The mission of the Monkey Do Project is straightforward. ”The Monkey Do Project partners with groups and organizations to assist the most distressed areas of the United States Appalachian region through different efforts as an ongoing outreach for the Appalachian community.” We work towards reducing hunger and poverty here in the United States in the one of the poorest regions.
Appalachia is a stretch of 205,000 square miles from New York to northern Mississippi, along the Appalachia Mountains. Appalachia covers thirteen different states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Caroline, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. A total of 420 counties and 25 million people live in the Appalachia region.
42% of Appalachia is rural (to put this in perspective, only 20% of the rest of the US is rural)
96 counties in Appalachia is considered “economically distressed” and are considered the poorest regions in the country
16% of the homes are considered substandard (too many people in a home, no indoor plumbing)
Some parts of Appalachia have poverty rates over 150% of the average US poverty rates
A couple of years ago, I went to my first BloggyCon. If you have never been to a blog conference, the attendees chatter on social media back and forth during the various sessions. At that time, I had only been blogging a few months. I kept seeing chatter about “Monkey Do Project” and to bring our toiletries from our room and give them to one of the bloggers. I wasn’t too sure what the Monkey Do Project was, but I filed it away in my head to research later. Eventually, I forgot about the Monkey Do Project and researching what it was.
A few months after that, I was asked to be an ambassador for another grassroots charity. I was honored, however it didn’t sit well with me that they were focused on children in other countries, when we had children in our country that were going hungry and needed healthcare. I graciously stepped away from the program and began searching for something that I could do for children in our country that need help.
Awhile back, as I was searching for an online prayer chain, I stumbled across the Monkey Do Project website. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even there for helping others. I was looking for prayers for Don and I during his surgery and cancer recovery. I immediately put in a prayer request and bookmarked the site to come back to. I made a point to get back to the website and check out exactly what it is and what they do. I realized they are an organization that helps kids and families practically in my backyard. I immediately emailed to become a Monkey Do Project Blog Ambassador.
To make a long story short, here I am making my first post about the Monkey Do Project!
The Monkey Do Project has been in operation since Spring 2012. And since then, they have accomplished so many things:
Fill a West Virginia food bank every single month since October 2013
Start a weekend backpack project to provide meals for West Virginia school children who have no food when they are out of school on the weekends
Give 2,000 Ohio Appalachian children filled backpacks for school
Provide 100 hungry Appalachian West Virginia families all of the food and “fixins” for their entire Thanksgiving meal
Give 33 new pairs of tennis shoes and socks so that Appalachian children in need could attend camp, who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go
Provide 56 filled backpacks to WV school children whose parents couldn’t afford school supplies
Get 30 emergency blessing bags to a group home in rural West Virginia when they were without power for over 20 days
Donate over $1,500 worth of new clothes to an emergency family shelter in Ohio Appalachia
Give supplies to an emergency home in Ohio Appalachia
Provide ongoing baby blankets to moms in need in West Virginia Appalachia
Donate blankets for families with no heat in Appalachia
I am so honored to be considered a part of the Monkey Do Project! Each month, I will post about what we are doing and how you can get involved. And, I have said it before, and I will say it again… it is not about the money. While donations are wonderful, there are other ways you can help out.
Each of you should not look only to your interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4 (NIV)
So…. are you ready to help us?!
Here’s the deal: we are up for a $25,000 grant from FedEx and all we need you to do is click! You can vote once a day until February 23, 2014!