Today, I met one of the most inspiring brothers I have met in a long time… His name is Martin Kumi, and he started an organization called, The Soul Project. He shared with me his story of being raised in Africa, and being very poor as a child. In fact, he shared that if his dad wouldn’t have brought him to America, he would have had to have his feet amputated because (like many) he was a child that didn’t have shoes in his youth.
In 2007, he launched an organization in an effort to provide shoes to thousands of people in third world countries that do not have any shoes and are vulnerable to foot diseases. So far, he has given away 500K pairs of shoes to men, women, and children in many countries.
I was introduced to this brother from Eldridge Washington (a brother man that leads the organization M.A.D.E.). I was grateful for the connection. Why? Because we will take the remaining of the shoes we collected for #givemilesaway, and donate them to “The Soul Project” to help resources thousands of people in Africa (and other countries) shoes this summer. Kumi has a vision to resource 1 million people with shoes, and #lovebeyondwalls will support his movement to make it happen. The thing I loved most about this brother was that not only was he humble, but he was committed to the work that God has called him to… He said, “I AM GIVING MY LIFE TO THIS…”
Today, we got a chance to connect with Chatham Hill Elementary School and Ms. King’s 5th Grade class… These students took it upon themselves to raise tons of shoes to support over thirty orphans in India (cared for by Faith India Ministries).
Not only is this awesome, but it was an opportunity to educate students on needs that exist in society and the world! Below is a picture of the kids uniting with the #lovebeyondborders wristbands.
Most people have asked, “Why in the world are we raising bottled water for the Summer?” Well, we went downtown and interviewed several homeless people about public water access, and found out that it is extremely hard to get water and even harder during the Summer months. Additionally, I almost lost a friend who is homeless due to dehydration, hypertension, and health conditions this year.
Therefore, we chatted with a brother named Skip, and he said that he’s had a struggle trying to get water everyday (even being put out of public places as a homeless person for trying to get water).
Here is a short clip below:
With the lack of public water for homeless people, this quote below by the National Healthcare for the Homeless becomes true:
“Persons who live on the streets or in shelters are at increased risk for dehydration in warmer climates, particularly during summer months. Be aware that diuretics can exacerbate dehydration and that limited access to water or bathroom facilities may interfere with treatment adherence.”
With these findings, #lovebeyondwalls is vowing to combat homeless dehydration for many homeless people this Summer by providing drinking water. Yep. That simple. Bottled water. If you would like to get involved, check out our flyer [HERE], or contact us.
The other week, I received horrible news about one of the guys that we worked with that stayed under the bridge (Tent City). When I met him a few months back, he was struggling with his health. Therefore, we got him connected to an agency that provides healthcare, and he was doing well. Well, after they shut down “Tent City” he started to go downhill again.
I just found out that he was hospitalized due to dehydration, and other health conditions. This not only upsets me, but it has me thinking….
Would this have happened if we didn’t lose touch with him and many others that were displaced from living under the bridge.
This morning my heart is heavy, and I feel like we have to do something! Not just for Joe, but for others who may end up in the hospital this Summer!
I wonder how many more homeless men, women, and children do not have access to water in the city… I wonder how many are rushed to the hospital because of dehydration and health conditions… I wonder how many will be rushed to the hospital today…
Well, in honor of my friend Joe we are going to make sure every homeless person we encounter this Summer is hydrated. Please join us in our May campaign to raise water!
We are calling this #projectTHIRST… Below is the image!
I got a couple of text messages from a good friend this AM. It went something like this, “Bro, so you aren’t going to tell me the next awareness campaign?” I responded, “I thought I already told you…” Long story short,
Nonetheless, the text messaging conversation went back and forth for a while, and ended up inspiring me to go through with it even more… Honestly, the more I think about this particular campaign, I get even more nervous about doing it. I am normally a very adventurous person, but 90 DAYS is a long time. In fact, it will take 2,160 hours to complete!
I am literally 22 DAYS away, and it will not be easy! But, as I think about the possible impact it will have on impoverished families and children, the more God strengthens me. I am praying that God uses this next campaign to raise awareness, reach people, and mobilized people to love others the way that God loves people. I will release soon.
Below is a fun fact about the campaign:
While we are continuing to get our office space/storage locations ready for operation, we still have a few ways that you can contribute items or monetary donations to our organization.
For item donations:
For monetary contributions:
We are currently looking for monthly contributors. You can donate monthly for any amount you would like on our GoFundMe account. Simply click “donate.” Next to the box for the amount, check “Yes! Donate each month.”
If you would prefer, you can also donate on our Paypal account – you can choose to turn that into a monthly contribution as well.
As always, we would like to thank all of our volunteers, and all the people who have donated money, items or their time. We simply wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of our goals for the city of Atlanta without the support of the community. Thank you!
Today, I’m sitting here thinking about how intense and how long it is going to take me to complete the third 3rd awareness campaign.
In fact, I have shared the idea with many close friends, and some people honestly think it is
nuts. Well, I really don’t think it is nuts… I just think it will make a strong statement for all the children who struggle with generational poverty, lack, and broken families. I only have 24 more DAYS left… I will reveal this Sunday what it is…
Pray that this campaign changes others, changes me, and helps us #lovebeyondwalls!