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Dec 2018 Charity Fundraiser - Ecuadorian families in need


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Dec 2018 Charity Fundraiser - Ecuadorian families in need

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Hi guys,

I know you are busy this time of year, but I have a very important message to share with you -- and I need your help.

Many of you know that over the years we've held numerous fundraiser charity events, and the futures io community has always shown their enormous hearts and opened their wallets to give to those who are in need.

This Christmas, we are fundraising for families living in Ecuador in need of basic necessities such as food and water -- plus we're donating a small amount of toys to the children for Christmas Day.

We wish to show them the Christmas spirit of having hope, being thankful, and giving to those who are in need.

My wife and I live in Ecuador, and we're working with a charity group here to help us reach the families that are in the most need. If you are curious about my life here in Ecuador, you can visit my thread here: Big Mike in Ecuador (my life in a thread)

Ecuador is an amazing place, filled with amazing people. While they don't have much in the way of material items, they do have huge hearts and are a very happy and proud people. However, many people are in need.

They live in poverty -- many without electricity or running water -- and struggle to put food on the table each day for their families.

This year, with your help, we will reach out to those in the most need here in our hometown of Manta, Ecuador (population 300k).

Using the money raised by the community, we will be purchasing and giving away a "bundle" of basic necessities to each family, such as:

- Rice and noodles,
- Meats/protein,
- Water, powdered milk and juices,
- Fruits and vegetables,
- and basic toiletries.

For the children, we will also be giving away some simple toys and some clothing, so they have something to open on Christmas Day.

Having a gift on Christmas Day is a rare and special thing for most of these families. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of the joy and excitement these families will have when they receive these gifts.



We will make a full accounting of money raised and spent on this event in the main event thread, linked here:

December 2018 Fundraiser Thread

Thank you for all of your support,
-- Big Mike

This is not a tax deductible donation. You are paying futures io for providing a premium service. You are not making a donation directly to a charity. You have only the word of Big Mike that the money raised from this fundraiser will in turn be donated as described, on your behalf. You must agree to this in order for us to accept your payment from our payment processor.

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Site Administrator
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If you are able to help, please use this special page to make your donation:

https://futures.io/fundraiser.php

Elite Members will see the donation amounts on the left, you can pay with any of over 100 currencies and payment methods.

If you are not yet an Elite Member, you will need to become an Elite Member first. We will donate your entire membership to charity, please do remember to make a post in this thread letting us know you have signed up for new Elite Membership as a result of this fundraiser. This is a technicality as required by our payment processor, as you are paying for our "membership" and not a direct charity contribution, as detailed in my first post.

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Between now and Christmas, I will update this thread multiple times with the progress of money raised. We will provide receipts and photos as well, so everyone can see the progress of their contribution making into the hands of the people in need.

Thank you again for helping,
Mike

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You guys are quick and generous thank you -- but anyone who submitted a donation in the first 5 minutes, it didn't go through because I had forgot to turn off "test mode" for the transaction with our payment processor.

You will get an email from me if you submitted the "test order", asking you to please re-load/refresh the page in your browser:
https://futures.io/fundraisher.php

And then after refreshing, please resubmit your donation. Sorry for the trouble, thank you.

Mike

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Thank you for donating. Follow this thread for detailed updates.

Mike

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Mike, you are one solid dude for doing this. Glad to help out in what little way I can, and especially glad to be part of this community. Thanks.

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is more than a community, it is a brotherhood. Simply said there are many remarkable people here.

One item that is top of mind for me is that often people do not understand the full beneficial impact of kindness until they are the recipient of love expressed by others.

My mom moved in with us yesterday after another 20 day hospital stay. She is sleeping, comfortable and safe in the room adjacent to where I sit right now...in a great house in a wonderful neighborhood. Her fresh made breakfast is cold on the stove, but the minute she wakes up I will make her another one. The top of her brand new nightstand next to her brand new tempurpedic bed is covered with necessary medications prescribed by three different specialists.

There is no financial impact, negligible to us, that is.

But every day when I left the hospital my eyes would well up...as they are right now, with gratitude for people that make their life's work service and care for others. See, everyone will at some point or another stand in a pit. Not a trading pit, but a pit of fear or a pit of despair...a situation where they have no idea and no ability to rescue themselves. Then someone steps in to fill the gap...to stand with, to fortify and to serve. Yeah, when you recognize and allow yourself to be to rescued you will understand the full measure of what it means to rescue.

Mike, though we have never met face to face, is one of the best men I know. Evidenced in the way he conducts the forum and tries to aid every request. @Big Mike has got a guy here in Chicago. I trust him implicitly and am honored that her would endeavor in a way that gives me a chance to stand in the gap.

Mike what would you establish as a goal for participation and for money raised? Could you describe what various amounts might do in your community? Would it be possible to "out" participants by denoting a temporary handle color for fundraiser participants? The simple recognition might inspire people to gratitude/generosity.

Everyone please consider participating.

Dan

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I will look into this as soon as I can. Any ideas Mike?


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the bank called me to confirm 4 recent transactions, including this one. All transactions that I did make.

@Big Mike could you please confirm receipt for the fundraiser?

Dan

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wldman View Post
the bank called me to confirm 4 recent transactions, including this one. All transactions that I did make.

@Big Mike could you please confirm receipt for the fundraiser?

Dan

Hi Dan, let me check in a few minutes and will let you know.

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wldman View Post
the bank called me to confirm 4 recent transactions, including this one. All transactions that I did make.

@Big Mike could you please confirm receipt for the fundraiser?

Dan

Hi Dan,

Matching your screenshot -- the transaction did not go through. The only info we have was that the bank declined it, they can do so for any of who knows how many reasons. Happens to me too and is frustrating when having to deal with it when traveling especially

You will have to resubmit the transaction in order for it to be processed.

Thank you,

Mike

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  #12 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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wldman View Post
is more than a community, it is a brotherhood. Simply said there are many remarkable people here.

One item that is top of mind for me is that often people do not understand the full beneficial impact of kindness until they are the recipient of love expressed by others.

My mom moved in with us yesterday after another 20 day hospital stay. She is sleeping, comfortable and safe in the room adjacent to where I sit right now...in a great house in a wonderful neighborhood. Her fresh made breakfast is cold on the stove, but the minute she wakes up I will make her another one. The top of her brand new nightstand next to her brand new tempurpedic bed is covered with necessary medications prescribed by three different specialists.

There is no financial impact, negligible to us, that is.

But every day when I left the hospital my eyes would well up...as they are right now, with gratitude for people that make their life's work service and care for others. See, everyone will at some point or another stand in a pit. Not a trading pit, but a pit of fear or a pit of despair...a situation where they have no idea and no ability to rescue themselves. Then someone steps in to fill the gap...to stand with, to fortify and to serve. Yeah, when you recognize and allow yourself to be to rescued you will understand the full measure of what it means to rescue.

Mike, though we have never met face to face, is one of the best men I know. Evidenced in the way he conducts the forum and tries to aid every request. @Big Mike has got a guy here in Chicago. I trust him implicitly and am honored that her would endeavor in a way that gives me a chance to stand in the gap.

Mike what would you establish as a goal for participation and for money raised? Could you describe what various amounts might do in your community? Would it be possible to "out" participants by denoting a temporary handle color for fundraiser participants? The simple recognition might inspire people to gratitude/generosity.

Everyone please consider participating.

Dan

Hi Dan,

I'm glad to hear your mom is staying with you, that is something I am struggling with in my own family with my mom far away and in declining health, but refusing to consider moving.

As for a goal to raise, it's hard to say because from year-to-year various fundraisers we've done in the past have had varying results. Some years it's only a few hundred dollars, some years have been around $7,000 at a time. So my best guess is simply somewhere in between, depending on how well this message resonates with the community.

I like the idea of something special on the users profile section, indicating they donated. The problem is the technical implication, due to our aging software and all of our custom changes over the years -- it's not nearly as easy as it should be. We've learned from that over the years, so the new framework will not have this problem.

Mike

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why paypal need address fill out? the purpose of paypal is everything already verified just send or receive money. At least that is how I use paypal so far.

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cory View Post
why paypal need address fill out? the purpose of paypal is everything already verified just send or receive money. At least that is how I use paypal so far.

Sorry for the trouble, it's just a requirement from our payment processor and we have no option to disable it.

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As of this moment, we have raised $1500 exactly from 25 members of the community who have been incredibly generous with their wallets. Thank you! After the event is over, each of you can expect to receive a personal email from me further expressing my thanks.

Today, we will begin purchasing the first round of items. I will follow-up once we return with photos and receipts of the initial transactions.

We will then start dividing them into family groups, and have already begun the interview process to identify families most in need. More time will be needed for the clothing purchases, as we have to get the correct sizes and know exactly which items are needed most for the children.

We are on-track to get everything delivered to the families prior to Christmas. As the deliveries to the families begin, I will again update with more photos.

This fundraiser will stop on Monday, December 17th to allow us time for any last minute contributions to be processed and then made way to purchases for the families.

Thank you again to all of those who have donated so far.

Mike

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Transaction history so far for the donations:



Mike

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Hi guys,

Here is a quick video I made, showing an example of what will be given:



Here is an image representative of what one single family will receive (with a few caveats):



We are packaging this into an oversized plastic bag -- one per family -- and will tie a red ribbon on it (more photos to come).

A couple of items in the photo will be subdivided to multiple families (the rice and toothbrushes for example). We are buying in bulk to save money.

What is in the photo:
- Flower
- Oats
- Sugar
- Salt
- Cornmeal
- Lentils
- Beans
- Ground beef
- Two whole chickens
- Noodles
- Tuna
- Toothbrushes & toothpaste
- Dish soap
- Toilet paper
- Laundry detergent
- Hand soap
- Shampoo
- Various cooking oil and condiments
- Butter
- Milk
- Matches
- Coffee
- Crackers
- Soup noodles
- Rice

What isn't in the photo, but we will still be giving (look for future pictures):
- Simple Christmas toys for children to open on Christmas Day
- Clothing for children
- Other urgent necessity items as needed on a case-by-case basis per family

The above (excluding toys & clothing) represents approximately $40 per family, we'll have exact figures after finish buying in bulk.

Mike

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I went for the elite membership donation to your charity. One of my goals is to start a charity for the homeless once I am a profitable full time trader. What good is wealth if you can't share it with those around you? Thanks for doing this!

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LittleFinger View Post
I went for the elite membership donation to your charity. One of my goals is to start a charity for the homeless once I am a profitable full time trader. What good is wealth if you can't share it with those around you? Thanks for doing this!

Thank you for your support, consider it done.

Mike

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Site Administrator
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Hi guys,

Another quick update --

As of this post, we have raised $2600 from 42 donations including the Elite Membership designation here in the thread -- thank you guys so much! Of that, in the spreadsheet below you will see the entries for the Elite Members who donated, and then in the thread the entries for Elite Members designating their new membership to charity.



Right now, my wife is out buying the first group of Christmas toys for boys & girls. We settled on soccer balls and dolls for this first group purchase. Soccer is something every boy really enjoys here in the culture, and they always are in need of a new ball - so this is a good inexpensive purchase. Dolls of course are fun for any girl, right?

We're collecting all the receipts of course -- and I'll be scanning them as soon as I can and posting -- but, right now the effort has been on coordinating the purchases. We have to make multiple trips for each purchase due to the size of the purchases.

We've also assembled a small team of people and hired a police escort (at our own expense, not charity money) so we can safely enter these neighborhoods, we know from past experience these people are sometimes so desperate for assistance that they can kind of "rush" the trucks and it can be overwhelming to have hundreds of people rushing us. We don't hold it against them, but at the same time my priority is on safety of my own family.

We're doing a final census this weekend to see which families might need special/additional assistance above and beyond the basic "bundle" we've assembled. If we are able to accommodate, we will.

Using our current estimate of $40 per "necessity" bundle, the $2600 we've raised is going to help approximately 52 families. Each family on average has about 6 people. That figure is $40 x 52 = $2080, as we are currently sitting aside $500 for the purchase of the toys and clothing items (roughly 20% of total), which is in addition/separate to the necessity bundle. We may adjust this up/down after we finish our census this weekend.

We are on schedule to deliver everything to the families on or before Christmas Day.

Thank you again to everyone, it means so much to all of us that you've been so kind and generous with your help!

Mike

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  #21 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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Someone asked me a question about taxes - please know that if you had a VAT tax or something during checkout, that my wife and I are personally absorbing it. So even if it was a 23% VAT in the EU, 100% of your total gross payment amount will be donated, and my wife and I will personally absorb the tax hit.

My wife and I are looking into forming a 501(c)(3) to improve this in the future, just know it's complex and especially to do on a world-wide scale. But we know we want to do charity events like this as a passion of ours, so we've already started the groundwork last year, it just needs some more time (who ever has enough?).

For now, rest assured 100% of the gross amount will be donated, and that any and all fees from taxes and credit card merchant fees are being paid by me personally.

Mike

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Molly helping out



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I went for the elite membership donation to your charity. One of my goals is to start a charity for the homeless once I am a profitable full time trader. What good is wealth if you can't share it with those around you? Thanks for doing this!

I am willing to help you become who you intend to be. If there is anything I can do let me know.

Dan

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Anyone that can not find inspiration from you must be a CME guy!

Linda wants me to wait on the resubmit until she can reconcile with the banks this weekend. I'm on this trade. Thank you Mike...you got a guy in Chicago.

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Anyone that can not find inspiration from you must be a CME guy!

Linda wants me to wait on the resubmit until she can reconcile with the banks this weekend. I'm on this trade. Thank you Mike...you got a guy in Chicago.

Dan

No problem, the fundraiser will be open until end of Monday.

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Boxes of barbie dolls... and the store clerk helping to inflate the soccer balls...



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No problem, the fundraiser will be open until end of Monday.

Mike

Everyone please consider participating.

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Hi guys,



This is a video my wife took of a family living in a house that needs help. In this one house, a family of 9 people are led by the grandmother, who is in her 70's and diagnosed with diabetes. She is a widow.

Living with her are her son and daughter-in-law, her daughter and son-in-law, each with two kids of their own.

You can see in the video they are doing laundry by hand outside when my wife arrives, and the kids have no shoes, and ripped clothing.

The grandmother needs medicine for her diabetes, but the wait is more than six months to see a doctor in the public healthcare system. We've already told her that next week we will take her to a private doctor and pay for the consultation, plus pay for whatever blood work, scans, and medicine she needs. (we are paying for this ourselves, not using charity funds).

This family will receive one of our charity "bundles" as well for Christmas, and the kids will receive some toys for Christmas Day. If you wish to help more families like this, please visit our fundraiser page:

https://on.futures.io/dec2018fundraiser

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Thank you to everyone involved in this heartwarming endeavour. Hope my little bit helps those in need.

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Please earmark my membership fee for the fundraiser. Happy Holidays to everyone.

Order ID: 15618810.

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Please earmark my membership fee for the fundraiser. Happy Holidays to everyone.

Order ID: 15618810.

Thank you for your support. Consider it done.

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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Hi guys,

It's been a long day! Since 7am we've been out doing our "census" where we talk to families and identify any special needs they have, and give them their tickets so they can come collect their donation.

We've scheduled the donations to be given away on Sunday, December 23rd. We've arranged for a secure warehouse type of space, it will hold several hundred people and we expect the line to be long. As previously mentioned, we've arranged a police escort to be there as well to keep things orderly, plus we'll have multiple people on-hand donating their time to help keep everything organized.

Today, specifically -- we spoke with about 40 families, and in total they include around 150 kids (we have to update our spreadsheet to get the exact numbers -- targeting tomorrow for this). Some of them have special needs due to disabilities, and we made special notes in those cases where it's possible to give things they need. For example, adult diapers are a common need for the disabled, as are vitamins. There are also many cases of pregnant women needing vitamins, or single mothers needing baby formula and diapers.

I have hundreds of photos and dozens of videos from all of our interviews today, but I'll try to pick just a few and share some of them.

Monday is the last day of our fundraiser. There is still time if any of these particular special needs cases motivate you, you can certainly mention them to us and we'll be happy to target them with your donation. Otherwise, we will just use it as general donation as previously described.

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Special case 1:

Mayra has cancer, and is receiving treatment. Her mother lives with her and is a leader in the church, and tries to help her as much as possible financially - but she struggles to provide for the two boys, age 12 and 13. She's a single mom.




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Special case 2:

Angel is the sole provider for his family of 15 people, of which are 7 adults and 8 children (all under 15 year sold), all living in this house. He works for the government as a street sweeper, but the government hasn't paid him in 11 months, so he is struggling.





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Special case 3:

Luis, 35 years old, had a major accident 8 months ago, where a ship anchor hit him in the head and has caused brain damage and the loss of his frontal cranium bone. He is disabled, but the government is not helping him because his paperwork has not been approved. We heard many stories of it taking years to get approval for disability, and in the end disability income is $50.00 per month.

He wears adult diapers due to incontinence, he is not employed because of severe memory loss and disorientation. He was the sole provider of his family of 4 which include his wife and 3 children.

He needs another major operation, but the cost is $5,000 and they have no hope of affording it. He wears a hat to hide his physical condition.





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Special case 4:

Juan is the sole provider for his family of 4, including 2 children, and his mother. He is disabled due a leg injury, and he does receive the government disability of $50.00 per month, but it isn't enough. The mom also has diabetes but cannot afford the medication to regulate it.

You can see the living conditions -- the white plastic chair with a bucket under it is their bathroom (the chair/bucket is their toilet).






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Special case 5:

Guadalupe, her mother, and her brother live together - but the brother became disabled and is no longer able to provide for the family. I can't recall the specific name of his diagnosis, but he his hands don't open and he can't walk. He does receive the government disability of $50.00 per month, but again it's not enough.





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Special case 6:

Delira is 56 years old and has a mental and physical disabilities, but the government has not approved her disability of $50.00 per month. She lives with her sister and mom and dad, but only the sister is working to try to provide for the family. But the parents are too old to earn much, so it's all up to the sister to fill the special needs of Delira, plus provide for the family.




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Special case 7:

Maria is a single mother of two, and needs help for her family.

Her 15 year old daughter is pregnant. The boyfriend of the pregnant daughter lives with them, and he is the sole provider for the family. He is young and you can argue that she shouldn't be pregnant, but she is having the baby and he is trying his best to provide for the entire family.



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Special case 8:

Vicente had a car accident that has physically disabled him, and he and can't walk. He does get government disability of $50.00 per month, but it isn't enough to provide for his family of 5 which includes his wife and 3 kids. He was the sole earner in the family.

He asked us if there was any way we could help him buy a wheelchair. As it stands, we don't have the budget for that, but like I mentioned - if you guys want to donate more and target a specific person, just let us know. We estimate the wheelchair would cost about $250.




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Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraiser!

We'll stop the donations later today. I'll then post the final detailed income report. The expense reports will take additional time, but all receipts will be posted.

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Hi guys,

I've ended the fundraiser as of this post. Thank you to everyone for opening your hearts and wallets!

Here is the final income report:



Those are from Elite Members - totaling $3,725. Then we add the two additional new memberships as mentioned in this thread, for $200, reaching a grand total of $3,925 raised.

I have a lot of receipts to scan for the purchases/expenses. I will be posting them soon, along with more photos of the purchases and bundles.

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We've been buying about this much every day, and putting our bundles together.

Today we also ordered all the meat to be picked up on Friday. We were able to arrange a 10% discount on the entire purchase of chicken and ground beef.



We have 10 infants in the group, and thanks to some last minute donations plus the discount mentioned above, we believe we have the budget to provide baby formula for them (a cost of approximately $20 per infant). We'll be buying that tomorrow most likely, after re-confirming our costs so far.

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This is a better photo maybe. The specialty items like ensure and adult diapers and the donut hole pillow are all to help with the special case needs that I listed before in earlier posts. I'll detail who is getting what later, and there will be photos and videos of everyone receiving everything on Sunday.

Also we were able to include a small bag of candy for Christmas presents for the kids, it was less than $1 per kid and we were able to budget this based on the discount we secured on the meat.




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Loading the truck one of many trips buying the stuff we will be donating this Sunday:



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Our elves wrapping the presents for the kids:



There is a second assembly line downstairs as well...

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@Big Mike,

thanks to you and all the helping hands for making this possible.

Regards,

ABCTG



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Our elves wrapping the presents for the kids:



There is a second assembly line downstairs as well...

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Mike.
I am in awe of the amount of time and huge amount of effort you, your family and all the people helping you have put in to: organising the collection of funds, but especially finding out what individual families need and want and then buying and collecting it all, wrapping it and making it nice for them and finally delivering everything.
It must have been pretty much a fulltime job for the past few weeks, with I imagine still a few more days to go.
Merry Christmas to you all.

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Buying all the meat... first trip:



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Mike.
I am in awe of the amount of time and huge amount of effort you, your family and all the people helping you have put in to: organising the collection of funds, but especially finding out what individual families need and want and then buying and collecting it all, wrapping it and making it nice for them and finally delivering everything.
It must have been pretty much a fulltime job for the past few weeks, with I imagine still a few more days to go.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Yes, we've been only sleeping 4-5 hours max the last several days, with many people helping us and working on it literally all day, every day. We still have an enormous amount to do before Sunday, and then of course we have to transport everything to the location and then hand it out to the final recipients on Sunday. I will film as much of that as possible, unfortunately my Sony RX100 has a 5 minute limit on video recording, and my phone has been crashing a lot lately, especially during videos, but I'll do my best to document everything.

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We are about to begin the donations... Internet bad here, but will try to post a few pictures along the way. Video will be after getting home.

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It's been a long day guys, but it was a complete success!

These families were so happy to receive these items, it truly will be a Merry Christmas. Some of them broke down and were crying they were so happy and thankful.

Everyone who contributed can truly feel good knowing they've helped a family that was very much in need. My wife and I really enjoyed doing this, even though it was a great deal of work -- so we plan to do it again next year and make it an ongoing tradition.

Right now, I am editing and encoding all the videos to combine all the various clips I have into one single video which I'll post on YouTube. This will take some time because there are several to go through. It's a process...

In the meantime, I am going to post the expense report so far since I have finished scanning all the receipts.

Mike

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Hi guys,

Here are the expenses. As of this email (Sunday night) we've spent $3544.07, leaving $380.93. Tomorrow (Monday) we plan to go buy the remaining items that can be purchased for $380.93 and we will be donating the same type of food and necessity items to the Orphanage here in Manta.

The orphanage currently has 24 kids under 18 years old, so this final package/donation will be put to good use by them.

We had this balance because we were able to save some money here and there with discounts and better values, leaving a surplus at the end compared to what we had originally budgeted.

























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Hi guys,

Here are just a few pictures from today. The video is going to have to wait until tomorrow, sorry but I am exhausted...








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A few more pics...








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And some more...








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Some more still...








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Last ones I think.

Tomorrow please be on the lookout for the video!








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@Big Mike

You're one hell of a guy!
Merry Christmas !


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MiniP View Post
@Big Mike

You're one hell of a guy!
Merry Christmas !


-P

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!

I appreciate the kind words, but all of this is possible due to the kindness and generosity of all the members of our community who donated for this fundraiser.

I am still working on that video... it's not easy putting that together! I hope to get it done in the next three hours, because if not we are leaving for our Christmas Eve party at my mother-in-laws house, and it will have to wait until tomorrow in that case.

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Hi guys,

Here is the video from Sunday, December 23rd -- the event where my wife and I gave away the donations to those in need. One more time, thank you to everyone!



This video shows just a few of the families we were able to help this year, but it gives you a good summary of the event.

Please allow two hours from the time of this post for the video to finish encoding and processing on YouTube. I have to leave my office now, heading to my mother-in-law's for Christmas Eve! But I wanted to share this before I left for the night...


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Hi guys,

Here is the final video for this event -- the purchase of the remaining $380 in donations and the delivery to the kids orphanage earlier this afternoon. They were so grateful!



I'll post the final receipt when I get to the office later tonight.

Thank you again guys,
Mike

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Final receipt showing the last $380 of the donations:



Thank you again guys,
Mike

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futures io Trading Community Feedback and Announcements > Dec 2018 Charity Fundraiser - Ecuadorian families in need


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