Sweet Charity

I just read my friend Josh’s blog about his company hearing an update from a member of their non-profit company.  It was an update from Mercy Ships.  They send large ships to different countries to serve people as a floating hospital.  It reminded me of an article I read in RELEVANT magazine a while ago that made an impact on me back then.

The article was written by a guy named Scott Harrison and he was an big events planner in NYC who suddenly decided he wanted to know what the “opposite” of his life was.  He spent almost a year on the largest ship in the Mercy Ships fleet in West Africa.  He was the volunteer photographer for them in that time.  He kept a blog of his time and pictures he took there called On a Mercy Ship.  I checked it out.  It was amazing to read and look through.  The article, likewise, was powerful. 

Anyway, reading Josh’s post made me think of that article, so I looked up that website again and it turns out that since his return from Africa, Scott Harrison started his own company called Charity:.  No, that isn’t a mistake.  There is actually supposed to be a colon there.  They set it up that way so that they could take on different initiatives at various times once others were up and running.  Their first is called Charity:Water.  The simple concept is not just their selling bottles of water for $20.  That $20 is fully given over other charity organizations and companies in an effort to make wells in African countries.  If you have given $20 to giving clean water to millions of people.  I also love that they are trying to make people understand that small, simple donations can make a huge impact.  You don’t HAVE TO give thousands of dollars to make a huge difference.  Just a little can go a long way.  I’m quite impressed.  Here is a link to a video that they have on their website about how they started, what they’ve done and want to do.  Scott is the one sharing in the video.

Coincidentally, this reminded me of yet another article I’d read very recently in RELEVANT (are you getting the picture that this is probably the best magazine in the entire world and you’d better subscribe, or else??).  This time it hit home even more for me because it was about a music artist with a heart for Spanish speaking countries.  Brad Corrigan, who apparently was…maybe still is…lead singer for the group Dispatch.  He also has another group on the side called Braddigan (clever, eh?) and set up an event in a place called La Chureca, a local dump in Managua, Nicaragua.  They did a free concert for the people who lived there and he has since started an organization called Love, Light and Melody to work with people who live in poverty in these kinds of areas.  Their inaugural event was called Dia de Luz (Day of Light) and it took place in La Chureca complete with a concert and playing with the kids there.  There is video of this on the website along with an intro video. Again, I am impressed.  Not only does this reach out to a culture group I love, but it reaches kids and families in the lowest of places and lets them know they matter.  Add in the music factor to it all and I’m hooked. They also have other projects they work on as well.

Check them both out.  Sure they’re both relatively small and grassroots right now, but they are making a huge impact in their respective locations.

This also makes me think…what more can we do here in Charlotte?  I’m so thrilled with all that Elevation has committed to with the organizations we’ve plugged into and are developing bonds with.

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