One trip to Malawi Africa and a visit to an orphanage in 2003 by a young womanÂ has resulted in over 100 TONS ofÂ “unwanted” goods being delivered to over 1000 schools and 120 community based organizations.Â
When I hear stories like this I am always in awe.Â It never ceases to amaze me how one woman with passion can make such an incredible difference in so many lives.
In 2003, Melissa Kushner, visited Malawi while working for the United Nations.Â One of her first stops was “a remarkable but under-funded orphanage and community center that serves almost 1,000 children.”Â
Like many countries in Africa, Malawi’s orphans are desperately in need of such basic resources as clothing and educational resources including paper and pencils.Â Melissa returned from her trip and started calling her friends who worked at children’s toy stores to see if they had excess merchandise. Â Her first shipment to the orphanage was almost 2 tons of clothing and toys.
And so began an effort that has grown into the non-profit organization:Â Goods For Good,Â Â “Making progress out of excess“.Â AccordingÂ to Melissa, ” Our slogan is straightforward because our mission is straightforward.Â We collect surplus goods for targeted distribution to vulnerable children in Africa.”Â Goods for Good relies on donations from companies who have excess items, manyÂ of which were just “gathering dust in warehouses or were slated to be destroyed”.
What a brilliant yet simple idea.Â Another one of those “why didn’t I think of that?”Â kind of stories.Â Companies have excess and unwanted goods that can make a huge difference in the lives of so many in such places like Kenya, where Mothers Fighting For Others is helping orphans and refugees or Malawi.
Next week our founder, Rocky, is heading back to Kenya with school supplies and hugs for our precious girls.Â And, that makes me wonder, if Rocky and Melissa both made one trip to an orphanage in Africa and came back with a vision, a passion and ultimatelyÂ created non-profit efforts to help, what would happen if you, I and our friends visited these orphanages and met the children?Â
My favorite quote from Margaret Mead sums it up perfectly:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.