Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Back Burner Podcast, Episode 3 & Zach's 40th Birthday Donation Challenge

Another year has gone by, seemingly all too quickly, and I spend the first few minutes of this, the first podcast of 2016, talking about some of the cool things I was able to take part in in the 2nd half of 2015.

But the crux of this episode is in the 2nd half, where I talk about my friend Seth Greenwell. In fact, I'm issuing a challenge to everyone I know, whether they listen to this podcast or not. (By the way, you can stream or download the podcast episode at the bottom of this post.)

I'm turning 40 years old on February 6th. However, for my birthday this year, I don't want gifts or a huge party. I decided to make this milestone birthday a milestone for someone else. I'm asking my friends and family to commit to donating to Global Teen Challenge for my friend, Seth Greenwell, who is directing a Teen Challenge center in Fiji. 

Seth's story is explained in the podcast episode, but let me give you the short version.
Seth and I led worship together at our church. He moved away to pursue a relationship, but it went south, and he moved back, but he fell in with the wrong crowd and fell into a life of alcoholism -- and he fell hard.

Eventually, he saw the damage is alcoholism was causing, and he entered a Teen Challenge program in Joplin, Missouri. He not only made it through the program and was delivered of his addiction, but he was asked to stay on as a staff member. Eventually, he was selected to be the director of a new Teen Challenge center in Fiji, which opened in early 2015.

Fiji has a major problem with people losing their livelihood to the black hole of substance abuse and addiction, and Seth, as a graduate of the Teen Challenge program and now a member of its staff, has been assigned the role of director over a center in Fiji that just started within the last 12 months. All the funding that Seth needs in order to operate that facility -- including his living expenses -- is received in the form of donations. My wife and I have been supporting his efforts since we heard about his new assignment, but there's only so much that we can do because of our finances, and we've wanted to do more.

This, I thought, would be a great way to do that.

This year, for my 40th birthday, instead of giving me a present, buying me a gift card, or even sending me a simple greeting card, I'm asking everyone to instead make a donation in Seth Greenwell's name to Global Teen Challenge.

Here's how you can help.

1. Make a donation straightaway.
You can go to the Donation page on Global Teen Challenge's website and make a donation right now. At the bottom of the form, in the dropdown menu asking for gift designation, select "Specific Projects", and in the space provided, write in "Fiji - Seth Greenwell". They will make sure your donated funds are assigned to the Fiji center for its operation.


2. Commit to helping, then flood the coffers on Saturday, February 6th.
I think it would be a fantastic idea to give Seth a large number of donations from multiple donors all at once. So one thing you could do is commit to giving a certain amount on Saturday, February 6th. Just go to the event page I've set up on Facebook and leave a comment with how much you'd like to donate, or just say "general donation" if you don't want to disclose how much you're giving.


3. Spread the word.
I can only do so much on my own, but if all of you help spread the word about this in your social media circles, or to people you know aren't connected with you online, there's no telling who among the people you know have a heart to help an organization like this. Like I said, any amount will help, so please spread the word on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, your own personal blog, anything you feel will help get more people involved. Together, I believe we can do something miraculous.

Why am I not setting up a GoFundMe campaign or something similar?
Frankly, I don't want any of the money to come through my hands. This way, everyone donates directly to Global Teen Challenge, and nobody has to wonder if any of the money is going to be swallowed up by administrative fees or anything like that.

Now, as promised, here it is, Episode 3 of The Back Burner Podcast. Stream it or download it, however you like. Thanks!


There Is No Box. 
Zach

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