Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Donate a Bike to a Child and Change the World

Have a lot to be thankful for this year?  Perhaps you're wealthy in dollars and blessings, or wealthy in dollars but poor in blessings.  Maybe you're not so wealthy in dollars, but you are richly blessed in other ways.  There are lots of places where you can get involved and make a difference.  Charities are great, but most of them are not equipped to connect you directly to the people you're helping so that you can personally see the impact of your gift.  What if you could directly help a child, and the child that you help could see a photo of you... and he or she understands that you were the person who cared enough to help?  What if you got to see a photo of them with the gift?  Read on, and learn about something that will just melt your heart.

Connecting recipients with donors -

I'd like to introduce you to a different kind of charity: . Check out their website and get to know them a little better.  You'll see what I mean when I say 'different.'  I personally worked in the non-profit world for 8 years, and have served in various positions in my church and community groups for over 20 years.  I know a little bit about charities and how things work, so I feel qualified to tell you that this group is unique.  In fact, I've never seen anything quite like .  Everyone like to learn things in different ways, so I'll give you three options here:  audio, video, and print media.  Since I first discovered them for myself on the radio, let's start out with a podcast from that particular episode of the NPR program Travel with Rick Steves.  Next, for those who prefer print media,  they were the 2009 Thanksgiving feature on Inhabitots.  Finally, for those of you who'd rather watch the video, check out this  March 2010 story from CBS Evening News Weekend Journal:


Got a lot to be thankful for this year?  Here is simple, incredible way to share your blessings - donate to and they will provide a child who truly needs it with a new bike.  This is one of their new 2012 bike projects for kids: PROJECT ASHA

This text is from Project Asha website

“ The bicycle helps me feel equal to men,”said several girls living at a remote ashram in Bihar, India. These girls are survivors of sexual slavery. They are sheltered by our partner NGO Free the Slaves for several months before reintegrating back into their communities. One girl, “Asha”, was sold into slavery by a neighbor in her village, escaped after a week, then found her way to the Bihar Ashram to recover. After six months in the ashram she reintegrated back into the same community from which she was sold, a striking example of courage and resiliency.

In 2010, 88bikes volunteers endowed bicycles to every girl at the ashram, including Asha (her name has been changed to honor her privacy) and led each in painting the most beautiful mural. Bright and optimistic, the mural reflects the girls’ resilience, courage and indomitable spirit. Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit.
The 88bikes community was deeply touched by the gratitude and courage of these heroic souls in India and other survivors in Nepal and Ghana. And we recognize recent studies (as well as common sense) that investing resources in girls helps build equality in diverse communities.

And so 88bikes launches its sixth and most ambitious project: 88bikes Asha, which will endow thousands of bicycles to girls, especially those having endured and transcended slavery and abuse, in regions from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. We honor their heroism and hope that, like the girls at the Bihar Ashram, the bikes will be catalysts for healing, health and, of course, happiness.

88 Bikes Asha 2012
Photo from Project Asha

What will you spend 88 dollars on this year?  A full tank of gas?  Dinner for 4?  A new pair of shoes?   Stocking stuffers? How about a gift that has real impact and meaning for a child?  Donate 88 dollars to this worthy cause.  It's the right thing to do, and chances are the kid you help will remember you for the rest of their life as someone who really made a difference for them.   Give a little and get so much more in return!

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