can be illustrated by the 6 Pillars of Sustainable Development.
1. Clean Water
2. Clean Energy
3. Proper Nutrition
4. Quality Healthcare
5. Education and Training
6. Productive Employment with Sustainable Economic Growth
In today’s environment, we all need to breathe, and laugh a little. I am prepared to sacrifice my full head of hair in order to bring some relief to the people of Malawi, and to make you laugh. The baldness gene which runs rampant in the O’Neil bloodline, has passed me over. As a result, here is my challenge to you:
Beginning today and running until May 30, I solemnly swear to shave my full head of hair via Facebook Live, if we are able to reach $500,000.00 in donations. Lisa and I have already invested $2000.00 of our own seed money to get this party started.
I’m not very good at math, but some simple calculations indicate that if each one of my Facebook and Linked In connections gave $10.00, and each one of their friends gave $10.00, we would achieve that objective within days. Perhaps you could forego your morning Mocha Latte, or the seventh pack of toilet paper still on your list.
You can check out Child Legacy and the amazing work they do AND make your contributions here:
As Jesus pointed out in Mark 12:41-44. The Widow’s Offering
41Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”