Just one dollar

As a mother of three lucky children who sleep in a warm bed, in a safe home, and enjoy a great local education and nourishing food, I often asked myself why eight million children die every year from preventable diseases and why 67 million children aren’t in school?

I then reflected on what could I possibly do. In my mind, we certainly did not need another charity in Australia’s crowded charity market, yet the charities doing such great work and making a positive impact actually need more money.

So how could I help? Could my background in branding and marketing make a difference? Perhaps I could build a global fundraising event – unlike the others. A fundraising event that was affordable to all and not expensive, something that was simple and easy to participate in, something measurable, something that did not produce merchandise in order to raise money because in my experience most of it is just more landfill that erodes the value of the dollar reaching those in need.

The solution I came up with while throwing ideas around with my husband launched this week as 1$day – one day of the year, when we ask everyone who can, to give $1 for those who can’t.

Just $1 on just one day – Thursday 20 October – regardless if you earn $1m as a CEO, or $2 pocket money. Just $1 from everyone.

The money raised on 1$day will be given to development experts for specific projects that are reducing the inequities in children’s health and education, locally and globally.

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This year we have chosen Save the Children as our principle recipient with the money dedicated to building village clinics in Laos. One clinic can serve between five to eight villages or around 3,000-4,000 people. That’s a lot of people who will benefit from your dollar. The clinics have a general medicine consultation room, a three-bed ward for people who need care overnight, a specific maternal and child health room and a dispensary. No appointments are necessary and the nurses are there seven days a week.

The biggest changes clinics such as these make are to the lives of rural women and their children. Bringing health care within one hour’s walk can literally change, and save, their lives. Save the Children has demonstrated that operating clinics increase  a child’s likelihood of surviving their first year by 75% above the national average, which is incredible.

Importantly, the organisation also has the ability to demonstrate transparent results and relationships working alongside the Laotian government. The results from Save The Children’s programs in Laos are impressive and clearly demonstrate the difference they are making to the lives of children.

1$day launched in Australia this week, yet international counterparts 1£day and 1€day are planned in three to five years. The multiplier effect of this simple concept could be phenomenal.

To participate in 1$day, we are encouraging all Australians to go to www.onedollarday.org to see how they can help. It can be as simple as giving $1, or as active as becoming a 1$ Champion and collecting $1 from work mates, school friends, family and community. Please get involved. We look forward to seeing just how much we can collectively achieve.

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