Inspiration is a bit of a mystery. Two individuals can be presented with the same basic set of information about a problem to be solved or a wrong to be righted; each is convinced of the same basic intellectual arguments for action; each holds the same basic set of values and world view. One is inspired with fresh ideas and a desire to act, whereas the other simply is not. There’s no apparent rhyme or reason.
Earlier this summer, Father Frankline visited our church from Kenya. Father Frankline serves Kajuki, a rural community in Kenya, and his life’s work is to lift the people out of poverty through education, micro-finance, and infrastructure. He spoke passionately and movingly about the desperate need in Kajuki, about the successes and set backs over the years, and of the duty we all have to stand-up for the least and the most vulnerable people around the world.
Father Frankline’s words had an immediate effect on me. It was a head thing and a heart thing, just like it’s supposed to be. And so, after the service, I got up, I went home, and I did…
Nothing. Nada. Rien.
To my shame, my response in that moment led to no meaningful action.
Fortunately, more can be said of my friend, Rich. Rich caught the bug, and resolved to go to whatever lengths necessary (exercise, asceticism, personal humiliation – the usual, well-trodden path of charity fundraisers), and to bring as many people along with him.
And so was born the Bullbrook Month of Plenty, coinciding with the time of year when we traditionally celebrate harvest. We are blessed with so much, and so this October the plan is to give back some of what we have to St Peter’s Lifeline, the small UK-based charity established to support Kajuki and Father Frankline’s work. Rich has set up a giving page to collect all the funds raised in one place: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/monthofplenty
I did eventually join the party, albeit fashionably late. Some weeks later I listened to an interview with Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity Water. His big idea was to ‘donate’ his birthday – i.e. to ask friends and family to replace a present to him with donations to his charity. I was blown away by the power and the simplicity of the gesture, and its ability to generate funds for a worthwhile cause at no net financial cost to anyone. It’s the closest thing I can imagine getting to money for nothing (but with no chicks for free – sorry Mark).
For some unknown reason, this was the inspiration I needed. The creative juices began flowing, and I’m all set now to join my friends in raising as much money as we possibly can this October for St Peter’s Lifeline. My plan is to post some updates throughout the month (mainly photos probably) to document various fund raising schemes, so do check back in each week.
I don’t know what it is that will inspire you – after all, inspiration is a bit of a mystery. It may be the subversive economics of a donated birthday, a YouTube video of a worthy cause, or a bath full of cold baked beans. But whatever it is, why not join me and start by foregoing one posh coffee or a pint and donating the money you’ve saved?
All donations are gratefully received at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/monthofplenty