Whew, I made it. But not without your support. I've actually done the challenge once without blogging about it, and it's honestly much harder doing it in a vacuum.
I sincerely appreciate all your dm's, cheers, and comments along the way, especially the genius recipe ideas/hacks many of you suggested.
I feel like I shared a lot of solid reflections on my previous posts, so please do read those if you've landed here first.
Interesting note for the super-curious: If you view the web version of this blog, you will find a right-side navigation column, and there you can actually breadcrumb your way back through each "view my previous blog" link to peruse each of my six blogs to arrive at my very first challenge blog from 2009.
I am so thrilled that together we met our goal of filling all 25 "monthly" hearts!
Some of the "filled hearts" consisted of two or more people coming together to fill the total. This is especially inspiring because it demonstrates that people caught the vision of realizing that their humble amount can indeed make a difference!
This means that NINE of our girls in our She Has Hope programs will receive the residential care and scholarships for all their education needs in our programs, year-round, month after month!
And that leads me to remind us of the main points of the challenge:
To create empathy and compassion for those who struggle with extreme poverty and all its terrible repercussions.
To help us realize that small charitable steps add up to a big ripple effect in the lives of those who truly need a lift up.
It also helps us realize that we can actually get by on a LOT less than we think we need. If I can do this living on one dollar of food per day, and the meals look halfway decent, then imagine what we can do if we just shave off 10% of our food budget to sustainably lift up those struggling with extreme poverty?
And here's the final heart-chart, filled by way of love, faith, hope, and compassion...
Love: Caring, selflessness, empathy
Faith: Believing that you can make a difference in this world
Hope: Having enough hope that the world isn't doomed, that we can create change
Compassion: Being moved to action because of the above three values
Simple realization: Students in our Uganda primary school program are happy to get a humble bowl of seasoned beans and rice. After doing these challenges, I now can relate more to why their smiles are so big for such a simple meal.
When you're truly hungry, a dish as basic as beans, rice, and some seasonings felt like a meal fit for a king to me.
On to show you what I managed to cook up for my last meals of the challenge, for $1/day... along with some thoughts I shared on Instagram...