Why your care spreads further than you’d imagine

Grandad Ron ponders the six degrees of separation, and how small business expense tracking can change the lives of people we’re never likely to meet…

“Well, who would have thought it,” Grandad Ron said to no-one in particular, putting down Grandma Lorna’s iPad.

Looking over to his wife, engrossed in a TV drama, he said: “I said, who would have…”

She squeezed the pause button on the TV remote, and the on-screen character froze in the act of pushing open a door. She said: “I heard you the first time, but the action’s getting tense. Who would have thought what?”

“Our boy Ollie is supporting children’s homes in Africa by using ExpenseOnDemand to track his business expenses. You know, the ExpenseOnDemand app? It proves we’re all no further apart than six degrees of separation, even on different continents.”

“Old news,” said Lorna. “You’re talking about the Footprints Orphanage in the Shimba Hills in Kenya. Charity started by a woman from Burton-on-Trent. Kerry Watson. Bought some land and went on from there. ExpenseOnDemand shares its monthly profit as part of the ‘Giving Back’ initiative. We know the story,” she added, pressing the remote again.

“I am, but I’m not,” said Ron.

Lorna stopped the hero of her TV drama in his tracks for a second time. He still hadn’t got through the door. “You’re talking in riddles, but I’ll humour you. How are you talking about it, but not talking about it?”

“Well, running an orphanage isn’t just about shelter and somewhere to sleep and regular meals and education,” he said. “The authorities need to be certain they’re being run properly, and the children really are safe.”

Lorna said nothing, but her finger hovered over the ‘play’ button.

“And because Footprints is doing its social care so well, and being so thorough with the documents, the Government in Nairobi has got it involved in teaching other places how to work to the same standard. It’s been chosen as a benchmark for other homes to work up to, and it’s hosted a training day to show them how.”

“So how does Ollie managing his business expenses with the ExpenseOnDemand expense management app thingy make that happen,” Lorna almost regretted asking.

“For a start, any volunteer can make a better job of what they do with a bit of money behind them. The positive effects of willpower and effort are always magnified by money, because it makes things possible.

Six degrees of separation
“Ollie uses the app. He pays the ExpenseOnDemand people. That’s one degree. They give some money to Footprints Orphanage every month. Two degrees. They do a good job, and the Kenya Government knows about them. Three degrees. The Government sends other children’s homes to learn from Footprints. Four. Children in the other children’s homes have a better life as a result. Five. That’s how close we are to each other. Children in Africa have a better life because Ollie saves money at work. Who would have thought that was even possible?”

“I suppose it’s a bit magical, if you put it like that,” Lorna conceded. “And it all happens every month because someone wants to help others. Doesn’t take much to donate, does it?”

“Not at all,” said Ron. “But it would be better if more people understood how they could help children in Africa by saving themselves cash at the same time because they were using online expenses software.”

“It would,” conceded Lorna. “Since you’ve got my iPad there, you could write a blog about it for the ExpenseOnDemand Giving Back pages. And I could watch this crime drama unfold on TV. But whilst you’re doing it, don’t think out loud, there’s a good chap…”


Picture: Andrii Savchenko | Dreamstime