The Super BowlThe first Superbowl took place on January 15, 1967. Tickets to attend cost only $12, and was the only Super Bowl in history to not sell out. The halftime show was comprised of local high school marching bands. Nowadays, tickets cost thousands of dollars, the halftime show goes all out with famous headliners, people host their own Superbowl parties and millions of people watch. Unfortunately, while cities spend millions of dollars every year to host a Superbowl game, people around the world, and even around the corner, are suffering from poverty. Below is a basic breakdown of different costs that go into the Superbowl and other ways that this money could be spent to help fight global poverty.

How Money Spent on the Super Bowl Could Be Used to Help People

  • Tickets Prices: Want to attend the Super Bowl? On average, tickets now cost between $2,500 to $3,000. This money could be put towards building wells in impoverished countries, for example. Some countries where you can build a well with this money are Togo, Niger, Senegal, Liberia and Chad. The cost to build a well in any of these countries ranges from $1,600 to $3,000.
  • The Halftime Entertainment: Pepsi has paid to sponsor the halftime show for several years now. On average, they reportedly spend $7 million to nab the sponsorship and invest an additional $100,000 in insurance for the show. It would cost around $86,000 to sponsor an entire African village. This includes a fully functioning school, medical center and access to clean water. For less than the cost of insuring the halftime show, the money could be allocated to helping a village in Africa thrive.
  • Commercial Advertisement: The average price for a 30-second ad spot in 2017 reached a height of  $5 million. The total amount spent on advertising from 1967 to 2018 is $5.4 billion. According to a study done in 2013, the average cost to run a mobile clinic was $92,898. That’s under one-fifth of the cost that it takes to run a thirty-second ad during the Superbowl.
  • Super Bowl Parties: In a survey conducted by The National Retail Federation, consumers said that they will spend an average of $81 on a Super Bowl watch party. That is a total of $14.8 billion dollars spent across the country. The cost to end world hunger is $30 billion a year.  American consumers who hold Super Bowl watch parties could pay for nearly half of that!

Realistically, not all consumers are going to pile their money together to help contribute to alleviating world hunger. But, if even just a few consumers donated that $81 dollars or a company like Pepsi opted to spend half of the Super Bowl sponsorship money to a cause that helps fight global poverty, it would make a huge difference because every dollar counts. While the fight against global poverty is one that takes time and money, it is a fight that can be won.

CJ Sternfels

Photo: Flickr

Google to Raise Millions for Refugee Aid
With the refugee crisis in Syria showing no signs of slowing down, any help provided to those in need could potentially save lives. With this in mind, Google has taken the initiative to offer refugee aid by matching donations up to millions of dollars.

The tech giant has pledged to match up to approximately $5.5 million in donations to various human rights organizations. The four organizations the money will go toward will be Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Google has already built itself a sizable reputation as a charitable company. Google has previously donated over $1 million to various relief efforts. Google is hoping that this latest effort will snowball and lead to around $11 million in donations overall.

“These nonprofits are helping deliver essential assistance, including shelter, food and water and medical care, and looking after the security and rights of people in need,” Google said in a recent statement.

Adding a more personal touch to the push, this announcement was accompanied by a blog post from Google employee Rita Masoud, who fled from Kabul to Europe when she was a child.

“Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear,” Masoud wrote. “Fortunately we received asylum in The Netherlands where I grew up in a safe environment and was able to find my way in life. I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help.”

The campaign can be located here at Refugee Relief.

Alexander Jones

Sources: CNBC, Engadget, USA Today
Photo: Google Images

the_school_fund
There are 63 million secondary school-aged children around the world who are unable to attend school. In West and Central Africa, this number amounts to 40 percent of their youth population. In India, 16 million children of lower and secondary school age do not receive an education. The School Fund works with investors to provide resources and funds to developing regions to help children in need.

On average, an individual’s wage increases 15 to 25 percent for each additional year of schooling he or she receives. Girls and young women who receive an education are far less likely to become a child bride and typically grow up to be healthier and more educated about sex. Women who receive an education are more prone to have healthier children and smaller families. An education can also help girls grow up to become leaders in their communities.

The School Fund operates its services by first helping investors find students to support. This process is determined by selecting a student based on their country, gender, academic interests or fundraising deadlines. The second step helps the investors decide how much to donate, and step three allows the donators to stay in touch with the students they have helped in order to see how they are contributing the funds to their education.

The School Fund has been able to provide scholarships to over 1,100 students in Africa, Asia and Latin America, totaling over US$400,000 in funds used for tuition, uniforms, materials, exam fees and food. Students have been funded by over 3,500 donors, representing more than 1,500 years of education.

The organization was founded by Matt Severson and Andrew Perrault in 2009. Having been friends for many years and sharing interests in both traveling and development, the pair traveled to Tanzania in 2007 while still in high school. While there, they were both touched by how friendly and thoughtful the residents were. Even though many of them lived in poverty, they were still willing to share with the two of them.

During his travels, Matt Severson met a young boy named John Medo. Medo came from a family of seven who lived on US$45 a month. John Medo was intelligent — he had aced all of the exams necessary for secondary school, but his family could not afford the US$150 fee for tuition. When Severson met Medo, he was working to become a farmer. Matt Severson was inspired by John Medo’s kindness and decided to provide funds for his schooling. This marked the beginning of The School Fund.

Over the next two summers, Severson and Perrault worked to expand and build The School Fund from the ground up. Now The School Fund supports students in Tanzania, Haiti, the Philippines and many other places in the world. As Matt Severson puts it, there are many other “John Medos” in the world who need support to attend school. The School Fund plans to continue to connect investors with students in need.

– Julia Hettiger

Sources: The School Fund 1, The School Fund 2, UNICEF
Photo: Ghana Culture Politics

Make a Difference
The world is a big place filled with billions of people. It can be easy to think that one person couldn’t possibly do enough to change the world. When the weight of global issues simply feels too huge for one person to handle, we have to remember that we do have power to make a difference, even if it starts on a small scale. Below are ten things you can do that may not change the whole world, but will change someone else’s world.

 

Simple Steps to Make a Difference

 

1. Smile: Who knew that a smile could go so far? Being friendly to others is a great way to brighten up someone else’s day. Whether it’s at the store, work, or simply walking along the street, a nice gesture like a smile could go a long way for someone having a bad day.

2. Do Some Volunteer Work: Volunteering is an amazing experience that gets us out of our daily routines and allows us to turn our efforts outwards. Go out and help feed the homeless, volunteer at local events – even picking up trash in your city is a great way to give back to the community!

3. Sponsor a Child: There are tons of organizations looking for people to sponsor children in need in countries around the world. These organizations are literally only a click away, and don’t take much time to sign up for. It is a small price to pay to make an incredible difference in a child’s life.

4. Invest and Listen: Society has become so drenched in the buzz of technology that real face-to-face interaction and relationship is growing scarce. Next time you throw out the standard, “Hi, how you doin?” make an effort to really invest in what is going in that person’s life. Ask questions that show you really care and want to listen.

5. Teach!: Go out and teach a skill to someone who wants to learn. Whether it’s teaching someone how to drive, or helping a student with their homework, your lessons will make a huge impact on their lives.

6. Donate: If you’re anything like the typical American, you probably have a lot of stuff. When it comes time to get rid of something or buy something new, make a donation instead! There are many ways to make donations online and in your community.

7. Stop What You’re Doing and HELP: It’s easy to think that our priorities are the ones that matter the most. When you’re driving and see someone along the road struggling with a flat, stop to help. Wouldn’t you want a person to do the same for you? There are tons of ways for us to lend a helping hand throughout our day.

8. Team Up with Someone to Live Healthier: Oftentimes having a workout partner is the best kind of motivation out there. If someone you know keeps talking about how he/she wants to get in shape, join them! This will make a huge impact on their lives, and together, you’ll both be on your way to a healthier life.

9. Make a Care Package: Care packages are easy and affordable to make and they can be used in so many different ways. They can be sent overseas or used locally! Next time you’re out and about and see a homeless person, offer them a care package. Keep a supply of the packages in your car and they can go a long way.

10. Having an Outward Gaze: We live in a pretty self-centered society. Many of us are taught at a young age to do what is going to make us most successful; this can lead us to do a lot things that are only self-serving. It’s time for a change of perspective! Start thinking in ways that turn that self-centered gaze outward. See what it’s like to put others needs before yours. You won’t regret it.

– Chante Owens

source: Zen Habits
Photo: ActionAid

 

elton_john_bono
Famous celebrities and world leaders alike channel their influence to promote the various causes they are passionate about. Below are 5 famous advocates for global poverty:

1. Bono

Lead singer of Dublin-based band U2, Bono is one of the most influential celebrity advocates fighting global poverty. He is the co-founder of the organization ONE, which is a campaign of over 3 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. He is also creator of other campaigns including Debt AIDS Trade Africa (RED) and clothing company EDUN. Bono recently performed at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival, calling on audience members to help put a stop to extreme poverty by 2030. He was granted knighthood in 2007 and dubbed a “Man of Peace” for all his philanthropic work. He serves as a role model to all celebrities and is passionate about a greater cause.

2. Angelina Jolie

While filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises. Since 2001, she has traveled on field missions around the world and interacted with refugees and other displaced people in more than 20 countries. She founded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation with actor Brad Pitt. The foundation focuses on eradicating extreme rural poverty, conserving wildlife, and protecting natural resources. Among the many philanthropic endeavors she has undergone, some include building an all-girls primary school in Afghanistan, opening a refugee camp and recently, undergoing a double mastectomy, bringing awareness to cancer and women’s health.

3. Elton John 

Famous musician Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS in his lifetime. In their honor, he established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992 to fight the disease worldwide. The organization has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries through education, health services and elimination of prejudice and discrimination. In 2004 he was the most generous person in music of the year, donating over $43 million to organizations across the globe. In 2008, he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas.

4. George Clooney

Clooney is one of the most charitable stars in Hollywood, focusing his energy on a mission to stop the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur. He famously founded the group Not On Our Watch to stop the genocide occurring in Sudan. He has personally visited the area several times and met with victims and world leaders alike.

5. Bill Clinton

Former U.S. President and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Clinton set up his organization to promote aid for a number of humanitarian causes. His organization focuses specifically on climate change, economic development, global health and women’s rights. Though there has been some controversy over the Clinton Foundation in recent years, it remains a well-known global advocacy network for aiding poverty-stricken countries.

– Sonia Aviv

Sources: ONE, TED, Look to the Stars, CQ Researcher, Clinton Foundation
Photo: Charles Cannon