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Today I am wearing my “I’m not wearing my SDN T-Shirt – I’m Feeding Kids” t-shirt*.

I love t-shirts and great and as geeks we tend to love them. I am quite glad to have a “Wii hands” t-shirt and some other t-shirts I have kept for years. 

We used to give out t-shirts on SDN as you maybe aware. They were a reward for hitting levels of contribution on SDN. They were kinda fun. Then I saw lots of ‘Where’s my t-shirt? I passed 500 points 32 nano seconds ago and I haven’t received my t-shirt yet.’ Give me a break. Is that why you were contributing to SDN? Just to get a free t-shirt?

Anyway about 18 months ago I Three little words – ‘Change the world’ and made a simple statement and asked a simple question. 

The statement: The world has some pretty messed up bits to it.

The question: What could we do as a community to help solve that?

Well. That blog post went down a treat in SDN and inside SAP in general so I am told and as a result about 3 months later at the Bangalore TechEd in 2007 Mark Yolton announced the Feeding Kids program.

Today while America was busy eating turkey and India was dealing with troubles of it own. SDN quietly passed the 350 000 point goal.

image

 

This is more important than A Milestone post and much more important than 1000 000 threads. This is changing the world. 

Well done. We have a lot to be thankful for.

*Note to reader: this t-shirt does not exist. (It was made up to prove a point)

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20 Comments

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      1. AVIK SANYAL
        Hi all,

        It was a good start. I guess, a “small one”. May be in future this program will expand its wings to make a difference to many more who are in real need.

        Thanks Members
        Avik

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  1. Somnath Manna
    I was tracking the total points for past few weeks and it was indeed thirlling to see the Community make it happen. Here was what I tweeted
    “Latest: yippee Total SCN Point has crossed 3.5 Mil mark that means €200,000 donation is confirmed to UNWFP about 1 hour ago yippee Total SCN Point has crossed 3.5 Mil mark that means €200,000 donation is confirmed to UNWFP about 1 hour ago from web “
    Let’s set a higher target for next year and work towards it.
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  2. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    It feels so good to know that we’re helping the world by helping feeding kids…We have overcome all the “I want my T-Shirt” to “I want to feed children”…

    Again…I’m so proud of being part of this big and giving family (Community)…

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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  3. Ajay Das
    While it is well and good to have a deserved pat on our (and SAP’s) collective back,

    this amount would translate to

    – about 0.01 % of WFP annual budget (and about the same of SAP’s annual profits), which aims to feed 10% of world’s undernourished.
    – about 5 min’s worth of profit of Exxon-Mobil
    – about a minute or less of billing donated by each SCN member.

    For starters, I would think large consulting companies looking at visibility on SCN should have matching contribution programs.

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  4. Mark Yolton
    Hi Nigel – I want to add my personal thanks to you for raising the topic in your blog, and to the other SAP community members who inspired us a year ago thru your comments to Nigel’s post, your separate blogs, your emails — all exuding enthusiasm for the idea. 

    Hi community members – Thank you ALL for contributing simply by participating actively in our community during 2008.  If you answered a forum post, published a blog, edited a wiki section, wrote a whitepaper, presented at TechEd, or shared your knowledge and experience with others some other way, you made a difference. 

    Congratulations! 

    More related links:
    Related links:

    Food for Points
    /people/mark.yolton/blog/2008/05/19/let146s-start-something-for-our-planet-and-its-people
    https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/wiki?path=/display/community/corporate%252bsocial%252bresponsibility%252band%252bsustainability%252bprojects
    /people/mark.yolton/blog/2008/10/25/you146re-helping-the-un-feed-and-educate-children-simply-by-contributing-your-knowledge-and-experience-with-others-150-help-us-double-the-donation-from-sap

    Regards,
    Mark Yolton

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  5. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
    Hi Nigel,

    A few thoughts on this occasion.

    1
    The Badge
    I think it would be a nice way to mark the achievement by wearing the badge ‘SAP Community Cares’ in our blogs. http://www.sapfeedingknowledge.com/show_your_support/

    2
    Remain dedicated
    It may also feel good to rededicate ourselves to ‘Make Poverty History’ and Marilyn Pratt made a good case a year ago.
    Thanksgiving: A Time to Link Personal, Civic and Corporate Activism
    Thanksgiving: A Time to Link Personal, Civic and Corporate Activism

    3
    Show the world the power of the web and the community.
    Forget the 1 Million and think about the 1 – Craig said!
    “That 1 is you, you make this community what it is. You make it what it is more than anything else and we are excited that you are a member – we’d been even more excited if you shared your story with us as well.”
    Forget the 1 Million…
    4
    Lastly remembering Gandhi
    Mahatma Gandhi said that what you yourself do is not important, but that is very important that you do it.  This twisty phrase captures the contradictions in life, comparing the smallness of our lives to the hugeness of the universe and the problems that we face, yet relating to the tiniest insects, who individually contribute minutely to the group, but where the sum accomplishes miraculous changes.

    Jim Spath in ‘CSR and Me’
    CSR and Me

    Thanks

    sam Anbazhagan

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  6. Vladimir Jabotinsky
    The United Nations has become an extremely inefficient and corrupt organization.  It doesn’t deserve monetary, food, or SDN point donations. The colossal mismanagement of finances is mind boggling. 

    In addition to corruption, mismanagement, and vile child raping behavior in Africa, the UN has also become an ultra political anti-Western organization.  Cuba, Iran, Libya, etc. get put in charge of Human Rights and Disarmament committees.  At this rate they’ll put Syria in charge of free speech.

    Better stick to Information Technology, stay out of politics if one is so uninformed.  If you want to feed the hungry and help the poor then find worthwhile organizations that aren’t corrupt and political.  See http://www.charitynavigator.org for comperative ratings and money (mis)management information.

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    1. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
      Being an idealist is naïve or one is not sufficiently idealistic!

      Several companies are sought and are now trying to factor in ‘poor’ in their business planning. It is because of the fact that if the businesses have to survive, they all must become and be sensitive to social issues and do something about it. It is a process, just begun. It is also a path not only for excellence in performance but for exaltation and corporate glory!

      May please visit the following sites:
      http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/india/article.cfm?articleid=4336
      http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/india/article.cfm?articleid=4290
      http://www.growinginclusivemarkets.org/images/english/reports/gim_full_aug08.pdf

      One may also like to study corporate histories to know how good companies have been run and look around to see how good companies are running now – be it any sector, any size, in any country. One may start with Eli Lilly or Tata and go on and on.

      When every business is becoming sensitive to social reality, and making efforts to obviate not only the miseries but also various shortcomings, I wonder how can SAP remain a mere spectator. If SAP, on their part, do not become similarly sensitive or one notch above others, how they would know the reality in which businesses operate?

      SAP’s core competency is IT, no doubt, but one does not live for survival alone.
      There are higher aims too.

      If one is uninformed, the logical next step is to get informed; not getting away from the scene. ‘Stick to IT’ is not considered an appropriate suggestion.

      Will Jabotinsky would kind enough to change the suggestion, in case I sound right?
      Let us not simply stick to our stand, it may become ‘sticky’!

      Sam Anbazhagan

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      1. Vijay Vijayasankar
        Vladimir doesnt seem to be against WFP – just that he thinks UN is not the right organization to serve as a vehicle for charity. I have my own misgivings on several charities too, especially after I saw how they handled the money raised for tsunami. But I also have faith in the judgment of SAP’s leaders who chose UN as the way to go. I am sure that if they notice it as inefficient, they will change it too.

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        1. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan
          As per the site referred in Jabolinsky’s comment, the overall performance of WFP is 64% and with 4 stars.
          May be they can improve, but I wonder they may be marked as inefficient.

          Details : For the year 2007, ending December:

          Revenue     
          Primary Revenue     $21,028,072
          Other Revenue     $72,745
          Total Revenue     $21,100,817
               
          Expenses     
          Program Expenses     $19,224,825
          Administrative Expenses     $255,362
          Fundraising Expenses     $849,386
          Total Functional Expenses     $20,329,573
               
          http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=7696

          For kind information.
          Sam Anbazhagan

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        1. Armin Reichert
          You see where all this leads to. I did *not* misuse SDN and I did *not* make ideological statements. I just added a link to an article that sheds some light on this UN organization. The rest is your interpretation.
          (0) 
          1. Tobias Trapp
            No. This article was about a certain conference and the human rights council in general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council – but not WFP and not UN in general. Mr. Bruckner wrote:
            “Vielleicht sollte man auch darüber nachdenken, den Menschenrechtsrat aufzulösen oder in ihr nur wirklich demokratische Länder zuzulassen.”

            If you are thinking that this is a general statement about the UN, then *this* is your interpretation – or you don’t understand the difference between WFP and HRC.

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            1. Armin Reichert
              1. The subject you have chosen is an insult.

              2. My reply was directed to Vladimir who raised some valid doubts about choosing the UNO as a partner for this donation.

              3. I did not and I will never give any political statements here in SDN, whatever you interpret in my words.

              End of discussion.

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  7. Nigel James Post author
    I find it interesting that such a positive development could gather cricitism. Still I am not naive to think that everyone would love this idea.

    I think thought a Roosevelt quote it applicable here:
    “It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

    If you disagree with the program or the charity then I suggest you either ask for your contributions not to count and give generously to another charity. You obviously have the resources to do that.

    One part of me is very happy that we have made this change at SCN, the other parts realise that there is so much more to do but if we all do our part if we all contribute we can change the world.

    This is just the start.

    Kind regards,

    Nigel

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  8. Thorsten Franz
    Hi Nigel,
    a few days ago I crossed the 1.000 SCN points mark. I looked at the amount SAP donates to the food programme and thought: “My SCN blogging has contributed to that.” I could even calculate the exact amount each of my blogs has contributed.
    It motivates me to know that when working for SCN, I’m not only working for myself (fun, egoboo) and a relatively small community of like-minded IT professionals, but that something very *real* comes out of it as well.
    Cheers,
    Thorsten
    (0) 

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