How to Become a Hero c.j. hayden
   How to Become a Hero
   You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For

   C.J. Hayden, MCC

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A little cash or a little time can make you a hero 

The tsunami disaster in South Asia is already starting to disappear from the headlines. The drama of the early rescues and heartbreaks has faded, so the media are turning their attention elsewhere. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the death toll is still climbing, and as many as one million people are still homeless.

Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the tsunami, with over 100,000 dead so far. But the tragedy is far from over. Entire villages were swept from the earth, and the people who survived were left with no food, shelter, or clean water. Relief organizations from around the globe are helping with their immediate needs, but the long-term view is bleak. These survivors have lost their entire means of livelihood.

The environmental devastation caused by the tsunami has wiped out the rice fields and much of the fishing industry, in a country where most people live on rice and fish. It may take years for the land and sea to recover. The small businesses and cottage industries that used to supply jobs for people outside of farming and fishing are all gone. Their shops, inventory, and equipment are destroyed, and they have no source of funds to rebuild. It's going to take a lot more than emergency aid for this country to survive.

What the people of Indonesia need now is to regain a way to support themselves. Instead of gathering in refugee camps and lining up for handouts, they want to return home and go back to work. But what paying work is there for them to do?

Here's where you get to be a hero. I serve on the board of a nonprofit called Global Initiative for Entrepreneurship. Before the tsunami struck, we had begun a pilot project in Indonesia to help address global poverty through the vehicle of microenterprise. By helping people in developing countries start and expand small businesses, we create jobs where none exist. And we need your help.

One way you can help us is by donating by check or credit card. No donation is too small. I know you have seen many requests for tsunami relief donations over the last two weeks, but our goal is not just relief; it's recovery.

We also need volunteers. If you have skills in any of the following areas and can spare just a few hours, please email Global Initiative to find out how you can help us with: proposal writing, fundraising, graphic design, web design, copywriting, editing, financial analysis, business planning, import/export, product sales, or program management. Any nonprofit experience is a real plus.

I know many of you reading this are coaches and trainers, and soon we'll have a role for you to play, too, so stay tuned. This is a project where just a small contribution of time or money can make a big difference, so please pass the word about it to others you think may be interested.

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