Thanks for another donation to our campa

Thanks for another donation to our campaign to raise funds for a new fresh water well in Africa! http://www.mycharitywater.org/potterfamily

4,500 kids will die today….

Yesterday,  I made the decision to start observing how much water I used.  Water to brush my teeth, make my coffee, wash clothes, take a shower, cook meals, wash dishes, and swim in a pool.  Thats just the beginning.  And, I didn’t have to think one second about the quantity available and its cleanliness. 

Now look at the picture above.  Thats the reality for millions of people around the world.  Can you imagine making your coffee with that water or giving your child a drink of water you can’t see through!   Well, thats the reality and we take clean water for granted as we wash our cars, our pets and fill our pools with water that people in developing countries have no access to.  The title of this blog is accurate!  I am working with Charity Water to make a difference in this global problem.  4,500 kids will die today and everyday around the world because of illnesses associated with filthy water.

My family and I are trying to make a difference and need your help!  Rather than receive gifts for my 54th birthday, we are asking you to consider going to www.mycharitywater.org/potterfamily.  You will be able to see more information about the problem and a means to help fund one new well which will support 250 people.  Thanks to those who are starting to contribute!  We have 91 days to raise $5,000.  Even if you can’t make a financial contribution, but believe in this cause, I am asking that you consider posting this website on your facebook, twitter, linkedin, or other networks to make others aware of the problem!  We can turn this into a major online victory if you will forward this message out to others!  I have already contributed $510 to the project.  As you will read on www.mycharitywater.org/potterfamily, my family will splurge less on eating out and Starbucks (I still love you guys!) during the campaign and contribute equal amounts to the fund.  In fact, I added an additional $10 which is equal to our nightly visit to Starbucks since we did not go last evening.

At the end of our campaign, I am hoping that we will be able to announce the funding of one new well which Charity Water will place in one of its global projects.  We will plan a celebration in Winston-Salem at that time!  I hope you will consider making a contribution and posting this link on your social media sites!

You will save a kid’s life in some village somewhere!

Thanks for reading this blog!

Its day 2 with 91 to go, please consider helping me with this cause!

www.mycharitywater.org/potterfamily

A birthday wish…….

On October 28, I’m turning 54.

At first, this seemed surreal, even daunting.

But then I found out that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water.

So I’m not scared of turning 54 anymore. In fact, I’m celebrating my birthday like never before.

I’m asking for $54 or (whatever you can do!) from everyone I know – and every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater wells in developing nations. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth.

My goal is to raise $5,000 by my birthday, October 28. This amount will provide one well providing clean drinking water for 250 people!

I am kicking off this campaign with $500. My family will also commit to eating out less and contributing that cost to this fund through my birthday. It’s frightening to see how much I spend monthly on Starbucks and eating out. I think I can do without so much of this to help a community somewhere have clean drinking water!

Please consider helping me. Watch this video because I think it will help you understand why this has captured my attention!

My thanks to each of you who help with this cause!   Please go to my web page below and consider helping!

www.mycharitywater.org/potterfamily

Can you imagine drinking a glass of water that is so filthy you can’t see through it? It happens everyday around the world!

Please take a look at this video and consider supporting Charitywater.org.  I believe in the work of this organization and will be launching a personal fundraising campaign in the next few weeks to give my family and friends the opportunity to provide clean drinking water to people around the world!

 http://bit.ly/9bqioo

Thanks for reading my blog!

Momma, why do we always give those old people our food when we don’t have much?

This past week I had a working lunch with a man who I greatly respect and consider a friend.  He is successful in business and government.  My friend is called upon to solve problems for well known individuals and corporations.  And, as I learned that day, an incredible philanthropist whose humility does not accept that title.  As he and I talked about his global efforts to help people, I asked him what had been the defining moment in his life to inspire his efforts.  The answer was not only emotional and humbling, but inspirational.  It was an incredible example of God working in someone’s life at an early age, allowing him to overcome significant obstacles, providing  the means to be successful in all aspects of business and having a keen sensitivity to the needs of others.  His sensitivity flows into a personal commitment to help a  bad situation in any possible way. 

My friend was raised by his grandmother who he called momma.  Momma did’nt have much, but as my friend said, she always had a pot of beans on the stove and some cornbread in the skillet.  Many days momma would call my friend into the kitchen as she scooped out some beans and cut pieces of cornbread up for him to deliver to one of their  needy elderly neighbors.  When  he was about the age of 9, my friend asked momma, “why do we always give those old people our food when we don’t have much?”  He said that her response to that question has stayed with him for the last 60 years and changed his life forever.  Momma looked at my friend and said, “just remember you can never out give God.”  “We might not have much, but haven’t you always had something to eat and a place to sleep?”  He said, “yes momma.”  She went on to say, “God will always make sure we have something to eat and a place to sleep, so we can always help someone else.”  She finished by saying, “just remember that everything we have is a blessing from God and we should use it to help others.”  My friend grabbed my arm and said, “Norm, I can remember that day as if it just happened.”  The look in his eyes and the grip on my arm told me who this man is and what truly motivates him. My friend went on to say, “I have been all over the world and seen some of the most horrific things impacting the lives of people.  It is at those moments I know God expects me to own the issue and use all I have to try and deal with it.  Norm, it is my passion!”

All of us have too much whether its time or resources.  We want more for the sake of having more and we might cast a momentary glance on that person struggling in some way.  We might feel a sense of pity, but just move on to whatever.  My friend has been richly blessed in so many ways, he sees the struggles around him and he owns them.  All of us can help someone else no matter what our worldly blessings might be.  My lunch last week inspired me to ask God for forgiveness for those times where I could have made a difference and did not.  You and I have a duty to help those who cannot help themselves!  I hope this blog about my friend inspires you as it did me! 

Thanks for taking the time to read it!

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. ”  Proverbs 22:9

The name on the front of the jersey is what really matters, not the name on the back.

As a guy who  was born in Mississippi and spent the majority of his life in the south, the idea of going to a “yankee” school was absolutely the last thing I would have ever considered!  Going to high school in the Philadelphia area, I wore my southern heritage proudly and talked boastfully to all that I would be attending college back in North Carolina upon graduation.  However, one night my father came home from work and threw a blank college application at me and said, “I just saw the Penn State campus and thats where you are going!”  Needless to say, I had immediate mental images of my deceased family ancestors rolling over in their graves!  I bucked my father and completed applications to UNC-Chapel Hill and Davidson College and eventually the Penn State application.  I knew in my heart that the southern schools would gladly welcome back a son of the south who had been forced to live north of the Mason-Dixon line.  Grits, sweet tea, fried chicken..I knew I would be southern bound for college!  However, they betrayed and abandoned me.  Neither school offered me the opportunity to repatriate to the south!  And, then one day this envelope arrived inviting me to enter the bastion of Happy Valley, also known as Penn State-University Park.  Oh no!  Would I start talking nasally, look at the south with disdain and learn to eat green beans which are  barely cooked with no salted pork? 

Well, I entered into the world of Penn State, the land of the Nitany Lion, the home of the grilled stickies and college football at Beaver Stadium!  The title of this blog is a quote from Coach Joe Paterno.  “The name on the front of the jersey is what matters, not the name on the back.”  I didn’t realize this at first, but this quote sums up in so many ways what Penn State taught me.  For the most part, my friends were the first generation from their families to attend college.  Most were raised in Pennsylvania blue collar families or small towns where hard work, loyalty to friends and enjoying the simple things were important to everyday life.  At every football game one cheer always stood out, “WE ARE PENN STATE!”  Thousands of people shouting in unison, “WE ARE PENN STATE!”  This defines the Penn State experience. You are part of something bigger than  yourself.  Its the pride and honor of being called a Penn Stater  standing united and learning:  hard work, loyalty to friends and enjoying the simple things in life.  Its being part of a team.  For all Penn Staters, Coach Joe taught each of us that the name on the front of the jersey is what really matters.  Plain jerseys, blue or white, no individual names.  It takes all of us to make a team.  For me that translated into service to others, the team and a desire to be seen as a man who serves God.  Its not about me, its about what God accomplishes through my life.  I fall short of this daily, but it is my desire not to let this world put my name or life on a pedestal.  Its the name on the front of the jersey, its His name!

Thanks for reading my ramblings!

Social entrepreneur, social innovator, social enterprise….what?

Becoming a Social Entrepreneur – Entrepreneur.com.

I have been actively engaged in this area of entrepreneurship over the last 10 years.  Anyone who has a passion for social change coupled with a desire to use your entrepreneurial skills will find incredible opportunities to help individuals and communities in a self-sustaining business model.

Please read the attached article.

Thanks!

4 Reasons U.S. Troops Should Intervene in Pakistan Floods – International – The Atlantic

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via 4 Reasons U.S. Troops Should Intervene in Pakistan Floods – International – The Atlantic.

Many don’t understand the incredible humanitarian power our military brings to the table!

My morning has been made! Exciting news!

Ok, maybe the title of this blog kindled enough interest that you are now reading my comments!  But, it is true…my morning has been made!

I have always been interested in microfinance and how this financing strategy can be used as a means to help people globally become self-sufficient.  In most developing countries there is a lack of economic sustainability to undergird a family, a village, a community or an entire country.  This can seem overwhelming to those of us who desire finding ways to help in some small way.  So overwhelming that we do nothing, but talk about what needs to be done.  And, in many cases we might support our churches, global relief agencies or human service NGOs with funds which primarily provide and meet emergency needs in housing, clothing, medicine and food.  All of these are incredibly important and I want to encourage you to continue doing this!  But, if you have ever felt the need to dig deeper and do something much more personal, I encourage you to consider joining a microfinance organization such as www.kiva.org.  Kiva pairs up individuals globally who are seeking small amounts of funding to build sustainable businesses.  These businesses are necessary to support families and the communities they live in.  Without the income these businesses can provide, many of these individuals, families and communities fall back to needing aid of some type just to live.  My family’s Christian faith drives our decisions on what we do and support financially.  Beside our commitments to church and mission organizations, we have established the Potter Family Loan Fund with Kiva.org. 

http://www.kiva.org/lender/thePotterFamilyLoanFund

While this is a secular organization, it allows us to identify opportunities around the world where we can invest in people who are investing in themselves.  Please take a look at our lender page above.  We are not talking about large sums of money, in fact our first investment was made today with a group of women in Viet Nam who have a small fishing business to support their families and their village.  These are repayable loans managed through local microfinance partners of Kiva.org.  While they are loans and they are repayable, the transactions are structured to create a sustainable opportunity with the recipients. You can participate for as little as $25.  So, rather than going out for pizza this week, consider making a difference with someone, somewhere in the world.

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Hebrews 16:13