Sunday, November 22, 2009

Active Giving - Jambalaya

Here's my partner - Michael - and our good friend Kevin - owner and chef at Jambalaya Restaurant at the moment of "settling accounts". Kevin and his wife - Denise - generously offered their restaurant and incredible food as a venue to raise money for Hand to Hand Global Leadership's non profit efforts in Jamaica. Between the meal and the silent auction we raised around $1500.00. It was an amazing night spent with friends and supporters eating Caribbean food - jerk chicken, rice and peas, blackened steak, bread pudding and rum sauce, pina colada cheesecake etc - all for a great cause.

In other news I am really excited to report that one of the loans I made on is already being paid back (19% so far) after little more than a month. Most loans take 6 to 8 months before they start being paid back so I was thrilled to see that the group of women I supported is making its own profitable way in the world already!

I have been researching ways to get donated goods to Jamaica and have come up with a couple of ideas. Mustard Seed Communities are always looking for donations from a long list of needed items that they ship to Jamaica from Atlanta. That might be cheaper than packaging and shipping by air. My class has offered to use the money raised by our anual Advent project to pay shipping costs as well as donating toys and books to send. Its amazing how much people want to help out when you approach them with specific ideas. Most people want to help out, they just don't know what to do.

This week also marked my attainment of over 2,000 points for my cause (World Food Programme) on Social Vibe. Every 100 points that I earn equates into a donation of one week's worth of micronutrients for a hungry child. So far I've earned enought points to contribute 21 weeks worth of micronutrients. Check out my side bar for the Social Vibe's button and you can help me with my cause. It costs nothing but a few moments of your time. Social Vibe is also on Facebook.

I am happy to report that I haven't shopped this week except for groceries. The only other money I spent was to buy gas for the car and one meal out (at Jambalaya of course) plus $10 for a CD to support our friend Charmaine Bailey who is embarking on a Caribbean tour this January.

Savings is on track and so is my debt reduction. The car I bought in June will be totally paid off in 12 more months. Not bad! I've paid off my trip to Jamaica and started an emergency fund which now has over $400 in it. When I get the bill for the furnace repair it will come out of that. Any money I have left over at the end of the month also goes into the emergency account so within another week it will grow some more. Yay! Hopefully nothing major will happen to steer me off course. Like Christmas! I will definitely be on a budget this year but I don't have much to buy as I have been donating $$ instead.

Life is good.

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