CNN iReport’s First #BeAHero Challenge

Thanks to CNN iReport for its first “challenge” in an upcoming month of great ideas.  Today’s challenge was to Be a Hero for charities, whose donations plunged last year by 11 percent.  iReport urged us to donate at least $5 to a good cause by 3 pm EST.   Accepting the challenge, which is tracked using the #BeAHero hashtag on Twitter, I chose to donate to two of my favorite charities: and

 Many of us in the United States can’t even imagine not having fresh drinking water at our immediate disposal, but that’s a sad fact of life for 1 BILLION people wordwide.  2.5 BILLION don’t have access to a toilet.  And yet YOU can provide water for life to one person for $25.  Take a second to think to yourself what costs $25 in your life (a dinner? a tank of gas for a small car?), and what that same amount of money could do to make life truly better for someone unfortunate.  [All statistics courtesy of]

My wife has a passion for eliminating the problem of people going hungry worldwide.  This month, I read the alarming statistic that four people die from starvation every second (here and here).  More conservative estimates range from one person dying from hunger and malnutrition every two to four seconds, and an August report stated that every five seconds, a child dies from hunger. 

Here in the United States, Feeding America (which used to be named “America’s Second Harvest”) serves nearly 40 million people who are at serious risk of starvation.  This organization makes a difference in all 50 states, so please think about the 14 million children who can be helped in the US and donate.  Better yet, donate AND volunteer your time at a local food bank, which I’ve done and enjoyed.

So take the CNN iReport challenge with me.  I look forward to whatever challenge is suggested next.

[UPDATE: I was chosen as one of CNN iReport’s “Everyday Heroes!” So grateful for the opportunity and the challenge.]

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