Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Make A Difference

Starting a "Tsunami of Good Will"

What would "YOU" do if you accidentally met a person who, in five short years, had accomplished more to help "children in need" than most people do in three lifetimes?

Through a series of "random coincidences", I met a young man who impressed me so much I decided to study internet marketing and blogging in an effort to help his "humanitarian efforts" to aid a group of orphan girls in Tanzania. What can I say? This young man changed my life.

In March 2009, while sitting in my doctor's waiting room waiting for an appointment I'd rescheduled twice, I saw a TV program I never watch because of my work schedule. That day, I listened to an interview with the "most amazing" twenty-two year old man I'd ever heard of. His name is Chris Gates.

His story began when he was just five-years-old:

At the tender age of five, Chris announced to his parents that he would be living in Tanzania someday. They chuckled and patted him on the head, but as he grew older, he never forgot his desire to live in Africa.

When Chris turned fifteen, his grandmother agreed to take him on safari to Tanzania, his life-long dream, but first she had to "gently" persuade him go on a mission with her to a boy's orphanage in Tanzania before the safari began. Little did he know how much his grandmother and this trip would change his life. While there, he recognized the poor nutritional state of the children and returned home to raise money to buy livestock for that orphanage.

The next year he returned to Africa with other teenaged friends to buy animals for the orphanage AND teach boys barely younger than he was how to care for them, a skill "he" learned while working at a local veterinarian's office in Oklahoma .

While in Tanzania on subsequent visits, Chris recognized the disparity in care for orphan
boys vs. girls and returned home to raise money to develop a non-profit organization (The Janada L. Batchlor Foundation for Children--named after his Grandmother). He used these funds to start an orphanage for girls only.

At the age of eighteen, he negotiated land purchase on the banks of Lake Victoria in Tanzania for the girl's orphanage and did all the contracting work for the construction of five buildings. All the while, Chris attended college full time in America to earn a degree in social work (ages 18-22)

Through the help of a family friend who worked on the Today Show, Chris met Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. He impressed her so much that she went on the talk show circuit with him to help raise awareness of his "life's work". (It seems kind of funny to say "his life's work" at this point because he was only twenty-two years old at the time of the broadcast.)

In May 2009, Chris graduated from college and moved to Tanzania permanently to become surrogate father to forty girls and run the orphanage he started at the age of eighteen.

As I sat listening to that fateful March television interview with Chris and Sarah Ferguson, I thought, Gee . . . I'd love to help him but what can "I" do? I'm just one person.

Just as I finished that thought, the interviewer on the Today Show said, "Chris. You're just twenty-two-years-old. What made you think you could do all this?"

You wouldn't believe the goose bumps that raced down my spine as I heard him reply, "What made me think I "couldn't" do this?"

That simple statement galvanized me to action. If he can accomplish all that, there "must be" something I can do.

I was priveleged enough to speak to Chris before he moved to Africa and learned details of his eventful life. He never expected to spend his life this way but saw a need and decided "he" could make a difference.

Below are two links that show information about Chris. The MSN interview is not the one I originally saw, but it shows the young man's passion for his life's work.


http://www.nyu.edu/socialwork/news.html?id=163 http://www.jbfc-online.org/

What would it take to convince "you" to help me start a "Tsunami of Good Will" to aid Chris's orphanage? A tsunami is an unmoveable natural force that begins spreading slowly outward from a central location. It gains in strength as it grows in momentum. Help me build a "growing tide" of support for Chris's orphanage's.

Visit http://www.jbfc-online.org/. Click on the "donation" link and leave a tax-deductable gift of $6.00 or more.

Consider this fact:

In the greater scheme of life in America, six dollars is less than the cost of buying both you and your sweetheart a "caffe vanilla Frappuccino blended coffee" at Starbucks. Six dollars in Tanzania will feed four people for several days.

Imagine what "could" happen if more and more people stop by and leave a donation. The "Tsunami of Good Will" begins and who knows where it will go from there.