End-of-year giving: choosing generosity

by | Dec 27, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect on a year that has been politically tense, often divisive, with many tragedies felt both at home and overseas. Amidst these challenges, however, we feel hopeful at ODW because of how our community has come together this year to answer the call of helping the most vulnerable lift themselves out of poverty.

We are grateful for how you have chosen generosity time and time again.

In these last few days of 2017, we humbly ask you to consider making a final year-end donation to our work. Your gift is tax-deductible, and 100% will go to projects on the ground.

We don’t have to but we get to…

Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, “You don’t have to but you get to.”

My wife and I (and our three kids) started One Day’s Wages in 2009. It wasn’t an easy thing to say “Yes” but we made the decision to honor our convictions. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn’t need. It’s been an incredible journey for ODW since then, and this year has been particularly remarkable. We’ve learned so much about the heart of God and God’s love for the hurting and vulnerable.

Since its inception, ODW has raised over $6 million dollars and impacted over 560,000 people around the world in the fight against extreme poverty – water wells, maternity wards, girls education and empowerment, solar lights, anti-human trafficking centers, refugee engagement, and the list goes on. The stories are real, raw, and inspiring.

We’re as gritty and grassroots as they come with an office that was donated to us and currently, has three full-time paid staff and a team of interns and volunteers. Even with our small team, we’re projecting to have our most impactful year yet as we grant out approximately $1.1 million dollars to carefully vetted, sustainable projects. Below are just two examples of the partnerships and impact you’ve enabled with your generosity.

“Don’t forget us.”

A few months ago, I had the privilege of spending some time in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan – specifically to meet with Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are a part of our projects in the Middle East. Every conversation included the following words:

1. Have tea with us.
2. We want peace.
3. We hate ISIS.
4. We want to go home.
5. Don’t forget us.

“Don’t forget us…” particularly stuck with me because it’s so tempting to…well…forget.

We’re determined not to forget. One Day’s Wages and our partners are committed to raising $1M to go toward relief/development efforts for these refugees. We must resist the urge to just forget, move on, or listen to the lie that these refugees aren’t worth it.

Complexities of sex trafficking

If there is one thing we’ve learned in our 9 years, it’s that nobody understands the contexts and communities we work in better than indigenous, local leadership. So in May I traveled to visit one of our partners The Freedom Story, and brought along our friend, NBA player Jeremy Lin, to visit some of the communities and leaders we’re working with on the ground in Thailand. Jeremy Lin joined One Day’s Wages last season to raise funds for our work empowering girls–donating a game’s wage to the cause.

Together our group wrestled with the complexities and nuances of sex trafficking, poverty, education, girls’ empowerment, and the intersections of these issues. As we met with these leaders, we learned about their struggles. The work is far from easy or perfect, but through the scars, tears, and pain…you learn so much about tenacity, passion, and faith.

We walked away from the trip excited and motivated to continue working with these local leaders on the ground who are preventing human trafficking and empowering girls to pursue their education.

Thank you for your commitment to One Day’s Wages. These partnerships and projects are evidence of the incredible work we are doing together. We hope you will consider making a year-end gift to help us continue this work.

If you would prefer to send a check for your year-end donation, you can mail yours to: One Day’s Wages, PO Box 18071 Seattle, WA 98118. All checks must be post-marked by December 31st, 2017 to be eligible for a 2017 tax deduction.

From all of us at ODW: Happy New Year!

 

Eugene Cho is the Founder and Executive Director of One Day’s Wages. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and 3 children.

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