The Average Joe Club

The Average Joe Club

You may have heard recently about billionaire Bill Gates’ challenge to other billionaires to give away half of their wealth by the time they die.  The goal?  Make as big a difference in the world of human need as they have made in business.

Gates, along with such notable men as Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Carlos Slim, Ted Turner, and Marc Bloomberg have all agreed to the challenge.  By the time these six men complete their pledge they will have given away more than $100,000,000,000.00.  One hundred billion dollars!

That’s a pretty impressive number, and one that if directed at the right sources, could literally end the world water crisis and provide enough food and agricultural resources to eradicate world hunger for about two years.

That’s a pretty big dent in suffering and poverty around the world.

While I am hopeful and excited at the thought of the worldwide impact these billionaires could make in the next thirty years, I am even more hopeful and excited at the thought of the impact that could be made if average people like you and me started making changes to our daily living.  If we started now, even small changes could change the world when pooled with the small changes of countless others.  Who knows whether, in thirty years, that one hundred billion dollars will even be needed?

Meet The Average Joe

Let’s take one people group as an example.  I recently blogged about how teenagers are a generation waiting to be trained in generosity.

If you haven’t read it, you should.  The numbers are staggering.   Average American teenagers are spending between $122 and $172 billion dollars a year according to the research done by Teenage Marketing Unlimited.

One year of teenage spending totals more than the lifetime charity pledges of six of America’s wealthiest billionaires.

I am in no way insinuating that these billionaires aren’t doing their part.  They are not obligated to give anything away.  I am merely pointing out that one people group is capable of wiping out the entire world water crisis in less than three months by choosing to use their resources for doing good rather than buying more minutes on their cell phones or drinking endless amounts of Starbuck’s coffee and Red Bull.

But what about the rest of us?  Where are we spending our money and how could we use it to better the world we live in?

This leaves me with one big question: what if?

  • What if every American decided to stop buying Starbuck’s for a month?
  • What if every kid in America decided to forego McDonald’s for a month?
  • What if every woman decided to not buy any fashion items for a month?
  • What if every American stopped buying water bottles for a month?

The list is endless.  Even in this tough economy, there is something we can all do to be more generous, a luxury we can give up so that others’ basic needs can be met.

What can we do?

That’s not just a question for us to entertain, it is a challenge for us to take.  I want to challenge you to join with friends, family, neighbors, your small group – whoever – and ask that question together committing to hold one another accountable for doing it.

Whether big or small, I’d love to hear your ideas, and I’d love to be a part of it.

Maybe there are others out there who are up for the challenge as well.  Send them a link to this blog post or copy and paste it into an email to them.  Whatever you do, don’t let this challenge stop with you.

Changing the world is not the responsibility of The Billionaire Club.  The responsibility belongs to all of us.  Then, at the end of the day, when we lay our head on our pillow, we can rest knowing we did everything within our power to change the lives of others through the gift of generosity!

Let’s start a generosity club of our own! “The Average Joe Club!”
Ringless in Christ,
Ali Eastburn