When we first learned of the request (prior to our trip to Viet Nam) to raise funds from our communities to support humanitarian programs there, my partner and I were initially tempted to just pay the extra ourselves. After all, we were the ones going to Viet Nam, not our friends. Why would we ask them for money? Wouldn’t that be awkward?
What we learned was that our friends were excited to be asked and eager to support the inspiring work being done to improve the lives of Vietnamese children and their families. It was an important and meaningful way our friends (who might never be able to make such a trip) could participate.
Here’s how we handled “the ask.” We are active in a sangha and a church community. We posted on a bulletin board where they meet a simple map of Viet Nam, marked our itinerary, and noted the location of the various agencies we would visit, along with a short description of the work they did. Then we simply asked people to consider making a donation and explained how the funds would be dispersed. We left the map up for about a month and set a deadline to receive donations.
We were thrilled with the response. The fact that we would hand deliver their donations directly to the various agencies was a big incentive. We, and our friends, appreciated that the Loving Work Foundation leadership had vetted every one of these organizations. They’ve been in relationship with many of them for years. This was an incredible opportunity to support the humanitarian efforts of people half a world away and know that 100% of the donations benefit the people they serve.
None of us is asked to save the world. But we are asked to recognize and respond to need as we come to know it. Everyone can do something. Every gift, large or small, matters.
-Lee Ann Bryce and Lisa November, Ft. Worth, Texas, USA