I announced the winner of the official "Get BEMM'S butt to Africa- FunkyFish bracelet today. I didn't count how many donations came in to help, but I did notice something. About 30% of the donors were names I recognized. Time and time again these people over the few years have continually given to the projects that I work on. That is huge! Other than my marriage, kids and relationship with GOD, this is the longest lasting relationship I have ever had. To have typically 30-80 percent of all money raised come from people I recognize, mainly through my blog and facebook is humbling. I can't begin to thank you adequately for all you have done. Not only have you helped countless people, but you have blessed me in an incredible way. You remind me that I need to keep on moving down this path, that my goal of wanting to let every one know that what they do does make a difference is achievable. You have made a difference! You are what is needed.
On top of that, this was the first time I didn't recognize over half the names! How cool is that! This means, the message is spreading. This means that more people are believing THEY ARE THE DIFFERENCE THAT IS NEEDED! $5.00 or $5000- It doesn't matter. It's not the amount as much as it is the heart. To all of you, I thank you. You blessed me beyond words. You did make a difference. You made up 70% of what was needed.
To update everyone. We did buy our tickets. Your giving hearts bought 2 tickets to Ethiopia. Myself and BEMM's VP, Amy Smith (the photographer and artist). We are still short about $1500 for our in-country expenses. To give you a glimpse of our trip and how we are cutting costs-
We leave Feb 27th and arrive in Ethiopia March 1st. One of our crew is flying out of her way to where we are to save money.
When we are in Ethiopia we will be crashing on Gadese and Alebachews floor. A huge part of our meals while traveling(which is over half the time) is what we bring.
Alebachew is driving instead of us flying to areas in country (we are talking across country)
We will be traveling by public transportation as much as we can.
I personally will spend $1.25 a day for food expenses, which is what almost half the world lives on. This is my choice. After watching a documentary I was privileged to watch called- Give a Damn?, I knew I wanted to take my trip one step further.
Our goal as a group is to live as cheaply as we can, so we can spend the majority of the money we raise to help the people that come across our paths.
A huge reason for us going to Ethiopia is to develop the relationships with the orgs we currently have and to create new ones with orgs we love. We are wanting to video/still capture all the work we have done to date, from an interview with Gadese to showing everyone the reality of a momma's struggle in E. Africa. We want to make 1 in 11 women die due to pregnancy related causes real and relatable. I decided early on that we couldn't bring an American video person to help, because we are broke. We exhausted all resources begging for people to come. I then decided I was going to hire an Ethiopian, I wanted to support the local economy, but wasn't able.
So, what are we going to do? We got 5 video cameras loaned to us. That's right. We are shooting all our own footage.
I am so excited to see how GOD uses every single cent that came in to make everything clear. To make beauty out of desperation. To double the fishes....
Thank you for helping us. Thank you for believing you can make a difference. Thank you for being a blessing and challenging us to keep going: to challenge us to keep being the blessing....
I wonder how much does it take to save a life?
Because Every Mother Matters