You don’t really need to smoke in Shanghai, especially on days like today. This was my morning commute via school-tour bus at 7:00am. The “fog” was settling in.
The past few days have been tough on the lungs. I woke up this morning feeling like I smoked a few packs of cigarettes.
This U.S. Consulate’s Air Quality Index (AQI) measurement was 291, which is deemed “very unhealthy.” Those crazy-looking SARs masks are recommended. The Chinese government’s AQI read 241 – “moderately polluted.”
No matter how you look at it – or how you can see through it – it’s unhealthy. Heathy AQI is usually 50.
So, if you see me around Shanghai rockin’ my Hello Kitty…
You’ll know why.
It’s been awhile since I wrote my last blog, but this idea inspired me. It came to me from a simple email from one of my colleagues. He has volunteered a lot of his time and taken several trips to Bali, Africa, Thailand, China – to give back to the people who need us most in this world.
His passion for helping others is one like I have never seen before. He encourages others to get involved and join the cause in a truly remarkable way. I am grateful for people like him.
He brought to my attention the Jacaranda Foundation. The foundation is a primary and secondary school to orphans in Malawi, Africa. Only $240 will sponsor a year’s worth of tuition for a child.
That $240 to take out of my paycheck was simple though after I saw Memory.
Memory is a girl that my fiance, Adam and I are sponsoring. She wrote us a sweet letter about liking to play with dolls and thanking us for giving her the gift of education.
She even wrote, “I love you” to us. What a sweet girl. I was so touched by her note. It made me realize that giving something so little could mean so much.
So, I’m encouraging others to give. It doesn’t have to be to this specific foundation, but to donate money to a charity of your choosing. It’s easy to hold tight to our hard earned cash, but there’s still a lot of need out there. A little bit goes a long way. My mission is to inspire others to give – and the one way to do it – is to prove by example, just like my coworker has taught me.