The statistics are really quite unbelievable.
The average American home has nearly tripled in size over the last 50 years—yet, over 50% of us with two-car garages have room for only one vehicle inside.
Our homes contain more televisions than people. We spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education. And the average American woman owns 30 outfits, one for every day of the month—in 1930, that figure was nine. Home organization, the service that’s trying to find places for all our clutter, is now an $8 billion industry, growing at a rate of 10 percent each year.
Our living spaces have become filled with possessions of every kind: our countertops are crowded, our closets are stuffed, our bedrooms are filled, and our drawers are overflowing.
And yet, this Black Friday weekend, we will accumulate more.
It is estimated 140 million Americans will go shopping this weekend.
We will spend $50 billion over the next three days. And over the course of the entire holiday season, we will spend $600 billion adding more and more things to our already crowded homes.
Let’s start here: Before buying a whole bunch of stuff for your loved ones this holiday season, maybe you should ask if they even want a whole bunch of stuff. You might be surprised by their response.
But I’d like to challenge your thinking even more and offer you one idea this Christmas season that might be a win-win situation for everyone—while helping you avoid unnecessary gift-clutter in your home.
This money we are spending actually holds within it enormous potential. Consider this: Nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day. To put that into perspective, Americans will spend, on average, roughly $400 per person this weekend… in just three days, we will spend more than half the annual income of 2.8 billion individuals.
Which is fine, I think, if we were buying things that actually improved our lives. But, in reality, most of the stuff we buy these days doesn’t.
Meanwhile, the real needs around us are plentiful.
Earlier this year, along with the help of some amazing people, my wife and I founded a nonprofit organization to help bring awareness and better solutions to the orphan crisis around the world.
Worldwide, over 26 million children live without parents—but the problem does not end there.
Decades of research have indicated that traditional, institutional-style orphanages are not solving the problem adequately. In fact, in too many places, they are only continuing the crisis. When children do not receive adequate personal interaction within a loving environment, development is stunted and learning abilities are delayed or lost. Many kids age out of orphanages only to face a future of crime, prostitution, or trafficking.
The Hope Effect is seeking to change orphan care around the world by focusing on solutions that better mimic the family-unit.
And we want you to be part of the solution!
One of the ways we are inviting people to get involved in the orphan crisis is by challenging them to give their Christmas to someone who needs it.
We call it “Homes for the Holidays” and the idea is very simple: Instead of asking for gifts this holiday season, ask for donations that make a difference. Rather than adding to the clutter in your home this holiday season, ask your friends and family to help provide homes for orphans.
It is easy to do. Within just a few minutes, you can create your very own personalized fundraising page and easily share it with your friends and family through e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
The opportunity represents a win-win-win situation. You benefit from less holiday gift clutter to store and organize in January. Your friends and family benefit from less-stressful holiday preparations. And, most importantly, orphans around the world will benefit by being raised in a loving family environment.
Our holiday season can be used to solve very real problems around the world.
Already, over 100 hundred people have created fundraising pages. I have created mine and you can create yours today (you know, to catch your family before they buy you a bunch of stuff you don’t need).
With 100% of your friends’ and family’s donations being used directly for orphan care, everyone will feel good about the contribution being made.
Our goal is to have 300 people gift their holiday season to someone who needs it. Doesn’t that sound so much more rewarding than receiving unneeded gifts this year?
If so, join me and sign up here today: Help provide Homes for the Holidays.