MoM Blog

2017-08-31

Make a Choice to Give

Yesterday, our Indian Field Director gave a short talk at a local High School’s tenth grade orientation assembly. She spoke of choices, the choices that we make every single day of our lives and the choices made by poor families in India every day.

For these students, like many of us across our nation, the daily choices made are often unconscious, taken for granted or not really given much intentional thought. That is the blessing of the nation we live in; the ability to make these choices without suffering any truly negative repercussions.

When we wake up in the morning we choose what we want to wear that day, how we want to fix our hair, what food we will enjoy for breakfast and lunch, what activities we plan to do and who we plan to do them with; so many small yet significant daily choices. For poor children in India the choices have a different scope and breadth. For them it is a choice of getting clean water or going to school and having the one meal they would have for that day. It is the choice between walking long distances for water or playing with their friends at school and learning. The choice between working to help feed their family or going to school.

What choices can we make to help others in need? We can make a choice to give up buying coffee for a month to help sponsor a child for $36 a month. We can enlist a group of our friends to give up going to a movie for a month, and use the money saved to help buy a BioSand filter for a family in India to receive clean drinking water for life, for just $125. Could we consider staying home for a meal instead of going out? We can use the money towards rescuing a street child for just $50, or providing two months of vocational training for $125 to a poor woman in India, to help her lift her family out of the cycle of poverty.

We realize that Canada, although a land with plenty also has our share of families and individuals in great need, and we do not wish to minimize that at all. There are people in our great country who face difficult and heart rending choices as well, and we need to take care and support them. Give to your local food bank, homeless shelter or local charity.

Make a choice to give. It really doesn’t require much sacrifice on our part, just the choice to give up on some extras every now and then in a year. Today, I was thinking about that, thinking about the amount of money I spend a month on my Grande Starbucks dark roast coffee. it probably adds up to about $25-$30 a month. Can’t I put away here and there the amount I would have spent on my coffee, and instead giift a family in India with household items for just $50? Looking at it that way, it really doesn’t seem like much for me to do or too overwhelming.

The local high school that our Field Director spoke at, we were told by a staff member, has a teacher originally from Africa. This teacher grew up poor and often had to walk long distances to find a source of clean drinking water. In his life’s journey, he was able to break out of the cycle of poverty and eventually earn a PhD in his country of origin. When he moved to Canada he had to start from scratch but eventually earned his teaching degree. Every year he is excited to participate in the annual Water for Life fundraiser that we partner in with this school, and is an avid participant in the actual walk. We hope to sit down and have a conversation with this teacher to learn more about his story in the near future, but through him, suddenly, the far away in concept becomes much closer and more tangible.

So, consider making yourself a giving plan today, and help transform someone’s destiny.


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2017-08-31

Mehezabin

My son was 13 when he started working for McDonalds and my daughter was just a year or two older when she began working for Tim Horton’s. Before these jobs they had flyer routes where they earned pocket money. This of course was a number of years ago, but when I heard Mehezabin’s story, it brought back those memories as though they happened just yesterday. Unlike Mehezabin, my children didn’t work at those ages because they had to, but because they wanted to earn some money on their own. Mehezabin lives an ocean away and a world away from the ones my children lived in and continue to inhabit.

Mehezabin Nisha came from a broken family, her parents separating when she was 15 years old. Along with her younger sister, Mehezabin continues to live with her father. Due to financial difficulties she was unable to continue on with her education. She became the family care taker, a role which necessitated her finding employment.

Hearing stories about Mission of Mercy Canada’s Mercy Center, she approached one of the representatives at the Center and shared her story with him/her. After receiving vocational counseling, she enrolled herself in the three month Assistant Cook Program at the Center.

Upon completion of the course, Mehezabin was sent for a job placement interview at Subway. She was hired as an assistant in the kitchen for 6000 rupees per month. Since that beginning she has worked her way up to the position of cashier and is now earning 9000 rupees per month. A hard working girl with a lot of potential, all Mehezabin needed was an opportunity, a chance to learn and improve her life. The Calcutta Mercy Center was instrumental in helping provide her with this life transforming opportunity.

I remember the pleasure my children experienced when they received their first paychecks. Can you even begin to picture what that experience must have been for Mehezabin? To earn money that would help feed, clothe and house her family? What a sense of pride she must have had to know that she had accomplished this through hard work, training and an opportunity.

There are so many other Mehezabin’s out there who have also benefited from the Center’s vocational training program. We are so grateful to be part of these life transformations.


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