I remember my first experience as a child when my parents built their first home and watching their faces glow as the builder handed them their very first set of keys. They were able to experience the feeling of living the American Dream --- unfortunately not many people from our country of origin (Philippines) get to experience that there. Here I am now thirty years old - I cannot believe how much I have experienced in just thirty years! From making a six figure income to living on welfare, and then climbing my way back to the top - it has been a roller coaster ride. Now that I have four children of my own, it was even more critical that we create a strong foundation for our family in order to balance the scales in life.
I recall a church member speaking of tithing and offering as Christians and being able to make a difference in the lives of others. I made that big decision five years ago when I committed 10% of my gross income to tithes. And although I actively serve in the ministry, I still found myself talking again about the decision to give to others and how even though it might seem that one person can't make a difference, when several work together a big impact can be made.
We stumbled upon the Members Unite website and the concept was so powerful and yet so very simple. Members Unite searches for projects that will make a difference, and then lets members decide through a voting process which project gets funded! I signed up for as little as $5 a month (the cost of a Venti Caramel Soy Macchiato at Starbucks) and we have the opportunity to decide which projects get funded. I really love that 100% of our contribution goes toward the winning project!
I sat down with my ten and twelve year old children to discuss the projects, and I love how organized and easy to navigate the site was! We all know how quickly children's attention span changes, but my children were really thinking these projects through and the decision was really tough! The photos and short descriptions really helped us get details, and with all of the projects just on one page - it made the decision making process extremely bearable. I hate making decisions - especially when it comes down to serving and helping others! I wish I could help everyone, but we all know that the best way to start is doing it one step at a time.
Guess which project was our favorite? The Habitat For Humanity project in San Francisco to help make low income houses a home. I remember a time in my past life where welfare was necessary, and I remember the feeling of discouragement and wondering if I was ever going to amount to anything more in life. A home isn't just about a dream, it's about memories, family, and a strong foundation for your life. "For any family, taking the first steps into their own home is a moment they will never forget. Opening the door, stepping over the threshold, and walking into the place that they will live, love, and raise their families is a feeling that cannot be fully described. Habitat for Humanity has built homes throughout the United States for people in need of a hand up, not a hand out. Habitat has built a community of volunteers through teamwork and positive energy, and for decades has provided real, positive change for people and the communities they call home. project makes the first cut to become one of the six projects that make it to the voting round in week two!
Are you interested in joining Members Unite and helping to make a significant impact in the lives of others in need? Our family is hoping to inspire ten more philanthropists to participate this month! Remember, you can do great things in small ways, and you can do that by starting now. Be sure to leave a comment if you join, and let us know which project you voted for!