Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why I Believe In People & Why You Should Too!

We have our annual Kick Off Meeting this year in Charlotte, NC. Our EVP is holding a contest in which the Branch Managers were to submit a thread to our company's blog. Our Area Directors will narrow the entries down to the Top 5 and those will be put before the entire Division for voting next week. The grand prize is a brand new iPad. Now, I don't have a need for an iPad but it would be really awesome to win it. I am sure that Christie could have a use for it in her school in Uganda. Right? Of course!

Long, Long, Long story short....I didn't get it submitted on time because I thought the deadline was 12 midnight but it was 5pm (yesterday). If my entry is not counted, I will be OK with that. My whole purpose was to bring awareness to the poverty situation around the world. Mission accomplished.

Here's the post:

Over the past few months, I have had the honor of helping my sister (Christie Cotney: with her fundraising efforts here in the States while she is living in Uganda, East Africa. I have been so amazed at the people that our Creator has put in her path over the past year.

A little background about the village that she is living in:

Bugabo Village:

  • A remote village which practices witchcraft and is located in the country of Uganda, East Africa.
  • Population: approximately 2000.
  • Most families in this village live off of ONLY $2/day.

Here are some examples of what I have seen and why I believe in people. These people that I refer to are just like you and me; they live in our communities; our children go to school with their children; our children play sports with their children; our families work with their families; they face the same struggles we face on a daily basis. Some of these people may even be present, former or future customer of ours. These are AMAZING people who do things that are greater than themselves. I have seen these people donate over $30K in the last 6 months to a person that they have never even met. They take care of the widows, the orphans, the outcast, the lost, the hurting and the dying.

  • · I have seen countless amounts of people that my sister has never even met donate money to help the families living in this village.
  • · I have seen people come together and donate to the “Buy A Brick, Build up Bugabo” project which completely funded the building of a new school so that more children could get an education.
  • · I have seen an old high school friend who we have not seen nor spoken to in well over 15 years donate time and time again for the various projects going on to build up this Village.
  • · I have seen pictures of a man dying from cancer and AIDS and people coming together to donate money to purchase him a bed and mattress – the first he’s ever had – so that he could die comfortably.
  • · I have seen pictures of this dying man with the biggest smile on his face.
  • · I have seen people collect and donate hundreds of dollars worth of formula to be sent to this village to save the lives of babies who are severely malnourished.
  • · I have seen people pull together and donate money so that this Village could have their first annual Christmas party and come to know the love of our Creator.
  • · I have seen my sister set a VERY lofty goal of $22K to find 220 sponsors so that these 220 children could take their first steps in ending their poverty – earning an education.
  • · I have seen this goal be MET by people (most of whom we have never met) within just a couple of months!
  • · I have seen families (who were themselves raising funds to adopt and save a child from the dumps of Ethiopia) donate money that they did not have to another cause.
  • · I have seen a very sweet family donate time and time again. They too are in the process of adoption and have funds sitting in their adoption fund. Since they do not yet have a referral for their adoptive child, they see the need to use those funds to help others in need while they wait to bring their child home.
  • · I have seen people come together and donate $1K to build a new, suitable home for a mother suffering from Epilepsy (that has gone untreated for many years due to lack of medical treatment) and her 2 year old child that only weighed 15 pounds.
  • · I have seen a family that we have never met step up and sponsor this same mother and her daughter to keep them alive by providing the funds to handle their food, shelter and water needs.
  • · I have seen these same people donate this money to an individual who has not yet set up her non-profit organization. These people were not looking for a tax write-off, as they could not get one here.
  • · I have seen the smiling faces of the 220 children who were being profiled for the upcoming school year. Those smiles show the hope that they have received from these people who have chosen to sponsor them and literally change their lives.
  • · I have seen the contaminated water that these villagers have to drink. I have seen the funds raised to supply the 12 water collection tanks that now supply their need.
  • · I have seen families rethink Christmas and give the gift of education, food and medical care so that a child in the village could thrive and do well.
  • · I have seen people pull together and donate money to buy medicine to de-worm all of the children in this Village. Have you ever wondered why children that are deemed severely malnourished have big tummies? They literally have worms.
  • · I have seen people donate money to purchase each person in the village a pair of shoes to protect their feet from lethal jiggers (small insects that cause body parts to rot).
  • · I have seen these people donate money in hopes that one day seeing children dig through trashcans will be the exception, not the norm.
  • · I have seen the precious Village people stay true to their culture and not take things for granted. When the children were presented with brand new soccer balls, they continued to play with the old ones too.
  • · Just today I witnessed the sponsorship of two deaf children. One of which, at the age of 12 has never learned to speak. These children will now be able to attend a boarding school and get the specialized care that they need to thrive.
  • · I have seen these INCREDIBLE people cash in their 401Ks, downsize their homes, sell their Mercedes, wear less expensive clothes, etc. all for the sake of changing the lives of the less fortunate.

I encourage you all to help others anytime that you can :)


  1. wow! i'm rarely speechless! this may be one of those rare occasions! All i can say is well done,melinda! christie is blessed to have you as a sister! I'm blessed to call you friend!

  2. Love this! I am in awe of everything that the Lord has done in this village!! Can't wait to continue to watch His plans unfold.

  3. love it, just shows that people still care.


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