With just one drop of water, financial support or volunteer sweat equity, you can bring a flood of help to the poorest of places in the world.
One Small Drop, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2008 by Tammie Jo Berg on this belief.
Berg has traveled to Tanzania eight times in the past five years to help make a difference.
One Small Drop began working with four community women’s groups to identify their strengths, assets and areas of concern. Victims of HIV/AIDS, widows and orphans were the major part of that effort, according to Berg.
This past summer Charlene Reiter joined Berg in traveling to the remote regions in southwest Tanzania.
“It was just amazing to see the women so excited to be working on projects that benefit the widows and orphans in the area,” said Reiter.
“Over and over I heard, ‘When you empower the women, you empower the family,’” said Berg.
“The women identified sustainable projects, developed plans, accountability and follow through procedures,” she said. “They have begun to see the fruits of their labors over the past four years and have even started their own micro-loan projects to local widows from their profits.”
“Surrounding communities heard of these projects and invited One Small Drop to visit,” Berg said. “As of July, One Small Drop is working with 11 different groups.”
Both Berg and Reiter were able to see firsthand that small amounts of capital can produce substantial benefits.
“Even though they have very little, their generosity to us was extremely humbling,” said Reiter. “They welcomed us with open arms and inspired me to come back and do something that will benefit their enthusiasm; to make a better life for themselves.”
That’s where the Winter Garage Sale comes in.
Reiter, who usually travels to Texas during the winter months, had decided not the go this year. In place of that, she is concentrating her efforts benefiting One Small Drop. Mary Jo Bloom will assist her with the project.
A garage sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Lessons from the Art studio, 189 N. Main St., Iola.
“People love rummage sales,” she said. “There aren’t many opportunities to pursue rummage and garage sales in the winter, so we are hoping that this will draw a lot of people in.”
“We are still looking items for the sale; books, clothing, small furniture and household items can be donated,” said Reiter.
Anyone interested in donating to the effort can call 715-572-8855.
Funds raised from the sale will provide capital to get projects off the ground.