Friday, December 06, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela

Yesterday, Nelson Mandela passed from this world to the next, and the world is brimming with tributes to his life and legacy. And there is good reason. Through his life, Madiba became a symbol of freedom, of forgiveness, and justice being lived out by a human being.

The first time I remember hearing about Nelson Mandela, I was in junior high school, and I saw a music video called "A.F.R.I.C.A." by a band called Stetsasonic. At the end of the video was a chant to "Free Nelson Mandela." While I was in high school, Mandela was released from prison. Unfortunately, in my teen years, I didn't know much about the life of Mandela. I couldn't do a google search or anything like that. But the idea of someone being in prison for trying to help people and end an injustice really bothered me. And the idea of striving to work to make the world a better place really inspired me. Thankfully I was not alone.

There are quite a few aspects of Mandela's life that have been inspiring for me to live to see, and if you were not privileged to listen to the Stetsasonic song I heard in the late 80s, or maybe, like so many of us, you have not been attuned to world events and leaders, you may have missed much of it and find yourself wondering about this man.

In the time since his imprisonment, he has been an example of radical forgiveness of his oppressors, and after his release from prison, he served as president of South Africa for a season and helped bring great unity to a nation torn by racial segregation. He became a modern example of the power of loving others, even our enemies, and the power of never giving up.

And, freed from his prison cell, he became a champion for justice. And one of the greatest injustices he saw in our world was the injustice of extreme poverty. As he spoke on London's Trafalgar Square in 2005, "Like slavery, and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings." Later in that same speech, he challenged his listeners to "Let their greatness blossom."

Around the time of this speech was the same season in my life that I was awakened to the issue of extreme poverty as the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, and I also became burdened with the necessity that we become dedicated to seeing the end of it.

And as I write this morning, my resolve is hardened, and I find myself even more inspired to live a life filled with radical forgiveness, radical love, and a passionate pursuit of the end of extreme poverty. I hope you will join me in this pursuit and that each of us can honor the life and legacy of this incredible human being. May we be the great generation that sees the end of extreme poverty.

Rest in peace Nelson Mandela.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

#GivingTuesday $15,000 Match For Nuru International Donations!!!

So today is #GivingTuesday. Even thought I'm writing this toward the end of the day, I am thrilled by this idea. Giving Tuesday is a trend that started recently as more and more people were taking a look at the spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and feeling like a new trend needed to get started, a trend of giving back.

Today, literally thousands of nonprofits are encouraging people to volunteer, give, and serve as part of Giving Tuesday. Folks are looking for opportunities to help, to give back, and to make the world a little bit brighter during the holidays.

And Nuru is among those groups with something special happening. One of Nuru's donors stepped forward and committed $15,000 to match every donation we receive today. Right now we are $3,880 away from maximizing this match. I am daily blown away by the generosity of others that helps take Nuru's life changing programs to even more people. Will you help us close the gap by donating or sharing our latest video celebrating five amazing years and 30,000 changed lives through Nuru? 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being Nuru!

Monday, December 02, 2013

Help Nuru Celebrate 5 years and over 30,000 Changed Lives

Well, it has been far too long since I have written, but today I am writing to share some incredible news and asking for your help. This year, Nuru International is celebrating 5 years since we started fighting extreme poverty. Five years ago, Nuru was an idea. But now, we are able to look back and see over 30,000 lives that have been changed because of that idea. And now the idea is becoming a movement.

Because of people like you, there are literally thousands of families in Kenya, and soon Ethiopia, who are beginning to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Thank you for your willingness to believe in this idea and help Nuru bring lasting change in the lives of many.

And now, I want to ask for you to help us celebrate these last five years and help us bring Nuru's programs to even more people in 2014. Two donors have stepped forward to match every donation we receive this month up to $75,000. Will you make a financial contribution to Nuru? Will you take a minute and share this video and post on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and whatever other social media you use? We want to invite even more people to join this movement to bring lasting change and end extreme poverty in our lifetime. We've got a challenging road ahead, but together, we can do this. Together, we can change lives. Together, we can be the generation that sees the end of extreme poverty!

Thanks for believing in this idea and contributing to it becoming a reality. It is inspiring to see what we have accomplished together during the last five years, but is even more invigorating to dream about what we will be able to do together in the future.

Thanks for being Nuru my friends!