I just heard a lovely computerized voice on my voice mail informing me that the IRS is filing suit against me and that I better call now!
Luckily, I was pretty sure this was a scam and quickly did some research instead of calling them back. Unfortunately, I know that many people don’t know how to tell that something is a scam and may actually fall for this, so I thought I would share my story and the result of my research.
Here is an info-graphic from the FTC with how to discern the difference between a scam and the real IRS.
What other scams and cons are out there right now that people need to be aware of?
My movement (or cause) in my last post, Cancel Halloween, Save The World, just wasn’t radical enough. 7 billion of the 30 billion needed per year to end world hunger was a good dent, but I want more.
I want world hunger ended – and abortion and crime and lots of things – but I am trying to focus on one movement here!
Therefore, I propose that we end Black Friday. Just don’t spend that $50 billion dollars this year on STUFF!
Yes, that would do it. That would be more than we need or maybe just enough to help us get ahead of the problem.
Instead of purchasing the STUFF, donate the money to a relief aid organization like World Vision and their Gift Catalog. Purchase a cow for a family (or a goat or a well or a chicken, garden tools and much more). Then they can have some milk and start breeding the cows and make more cows, and then they can give a cow someday to someone else in need… and so on. What a great gift! And you can donate the gift in someone else’s name – a dual gift 🙂
If you really want to give a physical gift to someone, consider purchasing a handcrafted, artisan gift through World Vision’s Gifts With A Cause or another Fair Trade organization. This is also a dual gift as the money mostly goes back to the artisan and their village and helps the whole community move towards self sufficiency. Please note that I am an affiliate for Gifts With A Cause.
What Cause or Movement are you fighting and praying for?
I am going to make this really simple – according the UN, it would take about a $30 billion dollar a year investment to eradicate world hunger. According to CNN, we spend about $7 billion dollars per year, just on Halloween. That is almost 1/4 of the needed money spent on one holiday. So lets just cancel the indulgence of non-food (i.e. candy) for one day per year and all the stuff that comes with it, and invest the money in seeds, farm animals, tools, wells, small business loans, and the such and the poor in the world will be that much closer to having what it needs.
Can it get any simpler than that?
I say start the movement now – CANCEL HALLOWEEN and SAVE THE WORLD!
I do have to add a little note. When you take your Halloween money and give it instead, please be sure to invest it into an organization with very little overhead so the money gets out to the communities. Also, be sure to invest it into an organization that invests in the community, not just gives handouts of food that will run out, but gives them what they need to grow, make, purchase their own food.
What other things can we give up to help the poor and get rid of world hunger?
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Gifts With A Cause
This community of Artisans in Kenya have been given a wonderful chance in life – to make a sustainable, fair living from making beautiful, creative goods from local resources. When World Vision found them, they were in extreme poverty – widows, orphans, people suffering from disease like T.B. and Aids. World Vision helped them organize a group, get the licenses, training, and equipment that they would need, and then they brought their products to market through Gifts With a Cause.
Here is a little more on their story (click the graphic to open the full page):
Would you like to help this group or another group somewhere in the world to get started? You can!
Well, I am about to give you a little poke in the heart: Right now, somewhere in the world, someone is sitting in a dark, dreary room making products to sell to us wealthy Westerners – and they don’t even make enough to purchase proper food or send their children to school.
World Vision went to India and found a group of Artisan Women, jewelry makers, being completely exploited and underpaid for the work they were doing – they didn’t even have enough money for the food they need for their family.
World Vision stepped in, showed them that there were people willing to purchase their products at a fair price through Fair Trade practices, including World Vision’s own Gifts With A Cause store. The group now makes a fair living, has the food, clothing and education they need, and they were even able to move their workshop to a light, airy, comfortable place to work.
Know where your products you are purchasing are coming from. If the site or business doesn’t have a Fair Trade certification or similar, than just ask them where the products are being made and what conditions the makes live in.
Many years ago, when I first became a Christian and started learning about the realities of the rest of the world, especially the realities of extreme poverty throughout the world, an idea came to my mind. What if we went into some villages in a country, say Kenya, and, along with telling them about the Lord, we gave them opportunity and invested in their community and businesses. We could do this by finding out what crafts and products they make and what kind of resources they have. We could then help them develop products to bring back and sell to us first worlders… and we would make sure they were paid fairly. The money they made and some of our residual income would then be invested back into their community.
Although I never did start the ministry, I am so happy today to find Gifts With A Cause and have a chance to share them. My goal is to bring Gifts With A Cause to all the mom blog readers, homeschoolers, and Christian groups I can find!
Jennifer of Mission India is having a baby – yea! As she thinks about naming her child, she laments that there are 1000s of girls in India who are given the name Nakusa – which means unwanted. Read more at the Mission India blog: I’m Having A Baby! – Mission India Blog
You have to close your eyes and keep really, really busy to not know that there are a billion people on this planet suffering from the lack of basic needs, lack of love, lack of life.
One country on my heart recently as our family did a study is India. Most of India does not know Jesus. Much of India is extremely poor and in bondage to the lie that thy have to stay that way because that is how they were born.
So, along comes an organization that says that people in India don’t have to stay illiterate, stay impoverished, stay in the dark. They provide literacy training for adults who can’t read, don’t know how to manage their money and don’t know that they don’t have to stay stuck in the position they are in.
Here is a link to their site: http://www.missionindia.org/media I have set it to the page with their videos, as they are so compelling and tell the story better than I can. My favorite story is Unnoticed: A Literacy Story. I am sure it will catch your heart as it did mine.
I get alerts emails from VOM. Here is an excerpt from the current email about North Korean camps:
At least 200,000 North Korean citizens, including many of our Christian brothers and sisters, suffer under brutal conditions in six confirmed labor camps for political prisoners.
Among the camps are …
Camp 14, which is known as a “complete control district,” meaning its 50,000 prisoners will work there until death.
Camp 22, which is about the size of Los Angeles in area and is thought to be used for human experiments. It also holds about 50,000 prisoners.
Camp 25, a camp controlled by the North Korean secret police and believed to hold felons, religious leaders and spies and their families.
Very few North Koreans have survived detention in a labor camp. Although the average sentence is 15 years, the average life expectancy in a labor camp is only seven years. Up to three generations of entire families have been detained in government efforts to “root out class enemies.”
If you did not know that stuff like this was going on in the world, I offer you the link to the Voice of the Martyrs site to learn more: http://www.persecution.com/.