Did you know that if everyone in America took our Just Giving Challenge this Christmas, we could collectively end extreme poverty for three years? That’s right, Americans spend approximately 450 billion dollars each year on Christmas presents and celebrations for their friends and family. If we would just match that amount with intelligent, intentional giving, we could eliminate all extreme poverty in the entire world (at least according to Jeffrey Sachs’ renowned The End of Poverty, chapter 15).
So how’s it going? On Black Friday we issued the following Just Giving Challenge: for the first 100 people who give as much to the poor this Christmas as to their family and friends, we’ll donate $100 to a worthy cause.
So far 21 people have taken the challenge.
That’s not going to end world poverty any time soon.
And yet, I sincerely sense that together we are doing something deeply significant. We may not change the entire world, but we will definitely be a part of changing the world for a whole lot of people. So far the 21 of us will make our Christmas matching gifts, plus this blog’s contribution of $2,100. Even at a conservative estimate, that’s enough money to drill clean water wells for hundreds of people, to prevent thousands of people from getting malaria this year, or to vaccinate tens of thousands of kids from deadly diseases.
Do I hope a lot more people sign up for the Just Giving Challenge? Of course I do. If you haven’t, you could sign up right now. But even if it’s just us 21, I think it’s a powerful testament to the change that just a few people, making medium-level sacrifices, can bring to God’s world. Thanks to everyone who’s making a difference this Christmas, whether with us or in some other way!
And for another shot of hopefulness, check out this very inspiring video from the good folks at Advent Conspiracy.