Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Why 1760 mattresses ......?

A great way to restore Hope and dignity is to help a family to become self sustaining... This is one of the families in Central Asia that is on there way to meeting that goal.... Mom and the five kids have been receiving help through the sponsorship program... you can see them here a few hours ago receiving groceries... ( the oldest is in the fields with the animals while this photo is being taken) ... Today they also heard the good news... A wonderful group in Colorado has raised the funds to help them to fulfill a dream that they have had... The group has raised the funds to purchase sewing machines and supplies to set up a sewing business.... The oldest daughter is even interested in going to a sewing school in the fall to learn the business side of sewing. Before starting into any business, you want to know that there is a need for the service that you are providing... When we were working on a business plan with them, it was evident that PI alone currently spends enough on items they will be producing to make a significant start to there micro enterprise....
We are always looking for things like over coats for the workers at the invalid home and Seniors home, blankets in the winter, sheets for the orphanages and other institutions, and many other basic sewing projects... The greatest need we have right now is that of Mattresses....
My very first visit to one of the institutions in Central Asia, I was horrified when I discovered the condition of the mattress in the Seniors home there... we were moving the mattresses so we could work on the rooms... the old mattresses had been discarded, and I was moving the "GOOD"ones... when I went to pick it up, my fingers poked right into the thread bare , damp and musty mattresses... the were so disgusting, and smelled so bad, that suddenly I got this involuntary gag reflex, and just about lost it right then and there... and these were considered the good ones that they wanted to keep.
From that point on, I started noticing the condition of the mattresses where ever we went, and in doing so noticed that in many institutions they don't even have mattresses for everyone. In one of the homes we are trying to help in, out of 287 men and boys that they house, only 200 have mattresses.... Last winter , approximately 75 men died of malnutrition and exposure.... the majority of them were the men with no mattress.... Men that just faced the cold of the winter, in a sparsely heated building with only a thin blanket and a board to sleep on.
Even in the hospitals, patients must bring there own mattress with them because of the shortage... many times the families we helping are sleeping on the floors with no mattresses either... and any seniors or kids that have medical issues, are often on very old urine soaked mattresses...if they have one at all...
Because of this, we usually buy mattresses every time we are there, but we do not have the resources to buy as many as are urgently needed... just to get every one a bed, never mind replacing the ones that are to old and disgusting is not obtainable for us ....
Then we had a brain storm... If we were to make the mattresses ourselves, we could make them for about 1/4 the price that we are buying them for... this would leave ample room to provide a small salary, and still save a bundle....
But now there is one more part to this storey... The local textile plant has had difficult economic times, like every one else, yet they have come up with a way of solving there financial short fall.... They simply pay their employees in material... this has left many families that are otherwise viable, struggling to maintain.... We will be able to purchase materials from these families to make the mattresses, and in doing so return dignity to them as well.....
This is such a win win situation all around.... all we need to do is to sponsor a mattress....The cost will be only $15 each .... With such a need, I got thinking what would be a good target ?, and since there is such a great need at this time, I figured what could we expect to produce in the next year..?.. at full production, we could conceivable produce 1800 mattresses... so my target is an easy one.... 1760 mattresses... now why 1760 as a target... watch this video and you will understand....
video

Now I understand that the odds of finding that one person that willing to spend as much on a mattress as the person in the video is pretty slim, but if we each did what we could it would not take us long to overcome this problem ....and at $15 each, I think we can do it...
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