Back in 1983 I purchased a vinyl record album. I didn’t even own a record player at the time. There was this band whose music I’d heard on the alternative rock radio station (KROQ) out of Pasadena (CA) and I couldn’t wait until the record hit the stands in the United States. The band was from Ireland, and their name was U2. So, the minute that record showed up at Tower Records, I had to have it. The album was called WAR, and to this day it is one of my favorites, though I now own it as a CD!
And now, I am an even bigger fan. I recently learned that Bono and I share a passion…Africa, “stupid” poverty (the kind of poverty that finds 1 billion people trying to live off of a dollar a day, not the average poverty that you find in first world countries like our own), and people dying from diseases that are treatable (like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV, to name a few). My sister, Diane, went to a leadership seminar at our church while I was in Africa. Bono was one of the speakers. I hear that he was inspiring. I’m sorry I missed it. I was impressed to learn that he reaches out in all directions with his “message”, including to the church.
Yesterday I watched the Oprah show. I don’t generally watch Oprah, but when I heard that Bono was to be on and that the focus was to be Africa, I did. Today he launched the RED campaign.
RED is different from most charities. Different retailers like the Gap, Motorola, Apple, and Converse are donating real money, not piddly cents here and there, to fighting AIDS, malaria, and “stupid” poverty in Africa. The Gap is donating 50% of the profits from “RED”. Fifty percent. That’s REAL money. And they have most of their clothing for the RED line made in Lesotho which gives a whole bunch of people good jobs and enables them to buy their own medicines. So the Gap is hitting the issues from the inside and the outside. The money is donated to the Global Fund. The Global Fund is an international grant organization. Take the time to check out their website (link below).
You probably shop at the Gap anyway. You probably wear tennis shoes. You probably have a cell phone and an iPod. If you are not a person who gives to charity, then do THIS:
If you’re shopping, and all things are equal, buy RED. It can only help.
Kudos to Bono, for a fresh and creative approach to standing in the gap…(pun intended).