World Hunger day is this Sunday, October 16th, so what better time to announce a new WIN-WIN partnership for my Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund? Jeweler, Jodi Zuletta has very generously designed an exquisite yet affordable pendant we are calling Jodi’s jewel for Jewels – benefitting the Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund. I’m excited to give this symbol of love to Tatjana for Christmas, because I know she will not only think

Julie Anne and Tatjana Rhodes photo by Nick Rhodes

of me when she wears it – I know she’ll wear it with pride, because it will remind her of how much we care about all children. It’s the perfect holiday gift for any female on your holiday shopping list (including yourself) with the added benefit of knowing you will also be fighting world hunger. This limited edition pendant will only be available from October 16th through December 31st, with 100% of all proceeds (excluding shipping and handling), going directly to the fund, plus it is a worldwide offer – you do not need to be in the US to purchase.

Jodi’s jewel for Jewels pendant

I know some of you are angry with me for asking you to help send money overseas when one out of four children right here in the United States are food unstable. ALL children are equally important, therefore giving in both places is important. For me, and I am only speaking for myself, I have to do my best to help the most desperate first. Once the Horn of Africa has some stability, I promise to focus my efforts closer to home. NO child should ever be without food, water, shelter and medical care anywhere, anytime, period!

Photo courtesy of Save The Children

I’m relatively new to this kind of fundraising, learning as I go, and extremely passionate, but I really do not want to come across as someone standing on a soap box. This cause does feel very, very personal to me as a mother, as a chef, and as a member of the human race (which, by definition, means we are looking after our own when we help over there – we are really one very big family). I can not sit idly by, reading news reports of 29,000 children perishing in the last 3 months alone, and another quarter million projected to fall to the same fate in the next few months unless we rewrite the next chapter. Geography does not matter to me, humans do, especially innocent children who are the most vulnerable victims of malnutrition.

Photo courtesy of Save The Children

Operating under fear that if we help others, there will not be enough left for us, helps no one. In fact, this world does produce enough food to go around. According to the 2011 World Hunger Poverty Facts and Statistics – “World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day.  The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.” The perfect storm of the worst drought in decades coupled with political strife in Somalia have transformed this problem into a crisis of epic proportions in the Horn of Africa.

                                  Jewels with Hero of the Year Nominee Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow

It is up to ordinary people like you and me to see that people in desperate need receive that food. I had a major “aha moment”  when I was invited to the CNN Heroes of the Year Awards last year by honoree  Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow of Mary’s Meals (who have served 900,000 meals in famine struck Somalia). I learned not to wait for the grand gesture, you don’t have to be rich to evoke change – it is the small acts of kindness that add up to making a real difference, right now. I am forever grateful to my friends Milona Von Habsburg-de Ramones and of course Magnus for exposing me to that life-changing lesson. There is no right or wrong way, what matters is that we care enough to fight world hunger, and make the effort. Even just tweeting this post on helps by raising awareness.

Photo courtesy of Save The Children

Donations are of course always welcome, but I know times are tough, so I’m not even asking you to part with your hard earned money simply for the reward of giving. When we used the Personal Chef Approach ™ to Feeding Your Family & Theirs it didn’t cost you a dime, just your time! Your donors got their fridges stocked full of delicious food, and all who participated got to feel the joy of making a difference. By the way, you can continue using the PCA™ to Feed Your Family and Theirs. Just sign up, secure a donation, and I will send you a menu plan any time. Jodi’s jewel for Jewels is yet another WIN-WIN. Complete your holiday shopping and save the children. One gift will put a smile on two faces, so let’s see lots of smiles!


Photo courtesy of Save The Children

When you donate to the Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund you will be sending funds directly to Save The Children, who have launched an emergency appeal to get life-saving help to thousands of Ethiopian, Kenyan and Somali children facing starvation in what the UN has called the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in 60 years. I support them because they have been on the ground helping, with a well established relationship of trust in this troubled region for many years. Save The Children provide clean water, food and medicine as well as education on how to adapt to the increasing droughts in the area. At least 90% of all money donated goes directly where it is needed most, with only 4% going towards costs and 6% towards fundraising.

I encourage everyone to get creative in finding new ways to raise money. Have you got an idea you would like to share with us?

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  • October 14, 2011
    3:33 pm

    I’m involved in a few ventures to help raise funds for breast cancer survivours. Have an idea I might run through you later to see if it could work. Will send you a separate e-mail with details. I make lovely greeting cards suitable for the holidays. A package of five cards, along with the envelopes would be in the package which a friend of mine will mail from her home in Canada. Sending e-mail to you shortly.

  • October 15, 2011
    10:04 am

    Ruthee, you are one of the most generous, thoughtful souls I know. I think what you are doing for charity with the breast cancer survivors is fabulous! You are a prime example of someone with a lot of challenges of her, yet still have creatively found a way to give to others. I admire you.

  • October 15, 2011
    10:09 am

    Just so everyone knows, I love hearing your ideas, but I’m focused on the pendant and continuing the PCA™ to Feeding Your Family & Theirs as a continued effort for now. I’m hoping it will inspire you to come up with ways of your own (especially for those of us with little cash to spare) to use in the fight against world hunger – at home and abroad. Everyone has something they are good at that can translate into a fundraising effort.

  • October 16, 2011
    10:29 am

    I think what gets to me most is these people have a kind of nothing we have no idea of. I am all for helping other causes here but at least here there are resources available already. We are not walking for days to escape unimaginable circumstances only to find no food or help or support when they get to the destination. Seeing the photos is a glimpse of what the true horror is. We have to think AND act globally

  • October 16, 2011
    9:52 am

    You are right, as a mother and human first and foremost, ALL children are equal, no matter where they live, they didn’t ask to be brought into this world, but they (in Uganda, Etiopia, etc) are forced to endure people like Joseph Kony, starvation, mutilation of genitilia, uncaring govt, etc. Here in America there is a chance. We have a welfare system, food banks, etc. and so much more than these overseas children (adon’t get me wrong, I believe in helping here in the U.S. also). If anyone gets angry then that’s their own personal demon and maybe it’s their guilt for wanting to help but they can’t or won’t for whatever reason. Such a shame.

  • October 16, 2011
    9:58 am

    AFFCAD- Actions For Fundamental Change And Development is my favorite charity right now in Uganda. I have a hard time getting people wanting to help. Help? Everyone thinks “scam” and it’s frustrating.

    • October 16, 2011
      10:07 am

      There are so many truly worthy causes Carly. The point is to do something, ANYTHING, within your capabilities show you care. Haven’t got a spare dime? Get creative and find a way to raise one. Have problems of your own? You’ll feel better about them when you stop thinking of yourself and help someone else in need – maybe your own problems won’t feel so insurmountable then. Don’t have enough spare time? How long does it take to tweet and/or fb a cause along to help raise awareness? The point is to stop being apathetic and start doing.

  • October 16, 2011
    10:45 am

    We do Rachel, and it also gives us a much different perspective on just how fortunate most of us truly are.

    When I was in Kenya years ago, I was invited by one of our camp guides to visit his home village. What really struck me was how the only toys the children had were sticks and stones they used their imaginations with, yet seemed infinitely more satisfied and happy with them than our kids fighting over the latest play station. We have so much we take for granted, and rarely stop to appreciate.

  • October 16, 2011
    11:04 am

    And on your last comment, Jewels: There are children, living in my building, who have no idea about this! Or even how their neighbours are struggling to survive.
    This generation is so ignorant! All they care about is wearing the newest fashion. No matter what their Mother needs to do for it.
    And when you try to reach them, all you get, is a big mouth. Spoiled brats, they are…

    • October 16, 2011
      11:08 am

      The answer I have for that, Thamar, is to involve your children from as early in life as possible. Let them see how people struggle, and let them be part of the solution. They will have so much pride in themselves for caring, and hopefully a better attitude about all they do have. It gives you something extra to fortify your bonds with your own children – something you do together with love.