Virtual Volunteers, Tangible Worth

Yesterday I had a conference call with people in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.  And I was sitting in my kitchen in Portland, Oregon.

Our subject was the building of an online store that would serve producers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.  Trying to match them to purchasers and donors on six continents.  (I don’t imagine we’ll get much play in Antarctica, but you never know.)

Technology has changed the world.  While it has always been encouraged to find ways to assist others locally and internationally, opportunities have never been better.  I’ve never even met the Pennsylvania people I was talking to yesterday.  For all I know, they might not even be real people!  Just kidding, Adam and Mike — and Molly, Lester, Kirstie, Jimmy, Ryan, Rocco, Nathan, Caleb, and Randee!

Nor have I visited any of the livelihood groups with which we partner (though we are making plans to visit Africa in December and East Asia in February/March).

But neither of these things prevents my labor for effective partnership.  In fact, it strikes me again that Global Partnerships, Local Livelihoods isn’t just a cute slogan.  Nor is it just about connecting a US consumer with an individual or group in Uganda, for example.  The “global” takes on new meaning with all the people who are already invested in social justice, economic development, and collaborative work.

My work, and my worth, aren’t limited by my geography.  Anyone, sitting anywhere with access to a phone or a computer, can reach out to me and participate in affirming life and hope for groups anywhere.

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