You may have noticed something on social media: people are "Fiving Out" their photos on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness for #Monkeytober13. So, what's it all about anyway?
$5 Fills a Food Bank for an Entire Year
While working late one night on my personal blog, I had a sobering realization: If everyone who followed me on Twitter gave just $5, we could fill the empty Clay, West Virginia food bank for an entire year.
And then I had to stop what I was doing because ... WHOA. Now that's powerful.
Our blogger ambassadors are a key part of what we do here at the Monkey Do Project. They help spread the word about our projects, and they use their network and influence to bring attention to the problems facing the Appalachian region - the problems we want to help with. We appreciate all that they do, and we wanted to highlight some of their awesome work done on behalf of Monkey Do Project.
Last week while most of you were planning and attending those great end-of-the summer parties full of food, fun and family, my family and I were getting an eye-opening experience in Clay, West Virginia.
In this extremely remote rural area, there is no industry or place to get a job. The unemployment rate is 10%. Many programs to help people have been cut or have run out of funds, and the food bank is empty.
That's right, the place that is supposed to be able to help hungry people is empty.
I am a stay at home mother of two from Floyd County, Eastern Kentucky. When we had our babies, we were the happiest parents in the world. I had just graduated from college and had gotten an Associate Degree in the Arts (I had planned on finishing the RN program but never got to return to school).
My husband Chris was working for North Star Mines. He had finished the Coal Careers program via Big Sandy Community and Technical College and we had a pretty decent savings. Our trailer is paid for and we felt that the logical next step was having babies.
Little did we know everything would change for us.
Our first Twitter party was so much fun that we're doing it again on Tuesday, September 3, 2013! This time we are going to be focusing on hunger in Appalachia and how to help! And, we'll have a big announcement about our next project!
Do you love helping others? Do you have a heart for giving? Do you "live" for technology and social media? Do you have experience marketing (yourself, your blog, or a business)? Are you a motivated self-starter who works well virtually? Or, are you looking to get more experience and exposure in non-profits, social media, branding, marketing or more? Then The Monkey Do Project needs you.
Our first Twitter chat on July 16, 2013, was amazing. We were overwhelmed (in a totally good way) with the amount of support and interest. And, #monkeydo was even trending on Twitter during our chat! (Super cool, right?)
Last year--the first year of Monkey Do Project--we provided 56 backpacks to West Virginia Appalachian children in need. And, Nozin stepped up to help us provide Nasal Sanitizer to help keep these kids healthy. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but you have to understand: many of these Appalachian children in need have no access to health care at all--their parents can't afford it or they live too far out to even make it to a doctor. So, every thing that we can provide to help keep these precious children healthy is a blessing.
No Food. No Clean Water. No Indoor Plumbing. No Housing. It's not just in third world countries, it's right here in the United States.
The Appalachia region is the poorest region of the country, with poverty rates 150% over the average rate in some areas, and childhood poverty rates is as high as 56%. Almost 17% of homes are classified as "substandard"--having more people than rooms and no indoor plumbing.