The Power of a Mug

8:49 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Every couple of years I like to get a new travel mug. My beloved old one with penguins in a snow scene that is printed on a metallic background is getting cracked and leaky. As much as I hate to see it go, I also dislike pouring hot tea on myself on accident. Luckily the great breaking of the travel mug coincided with a holiday that I know and love, Christmas. For the past few months, I've been lusting after a particular travel mug found at most Starbucks locations. Being in the land of the unemployed made the mug seem just out of reach for me. I felt like it wasn't meant to be for me but maybe for someone else?

In sub-Saharan Africa, 22 million people live with HIV. 22 million people, can you even begin to think about that number in your head? It's huge, it's mind boggling, but it isn't just a number. Each number stands for a person, a person with a heart who is holding onto their last bit of hope. They don't have the resources like we have to go to a hospital, to get medication, to stay alive for another day. I understand that our health care system is currently in shambles, but what the people in Africa are enduring is far worse.

I made the decision this evening that the travel mug that would make me the happiest would be the Product (RED) travel mug from Starbucks. I understand that only $1 US dollar goes towards fighting AIDS in Africa, but it is better than nothing. For 40 cents a day, two antiretroviral pills can be provided to a person living with HIV. In reality, my travel mug provided two and a half days worth of treatment for one person living with HIV. Two and a half days, big deal right? Well think about all of the other Product (RED) items that are being purchased around the world? Those dollars add up, they can provide a person with an extra day of a healthy life. Being chronically ill, I understand the importance of having one day when I feel completely healthy. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering a person endures while living with HIV, especially not in Africa.

My contribution may be small to this global effort, but I made a conscious effort. I decided that I could purchase any travel mug in a certain price range, but I chose to purchase this mug. I know my donation from my mug will not bring an immediate end to the AIDS crisis around the world. But I hope that with my tiny donation, it will help to keep one person alive for two and a half days. I hope that other people's purchases will help to keep that one person, but other people alive for many more days. Maybe, just maybe, one of those people will be able to come up with an idea, changing the rules of this cruel game, and maybe save the world from this global epidemic.

I may not be saving the world, but I could be saving the one person who could save the world.



Cynthia said...

All the product red items purchased all over the U.S. will make a difference. Every little bit helps.