Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

Bike & Build Grant Finished

In Blessing, Habitat for Humanity, Spokane, Whitworth on April 30, 2008 at 11:45 am

Recently, I had drafted up an application for the Bike & Build Grant. I answered six questions about what my club, Habitat for Humanity Whitworth, would do with $10,000 if it was granted to us.

I’m happy to say that I received a final copy – pending approval from Habitat Spokane’s Executive Director – from Mary Jo Harvey, Habitat’s Resource Director. I read over it, and it looks good. So I sent my OK to her, and we will see if it is granted approval from their Executive Director. Hopefully all goes well.

I’ll be praying that everything goes well, and that we will get the grant if it is God’s will. Please keep Habitat for Humanity Whitworth in your prayers as well!


Christ’s Words in Action

In Africa, Economy, Philanthropy, Poverty on April 15, 2008 at 3:58 pm

This is Christ’s words in action  Please watch and comment on this amazing video.  8:06

Bike & Build Grant

In Blessing, Habitat for Humanity, Spokane, Whitworth on April 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm

I got a call from Dennis Reed, the Community Relations Director over at Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday.  I previously had a lunch meeting with Adam Borgman (Habitat’s Volunteer Service Coordinator), Mr. Reed, and my Treasurer Lara Lichten about a month and a half ago.  We discussed ways that they could help our club and start collaborating on some projects.  It was very nice, but I hadn’t heard anything until Wednesday.

I was in class when he called, so he left a voicemail detailing a grant that Habitat Spokane is interested in applying for, the Bike & Build Grant.  What is the Bike & Build Grant?  From their site:

The Bike & Build Grant Program is a competitive application process through which the proceeds from our events are distributed to affordable housing groups throughout the country. Grants are restricted to finance projects championed by students and young adults, ages 18-25.

The last sentence is the one that catches my interest.  Mr. Reed wants Habitat for Humanity Whitworth to assist Habitat Spokane in applying for, and executing this grant.  We can apply for up to $10,000 to address a housing issue.  He thought this would be a great opportunity to get Habitat Whitworth involved.  I’m very excited to say that we are going to start work on this grant very soon, and hopefully, come September, we will have been chosen and $10,000 will be at our disposal for a student-led project.

I would really appreciate some prayer on this because it is such a great opportunity for me, and the other members of my club, to get some real experience.

Pangea Day

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2008 at 3:33 pm

On May 10th, 2008 the Pangea Day will take place in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro.  What exactly is Pangea Day?  From the site:

Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.

Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.

Pangea Day is a 4 hour, world-wide, live event showcasing 24 films from around the world striving to highlight the commonalities that we all share.

What’s the point of Pangea Day?  What happens afterward?  From the site:

People inspired by Pangea Day will have the opportunity to participate in community-building activities around the world. Through the live program, the Pangea Day web site, and self-organized local events, everyday people will be connected with extraordinary activists and organizations.

Many of the films and performances seen on Pangea Day will be made available on the Web and via mobile phone, alongside open forums for discussion and ideas for how to take social action.

A Pangea Day documentary will be created to catalyze future activities, and dozens of talented filmmakers will make strides in their careers.

Seems a bit optimistic, or even naive, right?  While I agree that Pangea Day won’t singlehandedly foster peace throughout the world, I still love the idea.  I know the power of film firsthand.

I’ve felt it the first time I saw the Invisible Children movie.  I’ve felt it when I saw the Mercy and Sharing Foundation Slideshow.  I’ve felt the power that images have over us; I’ve cried for countless hours because of it.  There is no denying the dominance that films have over us, and the power it can unleash within us.

Pangea Day might not change the world, but someone who experiences it just might.

Milestone #2; Movie Survey

In Milestone on April 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Hey guys, I’m proud to say that last night the number of hits to my blog has passed the 2,000 mark!

Milestone #1 (1,000 hits): 114 days

Milestone #2 (2,000 hits): 116 days

I was hoping it wouldn’t take as long for the 2,000 mark, but I still have been seeing larger numbers of views on days.  My biggest day was March 5th, 2008 with 50 views.

Thanks for making this blog a success!


Also, I would like to ask you to participate in a short survey I have whipped up.  I’m doing some research on movie viewing habits, and what exactly affects them the most.

Movie Viewing Habits Survey

I would appreciate it greatly if you could help me out!  Thanks.

An Unexpected Question

In Philanthropy, Poverty on April 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Two days ago, I got a message from one of my friends on facebook (in the interests of anonymity, I’m not going to use their name).  It was nice to hear from them, but in their post they wrote:

Is you being conservative a joke? Or are you serious? I would think you to be a liberal or maybe a moderate[.]

I was fairly surprised, and a little disappointed – more in myself than anyone else.  I suspected that I knew why they might consider me moderate, or God-forbid a Liberal.  But I wanted to to hear their reasoning for why they thought my being conservative was a joke.  So I wrote back:

Nope, it is most definitely not a joke. Conservative through and through. I’m curious, why would you think me to be liberal or moderate?

I wanted to see exactly why they thought me to be a leftist.  They replied:

because liberals usually believe that people who need help are in that place because of environmental factors, and reasons beyond their control and conservatives tend to feel that people are in the positions they are because of how hard or not so hard they work… Like homeless children. NOT THEIR FAULT. Homeless crack addict, maybe grew up with no family and started using to not feel the pain at the sad age of 12. THEN liberals also usually believe that the government shoudl provide programs liek homeless shelters, rehabs, etc. to help all these people. Where as conservative believe that everyone should pick themselves up by the boot straps… even if you don’t have any boots.[…] hahah i’m actually kind of conservative on a lot of things but kind of liberal on a lot of things as well…. But I heart you no matter what you are. hahha.

That is pretty much what I expected to hear (well, read, actually).  The old myth that conservatives don’t want to help anyone and that liberals have a monopoly on humanitarian work.  At first, I drafted up a long, well-thought out response, but in the end I decided against sending it to them.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. You can tell by the posts from the other party that they aren’t interested in debating (I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing; this is only facebook after all).  Their first message was just general wondering.
  2. I was worried that my response might come off as arrogant or long-winded – I wouldn’t want to read a three page response either.
  3. I didn’t want them to feel like I was attacking them or their beliefs.  It’s not my place to to barrage them with my own opinions.
  4. A short response would probably work best.

So, for these reasons, I wrote this shorter response:

That is one of the myths that I hope I am dispelling by example. It isn’t the amount of humanitarian aid that Conservatives and Liberals disagree on (the exact amount is controversial, yes, but they both agree there should be some amount), but rather the way in which money should be collected. Liberals are (usually) more for government programs set in place that gets its funds from taxes, while Conservatives usually support organizations through personal donations, such as a church. That is the big difference.

And I believe your view is too narrow. When it comes to Americans, I would say that a large portion of the people on welfare (or other comparable programs) are lazy. Disregarding children and the disabled, many people in America have ample opportunity to improve their situations, but choose not to do so. Regarding other parts of the world, I think everyone can agree that they might not be as blessed as the US is.

Just a thought to ponder: Who does a vast portion of the humanitarian work overseas (and in America as well)?

Christian organizations. And in my experience, Christians tend to lean a bit to the right.

I tried to address all of their points without going overboard.  Too which they replied:

well… i’m throwing out there that according to my social work book people on welfare lack opportunities to better their situation. My teacher said that the REAL myth is that people on welfare are lazy and the TRUTH is that people just WISH it was that way. Or something. Take what you want from it…. I was just surprised that’s all. Plus, I think their should be government run programs for people rather than organizations. Because, what if you’re not christian? or something…

I thought that they might disagree with my welfare point more than any other, so I kind of had my response in hand:

I totally agree that there should be programs in place to help people in bad circumstances out, but that we need to not get too carried away. And I know that not all, or even most of people on welfare are ‘lazy,’ but there is a big enough portion to screw it up. I don’t see why anyone should be on welfare for two years, but there are plenty of people who are.

And I believe that most organizations don’t require the people being helped be Christians. World Vision is a Christian organization, but they help anyone regardless of race, sex, religion, etc…

My response is the end of this discourse so far, but I am sure that they will respond shortly.  But I have a few questions for you.

  1. Do you think I handled this situation well?  Was I too critical?  Should I have maybe been more conversational, and less debate driven?
  2. Do you agree with my case or theirs?
  3. Any general thoughts on the issue?  What’s your stance on the balance of humanitarian work?  Does either side of the spectrum get it right?

Also, sorry for such a protracted post; but I thought I owed it to you after such a lengthy cessation in my posts.