13 Jul 500 or Less
Do you ever wish you could make a real difference in the world, but you just don’t know where to start?
Or you’d like to make a donation to some worthy cause, but you wonder where your money will actually end up. And what if you only have a little to share? Will a small donation even matter?
I hear these kinds of things all the time. I also get requests for specific items that need funding. “If you find something that needs doing,” friends will often say, “let me know. I’d rather fund a project than just send money.”
To which I say: Fair enough.
For anyone who struggles with the doubt of giving…look no further, my big-hearted friends. Because in today’s post, you will find seven, count ‘em: seven, real world ways to make a tangible difference in the lives of some amazing orphaned children. And all for $500 or less! There is truly a little something for everyone.
I sat down with my friend Clifton Shipway today here at the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission in Banbasa, India, and we made a list of the most urgent small projects that need doing around the orphanage. These things are easy to put off and have been on our wish list for a while. So here are a few ways for everyone to get involved, with an item for just about every pocketbook. Here we go.
* Update: In just a little over 24 hours, all items were claimed and the renovations will begin soon. If anyone would like to make a general donation to the Small Projects Fund, click the button below and we’ll put your money to good use. Thanks everyone! *
1. Small Boys’ Bunk Beds –
Cost: $500 SOLD!
No one really knows how old the current beds are; they were built forty or even fifty years ago. Whatever the truth, they are beyond tired. And ridiculously small. For example: Gordon (pictured above) is nearly as tall as me (6’ 2”) and his feet stick comically off the top bunk’s end. Eight stackable beds will be built in our workshop with metal frames and plywood support. $62.50 buys one bed. Or buy ‘em all. Think of it as buying a good night’s sleep for a group of hardworking, handsome orphaned boys.
2. High Pressure System Tank –
Cost $475 SOLD!
This is a critical item here on the farm that is beyond necessary. Our current tank is 25 liters and is simply too small to meet our daily demands. (It’s the sad looking white cylinder in the picture above.) What we really need is a 325 liter beauty to help keep the water pressure up and to take some of the pumping pressure off the pump. When the tank gets low, the pump kicks on…and currently, our pump has been running every 30 seconds or so, which is wearing parts out at an alarming rate. What do you say? Any tankers? We’d be beyond tankful.
3. Pressure Washing Hose –
Cost: $310 SOLD!
We used to have one of these, but it got used to death. For washing out the pool (instead of hand scrubbing as shown above), for pressure cleaning moldy concrete walls, for cleaning cement walkways. A hose of this kind keeps us off our knees and onto more important tasks. A good one costs 26,000 rupees or a little over 300 US dollars at today’s exchange rate. If you’re into efficiency, cleanliness, or you simply like intense streams of water, this is the project for you.
4. A Short Cement Walkway –
Cost: $220 SOLD!
This one is mostly for Auntie Violet who walks from her hostel to the dining hall twice each day. (That’s her in the picture on a relatively dry day.) When it rains, as it does most days this time of year, the stretch of bare ground she has to cross turns into a muddy soup that is not the ideal walking surface for an elderly woman with a formerly broken hip. When complete, the raised cement walkway will keep her feet and the rest of us out of the mud for many monsoon seasons to come.
5. Two Wheelbarrows –
Cost: $100 a piece TWO SOLD!
Ideally we’d have two but one would be amazing. We’re always moving things around the Mission, but most of the time we just use what we can find. Just this morning we grabbed some handmade play carts to move bricks…or we grab blankets…or enlist the tuk tuk. But really, wheelbarrows would be ideal. One hundred dollars buys a heavy-duty industrial model that can take whatever the mission can dish out. All thanks to you!
6. Tin Sheets –
Cost: $80 SOLD!
We have a covered walkway from the nursery/small girls’ hostel to the dining room—but one section of it leaks. That’s because we scavenged the final tin pieces and tried to make due with a patchwork of small scraps. Now it leaks like a sinking ship, all for the lack of a little new tin. Eighty dollars dries up one small corner of the world. For anyone looking to be the change, this could be your chance. Who’ll stop the rain?
7. Small Girls’ Hostel Mirror –
Cost: $30 TWO SOLD!
21 teen girls share a single bathroom here at the mission, and their full-length mirror recently shattered. For anyone who can appreciate the dire need that this item represents, know that your donation will be looked at every day by every young girl with the kind of intense scrutiny we in the west usually reserve for our cell phone screens. If you have a teen girl or were one (or know one), you know this is not a frivolous luxury.
All totaled these seven projects come to 1655 dollars.
If you’re interested in claiming your part of the improvement bonanza, let me know in the comments below, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. All projects will be proven with a photograph and personalized message just for you. 100% of money raised will be used as intended. If we get flooded with more interest than our stated need here, we’ll propose additional projects for your consideration. No one will be left out!
In a world of swirling need, five hundred dollars (or less) can’t stop climate change or cure cancer or end famine…but it can get an orphaned child a new bed, or keep a proud lady’s feet dry, or keep the water flowing for an entire orphanage.
Best of all, I’ll personally watch these projects happen and send you the results. No waste, no wondering, no worries.
Anyone ready to take the plunge?
Just a picture of me jumping like a boss into a jungle river. Cost: $0