Flannery Correspondence

February 25, 2013

Oh, great, another MLM

I’m busy.  I don’t read most emails that come through my various inboxes.  I’m not a trasher but I do “file” almost everything immediately into prioritized folders that really only delay the inevitable trash button.

The other day I received an email with a lot of energy … too much energy.  A good friend with whom I too seldom correspond was super-excited to tell me all about — what?  Probably just another MLM.  No thanks; I’m busy.

For some reason, weeks later I accidentally noticed its contents.  Here’s what it said, mildly anonymized:

Hi [you two],

I wanted to talk to you, [name], about this crazy idea this morning in the hall after church, but since my son insisted on treating the little, old man on oxygen like a bowling pin to knock down, I decided it wasn’t a good time to talk in order to ensure the old man lived…

Anyway, [husband] and I have been anxious/antsy/excited/terrified to do something big for God – something bigger than us or anything our little brains could come up with.  As a starting point, we found out about this organization, 25 in change (25inchange.org).  It was started at Denver Pathways church.  They have a new campaign set to start on April 7th and their goal is to have 5 churches committed to be involved (at the moment, they have 2, Denver Community Church and Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church).  Currently, I’m begging [another church] to be involved so I figure the more people I tell, the better chance we have (of course, everyone I tell gets this look of terror in their eye…which makes me think I’m self-sabotaging).  So, bear with us (I just thought, if everyone thinks we’re nuts, then maybe you guys/small group would want to join in some capacity, because the past has proved you’re all as nuts as we are).

The basics are this:

25 people (advocates)
25 days
$25 sponsorships

Each advocate needs a $25 sponsorship for 3 meals a day for 25 days (75 sponsors each, as a person can only sponsor 1 time).  The advocate agrees to eat only rice and beans each meal, each day (because this is what will be served to the hungry and starving).  If every meal is sponsored (and we really hope it is, because if the kids don’t eat, then we don’t eat), then our group of 25 people will have raised $46,875 to be donated to the World Food Programme (and with 5 churches involved, that’s $234,375!).  WFP provides school lunches to kids in the poorest countries of the world.  They feed them at school because they’ve found parents are much more likely to send their kids to school if they will be fed.  The stats on world hunger are so astounding and this is an “easy” way we can make a real impact.  Just $25 buys 100 meals in countries where children are starving to death. To put it in a little more perspective, most of the world lives on $.23/day.  The average U.S. person lives on $70/day.  That’s why I say it’s “easy” for us: such a short time of sacrifice in the grand scheme of things to provide 187,500 meals for children who would otherwise not be fed.
On the flip side of fighting world hunger, the sponsors, along with their $25 donation, agree not to eat fast food for 25 days as a way to fight obesity in America (our big killer).

We would love to be able to present this at our church and be one of the 5 churches in this April campaign.  The FAQ section of the organization’s website will answer any other questions you could come up with, I think.

Can you let us know your thoughts?  Bring it to your small group (I told [one person] about it and I’m pretty sure she thinks I’ve lost my mind, bless her heart).

Thanks so much!

Can you see why while skimming that it came off like the old “Put $1 in ten envelopes, mail them to this list, then send a letter asking everyone you know to do the same.”?  After more careful inspection, it sounds like an interesting way to grow a charity:  Recruit participants who fundraise while performing an attention-grabbing gimmick.  What do you think?


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