Friday, July 25, 2008

Two weeks in

We're two weeks into the Luxury Fund experiment and I'd say that it's off to a good start. Thanks for all of the positive response. I think that if we continue to combine our efforts and continue to make small sacrifices every now and then, we can really make a global difference.

A few people have asked for further explanation on how this works exactly. So, here it is - this is not a commitment to giving anything up for good. This is making day to day decisions. Today I may decide to have a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop and tomorrow decide to forgo that cup for the sake of the luxury fund. If I decide not to have that cup of coffee, I can come to the Luxury Fund Blog (soon to be website) and put $3 into the fund by clicking on the "Donate" button and using my check card. Maybe your luxury is an energy drink. Give it up one day and contribute what you would have spent on that drink to the luxury fund. There is no need to change your budget or commit to giving a certain amount each month, but just think one day at a time how you're spending your money and see if you can turn that money that you're spending into money that you're giving. You may end up giving $3 a month or $100 a month, there's no pressure, and it's up to you. As much as this is to raise funds for these organizations, it's also to get us thinking about how privileged we are and how we can help others who aren't so privileged.

At the end of this month (July 31st), we'll divide the money that has come into the fund equally between the organizations that we're supporting and we'll tell you what that amount is. Maybe next month that amount will be more, and as the word spreads hopefully the fund will grow.

Please tell anyone and everyone you know about the Luxury fund and we can all be a part of changing and saving lives.

If you have thoughts or stories about what you have given up or anything related to this experiment, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for being a part of this!

Oh yeah, here's another spending statistic for you ...

In 2001, Americans spent more than $2.1 billion in grocery stores and drugstores on breath freshening products.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Introducing The Luxury Fund

Did you know that $1 will provide clean drinking water for an African person for an entire year? And that Americans spend $20 Billion on Ice Cream and $15 Billion on bottled water each year?

We're starting The Luxury Fund in hopes of using some of our "luxury money" to help change the lives of those around the world who suffer from great poverty, disease, and injustice. It's just in the beginning stages. In the first stage, a.k.a. "The Experiment," I'm presenting the idea to people that I know, to see what they think and what sort of response there is.

As Americans, we are very privileged. We have access to doctors, food, clean drinking water and systems that protect us from all sorts of injustice. The majority of the people on the planet are not so privileged. We also have small everyday luxuries that we take for granted, like good coffee, bottled water, energy drinks, soft drinks, ice cream, candy bars, movies ... (obviously this list could go on and on.) We as Americans spend hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars each year on these luxuries while many people in this world suffer without access to clean water, a decent food supply, or protection from injustice. While I think we would all agree there is nothing innately wrong with a premium cup of coffee or a sweet treat every now and then, I want to encourage people to be aware of how much they spend on a daily basis on these things and how that same money could impact our neighbors in other parts of the world.

Our family is participating in "The Experiment." We are planning to decide together what daily luxuries we can give up for a month in hopes of making an impact in the world. We hope this month becomes a way of life for us. Would you like to join us in "The Experiment?" For the next few weeks, could you forgo a chosen luxury? The next time you decide to give up a luxury for the day, come put that money in the Luxury Fund, and let's see what we can do.

We have chosen a few incredible organizations to which the Luxury Fund money will be donated. To find out more about these organizations, check out the links on the side of the page. At the end of the this month, we will divide the money evenly among these organizations. The intent behind the Luxury Fund is not to condemn the things we are able to enjoy but to help us become more aware of how we are spending and how we can be giving.

We'll have a real website up before long, but I'd love to have something to give to these groups by the end of this month. I'd really like to know what you all think of this plan.

Stay tuned for more staggering statistics.

Feel free to comment below.