Category Archives: Giving

21,099 Days of Drinking Water

Thanks to everyone that cared enough to help my friend Erin in the Change Agent Give Health Blogivation contest. When we started rallying the last 2 or 3 days of the contest she was sitting at around 500 votes and in the last couple days she got nearly 1000 more votes ending with 1483 votes. She was 15 votes behind the 3rd place blogger. All was not lost though as all the votes from all the bloggers helped get 21,099 days of drinking water to those in developing countries provided by P & G Give Health. You can check out the contest site HERE. Thanks again friends.

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Water: We Take it for Granted

It’s amazing how much we take water for granted here in the United States. I have 3 toilets in my house. 3 Showers. 4 sinks. 1 Dish Washer. 1 Washing Machine. And at least 2 outdoor water spickets. I work at a campus with 100s of bathrooms, water fountains for drinking water, and a sprinkler system.

So it’s hard to believe that there are “884 million people that lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people.” and “3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.” People are dying from water and the lack of a place to take care of human waste properly. All while we can simply turn a faucet in our home to get a glass of water and turn to the fridge to drop in some fresh ice cubes. “An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.”

Quotes taken from here: Water.org

Now why am I talking about this? Well, I’ve got a friend that has been involved with these water issues for a few years now. She’s traveled to many of these areas with poor water quality to bring them filters and teach them about proper sanitation. You can check her blog out here! Erin Swanson I’m writing in particular to plug a contest she is currently entered. The winner of the contest will get $15,000 donated to their charity of choice. Erin’s would be Water.org. You can read some of her blog and check out Water.org’s mission statement etc. to see more about what they do. The cool thing about this contest is that every vote for her blog P&G (The sponsors of this contest) will be donating a days worth of drinking water (2L) to someone in a developing country. So even if she doesn’t win your vote is still helping!

To vote just visit her site. HERE! At the top of this blog post you’ll see a little widget that says, “VOTE FOR THIS BLOGGER” Just enter your email address and click that button. You’ll receive an email and all you have to do is confirm your vote and you’re done. You can do this once a day and the contest ends on the 27th.

She’s currently in 4th place and needs something like 2,000 votes to surpass the leader…who will also continue to be getting votes. So if you like what you see spread the word and lets help her win this thing. If not we helped get some drinking water to a few hundred people. She’s currently got 595 votes!

Again here are the links.
Erin’s Blog
Water.org
Water Facts

*Pictures taken by Erin Swanson in her travels to Bangladesh

A Singing Dog and a Giving God

Can I really take a post from a Video of my Dog Barking to a discussion on God giving to you judging by what you give to others? We shall see!

I’ve owned a YouTube account since Dec. of 2006. I’ve put a number of videos on it since then…41 to be exact. Most of which consists of crappy live records of bands I’ve seen in concert and an array of video packages made for my Video I and Video II classes at Drury. A few short months after starting the account I posted a video of Jack Russell Terrier named Jackson. The video is 8 seconds in its entirety and shows my dog “singing” happy birthday while sitting on the lap of my step-grandpa. I still to this day get comments from both extremes. I get haters calling me an idiot for calling his barking singing and I get dog lovers telling me how he’s adorable.

Somewhere along the line I managed to find a good video to make it a response too and I now get over 5,000 hits a day on that video. If you’ve ever been on YouTube you’d see that two things are always popular: Sex and Animal…can only imagine the kind of YouTube fame Animal Sex would get you! Jokes…though I bet you could find that on YouTube. It was never my intention when posting this little clip of my dog for it to become so popular. I was just wanting to document our dog singing as the Happy Birthday song is his favorite.

Whether you post videos for your own enjoyment or the enjoyment of other’s you still want them to be seen. If you didn’t want them seen you’d leave them on your hard drive. So I was more than thrilled when I realized my video was approaching 500k views and Google contacted my email saying, “Hey, yo, we want to use you to make money and will even give you a little for helping us.” This Ad program Google runs is called GoogleAdsense and it allows you to post ads on your website, blog, or if you are lucky enough your YouTube videos.

At the time I didn’t think much of it. I agreed to the terms and they emailed me some registration stuff I didn’t bother filling out. Several months later I remembered about it and decided to log in and see if anything had happened. Low and behold I had over 100 bucks sitting in my account! I was shocked as I didn’t think this was actually going to be something that could make me money. Needless to say I immediately went through the necessary steps to have the check get mailed to me. I’ve had it setup since October of ’09 and I’m not bringing in ridiculous amounts of money or anything, but it’s usually enough to cover my auto insurance!

Rafe Quit Talking and SHOW ME THE VIDEO!!!

Now after watching that you’ll notice I’ve decided to start donating the money made off that video to a local Animal Shelter. I never expected to be making this money and after a chat with a friend one night she had mentioned donating the money and I thought it was a brilliant idea. The money has helped me the last few months, but I’m not making enough for it to be a huge impact on my income, so why not give it to someone in need. After an unlikely run in at a local event I met some people who had just started up an Autumn Winds Animal Rescue & Sanctuary that was taking in dogs and cats off of “Death Row” from local area Kill Shelters. This month is going to be my first month donating my check and I’ve chosen them.

After talking with my sister on Skype last about how I was donating I decided I would do a blog about the video and the nature of giving. In the Bible there are many parables and verses about giving.

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I mentioned in my first post that I believe the main thing Jesus came here for was to show us Love! And what better way to do so then to give to those in need. The Bible says to give a tithe to the church. I did this for awhile, but I’ve been traveling so much the last few years that I’ve been giving in a different way. On Valentine’s Day a few years ago I started donating to an organization called Christian Foundation for Children & Aging.

This post isn’t meant to be a way for me to brag about the things I’m doing, but to encourage others to do the same. As previously mentioned I believe that if you give, God will give to you in return. This isn’t just a Christian belief…some people may know of this ideal as Karma! Whatever you wanna call it I think only good things can come from donating your time, money, ideas, etc to a cause you care about.

And I’ll finish this ridiculously long post with a thought given to my sister by her pastor. “If your cup is already full then God has nowhere to put more…so give and there’s room to receive, and God might actually see that you have out grown your cup and need a new, bigger cup.” Our God is a Giving God. Give and you shall receive.

Please, comment, elaborate, argue…this doesn’t have to end here…though it probably should, I apologize for such a long post. When I write I ramble!