I love the breadth and depth of a simple idea. From Colour last year we launched the idea of Project 500 where people took on the goal to raise 500 £$€'s to make a difference and change someone's current circumstances and future existence. This story oozes out of the generosity of life changing Sisterhood in Budapest, which is written by Panni :)
500 Project Story
When I first heard about the 500 Project last year at Colour, I knew instantly we had to do it with our girls. Challenges in Hungarian culture are self-pity and looking for reasons why we can NOT do/accomplish/change things. As a church, we remind people how they are already amazing and blessed and how they can make a difference in the world. Thinking of Biju, the Mumbai kids, and what he has accomplished with them... with so little. We chose Vision Rescue, as the little kids will move Hungarian moms' hearts.
With the 500 ideas to raise money, it was made so easy for everyone and creative - there is no way that a person cannot contribute at least one way! We translated the list with our English-speaking girls. The list is so inspiring, that the girls just kept coming up with new ideas so we just added them all in. It was fun! We printed the lists and put them in yellow envelopes - there is no way a Hungarian lady will be scrolling down on a link!
We added subtitles to the 500 Project video, and put together a presentation with the Vision Rescue video from London, and also used bits from the Slumdog Millionaire movie. Vision rescue feeds and educates a child for 250 Hungarian Forints, which is less than a Pound. The math really brought it home, how far our money goes in India. When
we first talked about it to all our girls, they were crying, but they were also shocked by responsibility and challenge. The idea that they can do something from no money or just a small budget left them really inspired.
This is some of the things we did:
- Organized a movie night in a living room, played a film with a projector, made popcorn and made them comfy - for a ticket! We explained them that they would spend money to go to cinemas at least once a month, and encouraged them to sacrifice cinema experience for the project.
- A girl organized her birthday party and told people not to bring any presents, just pop the money in the can that they would spend on the gift.
- People, who cooked at Connect groups, gave up the money that was collected for the dinner.
- Two girls - a hairdresser and one that speaks English - exchanged their skills. One gave haircuts to the other, while she gave her English lessons. They contributed the money they saved.
- One of the girls organized a tea party.
- One of the mums organized a Zumba morning with an entrance fee.
- One of the guys did a food challenge night: everyone had to pay an entrance fee and bring one item of food. He promised to mix them all up and drink 300ml from it. The guys found it very funny, the girls were feeling sick! I will keep this a girly report, so I won't list the ingredients...
- Two of our musicians are practicing for an acoustic concert - besides worship team rehearsals! They are advertising it on Facebook, guests can pick songs, and they will perform in a living room!
- One of the girls is doing Thai massage for a fee and contributes it to the project!
In the meantime, we always had the 500 Project money tin out on all our services and meetings. I always found some cash in it - which came with no name, no story, and no glory. I love how people give without being acknowledged.
I just love our people. They give what they can, and they are so surprised how easily we are making a difference.
Last week, in a café my amazing friend, Adina gave me 1000 Forints, and she said: "Gosh, this is so little money... and it still does so much!" She had tears in her eyes. "Yes hun", I said, "it feeds a child for 4 days. It's insane." Then we both payed for our coffees, which cost us the same amount of money. It IS insane!
Hillsong Collected is a blog. It is an ongoing collection of thoughts and stories from the leadership and key team of Hillsong Church around the world, conveniently packaged in three different streams.
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