Spreading the message through Live Below the Line

Spreading the message through Live Below the Line

As part of The Life You Can Save movement, I can safely assume that you are one of the people who "get it". You are aware of extreme global poverty, and you accept the moral obligation we all have to help those in greatest need. You know that geography shouldn't dictate who does and does not get help. And in all likelihood, you have found that spreading our community's message can be a challenge.

Since I started working to spread this message in 2011, I've found that extreme global poverty isn't always a welcome topic for discussion. It can be difficult to find the right venue to share The Life You Can Save with friends and family. Few people want the lighthearted mood of their dinner party dampened by the knowledge that others are suffering, or the subsequent guilt that they have done nothing to help. Ever try to initiate a quick and casual conversation with your coworkers about starving children or malaria? Well, it's terribly awkward. Through trial and error, I've gotten better at sharing the message, even though I can't change the fact that this stuff is hard for some to hear.  

But once a year, I have the perfect opportunity to tell everyone I know about extreme poverty. The Global Poverty Project sponsors a challenge called Live Below the Line. Like a 5k or a dance-a-thon, participants seek sponsorships for their efforts in order to support a charity. But instead of running or dancing, Live Below the Line participants are challenged to spend less than 1.50 USD per day on all food and drink, for 5 days. It's not easy. But it creates a socially acceptable platform for spreading the message. The best outreach I did for The Life You Can Save last year all happened around Live Below the Line. So I'm living below the line again this year.

Every chance I get, I'll bring up Live Below the Line. If someone asks what I've been up to? I'll tell them I signed up for Live Below the Line. If my coworker asks what my plans are for the weekend? I'm planning my meals for Live Below the Line. I'll send three emails to my friends and family over the next three weeks seeking support for my Live Below the Line challenge, and explaining why ending extreme poverty is important and possible. Whether or not the people I reach out to sponsor me, they will have heard our message. I've planted a seed.

If you're looking for a way to tell your network about The Life You Can Save, this is it.

The Live Below the Live challenge is taking place at the end of April. Most people will start on April 28th, but you can pick any five consecutive days through the end of May. The Life You Can Save has our own team in the US. I'd love to have you join us! We're raising money for one of our recommended charities, which delivers health care to the most remote regions in the world: Possible (formerly Nyaya Health).

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About the author:

Claire Knowlton

Claire Knowlton, President of the Board for The Life You Can Save, is an independent auditor of not-for-profit organizations in the United States. She shares her Los Angeles apartment with a physicist, a fluffy cat, and a window garden.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.