I love my job.
I spend my days writing for an incredible non-profit organization that empowers entrepreneurs around the world. I believe in my organization — Opportunity International — and I believe in my role here. And I think I’m pretty good at what I do.
So this year on #GivingTuesday, the holiday of non-profit marketers’ dreams, I have an unusual request for you.
On #GivingTuesday, help me make my job irrelevant.
You see, the only reason I have a job is because people don’t know about global poverty. People don’t know that 2.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day. They don’t know that over 58 million kids are not in school. They don’t know that 25 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished. People don’t know these horrible global realities, so my job is to tell them.
I only have a job because people haven’t heard the incredible stories of individuals surviving and building lives despite these enormous challenges. They haven’t met Beathe, who lost nearly her entire family during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, but now runs a thriving artisan group producing beautiful jewelry and accessories. They haven’t met Thomas, who started a school in his impoverished Ugandan community with only 6 students, but through dedication and assistance from Opportunity, invested in and grew his school. He now teaches 800 kids. They haven’t met Maria Jose, who started a hammock-making business in Nicaragua and now employs 14 of her neighbors. People haven’t met these heroes, so my job is to share their stories.
Most of all, I have a job because extreme global poverty still exists. There are incredible people who have supported our work and other causes for decades — people who have made a lasting and significant dent in the fight against global poverty. But there are many people who aren’t yet involved. There is so much left to do to change the world for the better. And true change — elimination-of-extreme-poverty change — is only going to happen if we all step up. People don’t know how they can get involved and make a difference, so my job is to help them discover how they can change the world.
So this #GivingTuesday, learn about the tough places — the painful, scary, hungry, hurting, crying-out, fearful places of the world.
Be inspired by the stories of people overcoming incredible obstacles to thrive despite their circumstances.
And get involved. Above all else, find the place or places where you can give back. Where you can make a difference. Where you can change something for the better. It doesn’t take much — a dollar or an hour or one great idea has the power to incite lasting change. But it does take intention. And it does take action.
When you know and care and act, I won’t have a job to tell and share and help. And you know what? I’m totally ok with that. So go ahead — make my job irrelevant.
Because that means that together we are finally, permanently changing the world.
I first wrote this piece last year, but here’s the thing: I’m still employed. Which means that we still have work to do.
If you are looking for an easy way to take action right now, visit give.opportunity.org and create a job for an entrepreneur. When you do, you’ll empower a woman, support a family and transform a community. You’ll spark the kind of sustainable change we need. And you’ll help me make my job irrelevant.