Though they have different reasons for giving, Yasmeen and Darren agree that joining the Anera Visionaries is about setting people up for better futures.
“It’s always been about the children,” says Yasmeen Shousher Moore, who has been an Anera monthly donor since 2008. “I saw one of Anera’s videos featuring children talking about what they want to be when they grow up. I always picture those kids when I think about my monthly gift.”
“For me, it’s the tangibility of the projects,” chimes in Darren Moore, Yasmeen’s husband. Darren joined his wife as a monthly donor in 2012, just a year after the two got married. “Whether it’s installing a greenhouse so a woman in Gaza can grow her own food, or vocational training so people can maintain large-scale infrastructure projects in their communities, there’s no fluff when it comes to Anera’s projects.”
Both Yasmeen and Darren agree: Being part of Anera’s monthly donor community is something they feel good about, year round. “It’s a selfless community, helping an organization with a mission that’s not at all self-serving.” says Darren. “In this day and age, with so much money going into politics and everyone trying to further their own agenda, I want my donation to go to an organization that’s not furthering any self-interest or agenda. It’s just about the people.”
Envisioning the Future
What’s really important to this Visionary couple is that they’re helping set people up for better futures, in which they have some agency in their own lives.
“If you don’t have basic health care, you don’t have education, you’re stagnant,” says Yasmeen. “You can’t better yourself or your family.”
“People in the places where Anera works are dependent on outside forces, they’re in situations beyond their control,” adds Darren. “Whether it’s the price of a lime in the market or the electricity getting turned off without a moment’s notice, these communities are always being controlled by others.”
“Plus, we don’t want to be one-hit wonders, ” Darren jokes. “But really, for a lot of Millennials, I think we spend our money differently than other generations. I look at my expenses and I say, ‘OK, I think I can give up a few cups of coffee a month to help some kids. For most of us, it’s a relatively small donation for such a huge impact.’”
Yasmeen notes that it’s important to her that she knows Anera can count on her money. “Big gifts are great, of course, but I feel good knowing my donation is helping Anera plan for the future. They can count on my gift each month and plan accordingly.”
A Caring & Diverse Community
While Yasmeen has roots in Palestine and Lebanon, Darren describes himself as “just a white American guy.”
“It’s not just about people with a connection to the Middle East. Anyone, regardless of ethnicity, background or age, can be part of this community,” Darren says — adding that it’s really important to get a diverse set of donors and supporters involved. It creates diversity in innovation and thought, and a undeniable solidarity that crosses the traditional lines.
The couple is proud to be connected to other donors who are forward-thinking and act on their concern for people who need help to rebuild their lives. The two have attended local Anera events together and hope to have more opportunities to get to know other Visionaries in the near future.
“What’s really great is knowing that all of our donations add up,” says Yasmeen. “Together, we’re working toward something greater.”