Giving

Like many people right now, we’re not flush with cash.  But I still have a desire to give back.  When I was in high school, I regularly participated in the local soup kitchen.  When I was in college, I helped build houses with Habitat for Humanity.  After college, time seemed to get away from me, and it was harder to do.

I don’t remember how, but I discovered freerice.com back in 2007 or 2008.  It’s run by the World Food Programme.  When it first started, it was a vocabulary game.  Every right answer earned rice, which was donated to those in need.  Now I love vocab games, so I did it religiously for a while.  Then I completely spaced out and forgot about it.

Right before Thanksgiving, I rediscovered it.  They’ve expanded the options.  Now, it’s not just vocab words, you can do chemical symbols, SAT Prep, multiplication, and foreign languages.  In a total of about 45 minutes, I donated almost 3500 grains of rice.  I’ve done it more sporadically since then, but I’ve been going back and doing it.

Today, I clicked on the link to the totals of rice donated over time.  Here’s what they have to say:

  • Year 2007
  • Year 2008
  • Year 2009
  • Year 2010
  • Year 2011
  • Year 2012
  • Year 2013
  • 12 255 121 230
  • 43 942 622 700
  • 16 773 400 950
  • 13 198 863 280
  • 8 218 094 800
  • 3 351 398 496
  • 89 679 890

Now, the site started in late 2007, so 2008 was its first full year in action.  Since then, the numbers have dropped drastically.  So I’m challenging myself (and anyone else who wants to join me) to get it back up to at least where it was in 2010.

It’s a way you can give back without spending a dime.  And since we can’t really afford to donate money, time is all we have.  But I can spend 15 minutes and donate 1000 or more grains of rice.  According to their website, it takes about 19000 grains of rice to feed an adult for a day (averaged, not exact), so while it takes some time to build that up, you’re getting some education, some fun, and they’re getting what they need as well.  So maybe instead of messing around on other websites, we could all try and give 15 minutes a day to this cause.  I’m certainly going to try.

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