One Day. A Lifetime of Hope. Giving Tuesday.
Think back on the most significant days of your life: Your college graduation. Your wedding day. The birth of a child.
In both good ways and bad ways, one day can alter the course of a life.
I want to share a story with you today—a story of how minimalism and this community changed the life of a beautiful boy on one important day.
JJ was born in January 2020 and immediately abandoned at a hospital in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Shortly after, he was placed into an orphanage when he was just four days old. The first several months of his life, which are so critical to development, were right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico and around the world.
Just as JJ was becoming more aware of the world around him, the staff at the orphanage began to wear masks during their entire shift.
This means that during the first year and a half of JJ’s life, he never saw a facial expression—they were all covered by masks. For the first 18 months of his life, he never saw a loving smile from his caregivers.
His primary method for learning to show emotions—seeing and mimicking expressions from adults—was nonexistent.
Had JJ remained in the orphanage, his emotional and psychological development would have continued to be at risk. But his life was changed one significant day—thanks to a family that had their life changed by minimalism.
Last year The Hope Effect, founded here by the Becoming Minimalist community, became the first nonprofit organization to receive government approval to provide family-style care in the state of Sonora. And a few months ago, JJ was placed into loving family-style care… and his life changed forever.
I’ll let Moises and Hansel share their own story:
What a beautiful family! I cannot begin to express how much joy this story brings to my heart. Minimalism provides the opportunity to change your life, yes. But it also provides the opportunity to change the world if you allow it.
I’m so thankful that because of the love of Moises and Hansel, members of our community, JJ is happy, joyful, and thriving.
The Hope Effect
If you are new to Becoming Minimalist, some backstory might be helpful.
A few years ago, with amazing support from this blog, we launched a nonprofit organization called The Hope Effect. The mission of The Hope Effect is to change the way the world cares for orphans.
Millions of children around the world grow up without parents—and the problem is only growing. In fact, according to recent statistics, another child is orphaned every 12 seconds as a result of the global pandemic.
In many developing countries, orphans are raised in institutional care (think orphanages with lots of children and few caregivers), which has damaging long-term effects on children. When children grow up in orphanages, they don’t receive the love and personal interaction found within the structure of a family.
As a result, development is stunted and learning abilities are delayed—or lost altogether. Children raised in orphanages often don’t know how to show or recognize emotion and have trouble bonding with others. Many children age out of orphanages only to face a future of crime, prostitution, or trafficking. The studies clearly show this.
We know there’s a better way. Because every child deserves a family.
The Hope Effect is working to change the way the world cares for orphans by providing loving family-style care around the world.
Currently, we’re pioneering and expanding this innovative model of orphan care in several locations: Mexico, Honduras, and Thailand. In family-style care, children receive the individual attention and support they need while also learning what it means to be part of a stable, loving family.
And across the globe, children are growing and thriving through the love of a family. Children like JJ* have hope for a brighter future.
One Day. A Lifetime of Hope. Giving Tuesday.
But this story doesn’t need to end with Moises and Hansel.
YOU have the opportunity to make this very day a life-changing day for someone else. YOU can change the life of an orphaned or vulnerable child. YOU can help a child find a loving family.
If minimalism has freed up your resources to make a difference in the world, today is Giving Tuesday, a day where people all over the world come together for a global celebration of generosity.
If you want to make a difference in the lives of more children like JJ, I’d love for you to make this the year you get involved by joining us for Giving Tuesday.
If you partner with us today, you will give a lifetime of hope to orphaned children around the world. Our goal is to raise $100,000 today to further expand family-style care in Mexico, Honduras, and Thailand. Your gift will help more orphaned and vulnerable children find families and the love they deserve.
In fact, today, your gift will be doubled. A generous team of supporters is matching every donation dollar for dollar, up to $50,000!
The Hope Effect is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax-deductible within the U.S. If you have additional questions about The Hope Effect or our work, send us an email. We love to share our passion for helping kids and we’d be happy to chat with anyone who would like to learn more.
Thank you so much for supporting The Hope Effect over the last several years. You have given a lifetime of hope to so many children. Together, we are changing the way the world cares for orphans.
To make this day even more fun, I am going to be hanging out live for an hour this evening chatting about The Hope Effect and answering any questions you might have directly. The live event is happening at 9pm ET / 6pm PT and you can RSVP to join me for free right here: Hope Effect Giving Tuesday Hangout Live
I’ll share some updates on Giving Tuesday, answer any specific questions you want to ask about The Hope Effect, and give away some copies of my new book, Things That Matter. Short notice, but if you’re free tonight, it would be fun to see you.
*The child’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.