Saturday, August 9, 2008

Social Consciousness: What Do You Buy With Your Luxury Fund?

Some friends of mine have stared a project called The Luxury Fund.
Here are the details:

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?

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

Americans spent an estimated $550 million on ringtones in 2007?

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. ( Love 146, Compassion International, Blood:Water Mission, and International Justice Mission ) . 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.

3 comments:

Naomi said...

this is an interesting idea...

Green & Clean Mom said...

Great idea. Would you mind writing a guest post about this over at Green & Clean Mom? I think moms should hear this. You can email me sommer at greenandcleanmom dot org

Vicki said...

Fantastic idea. I always feel guilty that we don't do much as a family.

Thanks for visiting me.
Vicki Bodwell