Shopping for Sudan
There is a real need for assistance in Africa. It is not the case of people making bad choices and needing handouts to keep them on their way. No, the refuges in Darfur are victims in the truest sense. Forces beyond their control have keep their homeland in the grip of a nasty civil war. The violence is so ghastly these families are forced to leave there homes or face rape and genocide as a consequence.
Unfortunately, leaving home is far more then an inconvenience. Their entire economy is based on substance farming which means that without land they have no food or means of trading for food. Their plight is unimaginable. They are victims of war and as long as they are refugees they rely on charity to keep them going.
What can we do?
We can’t end their war but we can provide relief for the refuges. Fear not, I am not gearing up to accept donations. There are organizations doing that already (i.e World Vision) and if it’s on your heart and within your means, I encourage you to give directly to them. Instead, my husband and I would like to try an experiment which has the potential to raise significant funds, 100% of which would go toward World Vision’s International Sudan Food and Care fund, the largest relief organization on the ground in Darfur. The best part of this plan is that it will cost you nothing. Not even time. In fact, we suspect you are already doing all that is required to help. We just need a little coordination.
The plan is to harness the power of the online shopping we already do. We would like to encourage the mom bloggers of the world (and anyone else for that matter) to begin their Amazon.com shopping via a link from this site. You’ve all heard of Amazon.com but you may not know that certain sites can become “affiliates” which means Amazon will pay the site owner a referral fee for each purchase that originates via a link on the affiliate site. LifeAtTheCircus.com has just become an official Amazon affiliate. We will receive the following payment from Amazon for each referral that leads to a purchase and will in turn donate 100% of it to the World Vision Sudan Food and Care fund.
If we can get the word out about this, the earning potential could be huge. I’ve got to believe online shopping is nothing new to the mommy bloggers of the world. Shopping with kids so often degenerates into this, this, or even this, that our circus shops online whenever we get a chance. The sad truth is that childless shopping is so rare my husband and I do it on dates.
Amazon.com is a very reputable place to do online shopping and all we are asking is that those who use them start each search using this link. (Can you just imagine how much money could be raised during the Christmas shopping season!?) Working together we could all make a real difference for the people of Sudan.
What Can YOU Do:
1) Bookmark this site so you can get to the link easily from my sidebar (upper left-hand side). Note: you can’t just bookmark the referral link because to get credit the referral link has to originate from lifeatthecircus.com.
2) Start all Amazon.com shopping using the link on this site. It’s technically OK to browse around on Amazon.com a bit the old fashion way but it’s important that you do not add the item to your shopping cart until after you follow the link on my sidebar (or here). The link leads to the amazon.com front page and you can just start searching from there (or you can use the search box below).
3) Get the word out…(twit, facebook, blog post……)
- lots of people have to be involved for the earnings to accumulate into meaningful contributions. Here is a pre-made tiny URL to this page to make twitting easy – http://cli.gs/Sudan This step really is important.
We are so excited about this and really want to see it succeed for the people of Sudan. To help it grow and encourage participation, my husband and I commit to matching dollar for dollar all money raised for the first $200 (and maybe more). That means that your purchase of a 21 dollar crock pot (for example) would raise not $1.26 but rather $2.52. If enough people get involved these kinds of contributions are going to add up fast. Please, get the word out and spread this link.
NOT SO FINE PRINT:
CRYSTAL AND SCOTT FROM LIFEATTHECIRCUS.COM WILL IN NO WAY BENEFIT FROM THE MONEY RAISED BY THIS EXPERIMENT. YES, THE DONATIONS WILL BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE FOR US BUT THE INCOME IS ALSO 100% TAXABLE FOR US SO IT SHOULD WORK OUT TO A WASH. WE PLEDGE THAT IF, AT ANY TIME, WE DISCOVER THAT THIS HAS PROVIDED A FINANCIAL BENEFIT FOR OUR FAMILY, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY RECTIFY THE SITUATION VIA A DONATION TO WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL
FAQ: (OK, I haven’t really been asked any of these “frequently” asked questions but we anticipate your wanting to know the answers):
- ARE YOU ASKING ME TO MAKE MY BLOG AN AFFILIATE SITE? No! This is not a pyramid scheme of any sort. It’s just adverting for Amazon and they pay out for it. All you have to do is shop as you always would, but this time start your shopping using the link on this site. Amazon considers that good advertising and will pay me for the referral. It’s that simple. All you have to do is shop (and spread the word).
- WILL YOU POST PROGRESS?: Of course. I will eagerly twit (follow me) each and every time a significant financial milestone is reached (first $100, $200…). Also, each reporting cycle I will post on my blog a summary snapshot of the Amazon.com affiliate window showing the amount raised along with a copy of the World Vision receipt when it arrives (sanitized to remove personal information like my address). You might consider subscribing to my blog if you haven’t already so you don’t miss an update (and because it makes me smile .
- YOU HAVE NEVER POSTED YOUR ADDRESS OR LAST NAME, HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS NOT A SCAM? Well I guess you technically can’t know for sure, but I promise you it’s not. I have been actively blogging and commenting for well over a year now so hopefully that yields some credibility. Because I often post pictures and anecdotes about my kids, I just don’t feel right giving out identifiable information. Hopefully, between my daily posts (subscribe to reader), the various other credible blogs who link to me, and the verification data I will post every reporting cycle, you will know that I am honest. I am just a mommy blogger trying to honor my Lord by helping the people He cares so much about.
- ONLY AMAZON.COM? For now, yes. There are other online retailers who offer referral fees. If this gains momentum we will definitely add more shopping options. For now, it seems the very reputable Amazon.com was a good place to start. Almost anything you could want can be bought from Amazon at a competitive price.
- WHEN DID THIS START? I made the initial announcement as part of my weekend thought on Saturday, July 11th, 2009.
You made it this far. Please participate and spread the word. Posts and Twits would be so very helpful. It is so easy to participate but, unless a ton of people get involved, the real potential won’t be realized.