For a couple of years now, I've been following The Liahona Children’s Nutrition and Education Foundation.
Readers of this blog may remember Bob Rees, a retired professor who volunteers for the Liahona Foundation, from two guest posts he wrote last year, one on Mormon temple garments and another on why he is a Christian first and a Mormon second. I paid him for the posts by donating to the foundation (which reminds me--if you ever submit a guest post for this blog and I accept it for publication, I will donate $50 to the charity of your choice).
Basically, the premise of the Liahona Foundation is to help malnourished and underweight LDS children and their friends. Working both independently and with the Church's welfare program in local areas of Guatemala and Ecuador, it provides nutritional supplements, monitors' children's growth, and offers scholarships to help them attend school.
Even a $50 donation, like the ones I have made, can support one child for an entire year. It's staggering to think about, really. That's not far off the amount I am spending this weekend per ticket to take our visiting niece and nephew to an amusement park.
Bob just got back from a trip to Guatemala where he and some other volunteers (two of them nutrition students at USU). He's very heartened by the progress of the work they're doing there, and hope to expand to enroll kids in other areas of the country. He writes:
We consider this a great opportunity because the return on investment is so great. A kid who doesn’t get sufficient nutrition suffers from cognitive and physical impairment. Such a child is not likely to go to school, acquire the skills necessary to get a job, be capable of serving a mission or taking leadership positions and unlikely to make a good marriage decision. This means that he/she is much more likely to be dependent on both the Church and his/her own government—possibly for a lifetime. For $50 a year for a few short years, the chances are just the opposite: the child goes to school, acquires a skill, goes on a mission, serves others, makes a good marriage decision, is a good parent and citizen, earns a salary, pays tithing and fast offering and thus repays many times what it cost to give him/her a healthy beginning.
So here's my pitch. (You knew it was coming, didn't you?) I know that I have some Mormon readers out there with gigantic hearts. I know this because I have heard from many of you and met some of you. Would you consider making a donation to the Liahona Foundation? As Bob says, a little goes a very long way. Even $10 or $20 can make a huge difference in the life of a child and the long-term fortunes of a family.
Just think about it, OK?