SEATTLE, Washington — Fighting global poverty can feel like a huge undertaking, but what if all one needed to do was donate a day’s worth of wages? Eugene and Minhee Cho founded the One Day’s Wages (ODW) organization on the idea that a little can go a long way. One Day’s Wages continues its practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic by starting an emergency response fund.
Who Are One Day’s Wages?
This grassroots organization encourages individuals to pledge a day’s worth of wages monthly, quarterly or yearly toward a charitable cause. The donations go directly to projects and partnerships fighting global poverty, spanning from children’s education to refugee relief.
The founders, Eugene and Minhee Cho, share their story on their website on how even they, “an average family,” can make a difference. The creation of ODW began with the Choo family pledging to donate their 2009 income to fighting poverty but realizing that solving poverty doesn’t only come from money; it also comes from people.
From that point on the organization started prioritizing working with other grassroots organizations dedicated to alleviating global poverty, and continuing their practice of donating one day’s worth of wages.
The organization now has 146 projects listed on its website, mobilizing groups across the globe for projects such as fighting human trafficking in India to “empowering survivors of gender-based violence in Bolivia.”
One Day’s Worth has found the idea of pledging a day’s worth of wages to resonate with their communities and have seen incredible results.
In addition to cooperating with other organizations, ODW also created an emergency response fund to help victims of natural disasters, severe food insecurity and other global crises. As a result of COVID-19, the organization allocated all emergency funds to supporting populations most vulnerable to the global pandemic.
Why Is an Emergency Response Fund Important?
When disasters strike, whether it be an unprecedented global pandemic or a hurricane, emergency response funds make sure vulnerable populations have access to immediate necessary resources.
In regard to COVID-19 in the U.S., the most prominent emergency fund comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC emergency fund allowed health experts and first responders to purchase equipment like masks and ventilators necessary to combat the outbreak.
Companies like Facebook, TikTok and Walgreens made considerable donations to this fund throughout the pandemic, allowing the CDC to continue providing money for grant applicants and COVID-19 related responses.
One Day’s Wages Emergency Fund Approach
One Day’s Wages’ emergency fund is similar to the CDC, but it acts on a global level. The organization recognized the threat the coronavirus could have on vulnerable communities with overcrowding conditions or limited access to sanitation facilities. For these reasons, ODW pledged $100,000 to the emergency fund for COVID-19 relief efforts.
One Day’s Wages donates the money to other grassroots organizations on the ground with refugee camps or other vulnerable populations, and coordinates with them to ensure the communities’ health and safety.
Since March 15, the ODW’s emergency response fund provided 4,497 refugees with medical care, over 9,000 people with nutritional foods and aided nearly 182,000 people in need of urgent relief. One Day’s Wages dedicates itself to helping vulnerable communities get back on their feet as countries begin to recover from this worldwide crisis.
– Kiyomi Kishaba
Photo: Wikimedia Commons