Starfish Treasure “Touching Lives One Gift At A Time” by George Madiou

George-MadiouStarfish Treasure “Touching Lives One Gift At A Time”

Each year we spend countless hours and money  trying to figure out the perfect gift for our loved ones and friends, a gift that will show them that we care. This year, try something different. Honor your family and friends with a gift given in their honor. A gift that will impact the life of someone in need.  Pastor Bill Mitchell, Boca Raton Community Church, Florida

Here in the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is something called Black Friday. It’s a day that kicks off a shopping frenzy for the holiday season. It’s a day that brings out the craziest of shoppers and perhaps at times the ugliest side of giving. I was sitting at church this past Sunday and I was listing to my friend Pastor Bill Mitchell preach about an effort.

So often our effort is a one to one effort. We do something and we get something in return, a one to one effort. Even in our giving, we give a gift and it benefits the one who we gave it to. Often in God’s kingdom that effort is often more that one to one. It can be one to 2, 5, 10, 50 100 or even more! This is what started me thinking about our ministry of Starfish Treasure. .

Starfish Treasure is an alternative way to celebrate giving. Rather than purchasing an expensive item for a loved one, you can choose to invest in the relationship with the loved one and simultaneously purchase a gift for someone in need in the loved one’s name. You can truly impact the life of a person in need, the life of your loved one, and your own life!

Starfish Treasure

I realized that I would be able to have an effect on this ministry far greater than my own involvement by sharing this with all of you. I called my friend John Lucas at Boca Raton Community Church to ask him a few questions and here is our conversation…………..

Hi, This is George Madiou, as you know John, I’m the Publisher of The Network Marketing Magazine  and I just want to tell you I love the concept of Starfish Treasure, and I’m excited that it’s a program that our church has started a few years ago.

I would like you to give us a little overview of what Starfish Treasure is and how you are involved, as well as how others can get involved with it.

John: Thank you George, Starfish Treasure is an alternative gifting initiative. By that I mean that for individuals who buy presents for the Christmas season for loved ones or clients, or something like that.

We are giving them an option…

Instead of going the regular route of giving, we offer something of greater significance in their gift giving. You have, in essence, three people benefiting from the gift giving in a more significant way than perhaps the exchange between two people.

By that I mean, with an alternative gifting catalog an individual would pick an item out of the catalog such as a blackboard for a school room in Haiti, or a soccer ball for a youth program in Moldova, or a sewing machine for an initiative in Zambia, Africa. You’re purchasing that gift virtually, then sending a gift card to the local recipient you would ordinarily be buying a sweater for, or that client you usually send a gift basket, letting them know that a gift was bought in their name and given to someone in need. The gift card has a picture of the object that was purchased, a brief description of how that object impacts the life of the individual or individuals.

So you see, you have the pleasure of giving a gift, the recipient has the pleasure of receiving the gift card, knowing they are in your thoughts, and then there is the person who actually gets your purchased item. This person is someone truly in need, and both you and the gift card recipient get the satisfaction of helping that individual in your life.

George: That’s Great John! One of the things that I really like was that this past Sunday, our Pastor, Bill Mitchell discussed a concept of one-to-one. Basically, what he was saying was just like you mention, me, giving a basket of fruit to a client is a one-to-one relationship. What I love about Starfish Treasure is that this is not one-to-one. In other words, if, instead of giving that basket of fruit to my client, I give a sewing machine in their name, that goes to Zambia, that sewing machine represents a tool that that Zambian family or even community can use, serving far more than one-to-one… it may be one to six, or one to twenty!

John: Yes, in essence your purchasing power is increased exponentially. One of the things that we have intentionally designed in the program is that almost every item in that catalog is renewable and sustainable so it’s not, in essence, consumable. You send somebody a basket of fruit, it has a very short shelf life. You send somebody a sweater and maybe they wear it a couple of times or they exchange it.

You send someone a sewing machine, or a blackboard to Haiti or a farm animal which is not eaten, but is used as a sustainable resource for a family.

So the sewing machine creates transformation within that family and within that community. Same thing with the farm animal. That’s why all of the gifts in the catalog are picked intentionally to be renewable and sustainable. Each gift has a big impact with a life expectancy that is so much longer than something we would typically purchase from a big box store.

George: And one of the things I love about Starfish Treasure is that there is such a wide variety of items.

Every single item is of enormous value to those who are truly in need.

One of the items is a Fruit Tree that will help an entire community! Didn’t we have a bunch of Fruit Trees that went to Africa this year?

John: Correct! Through Starfish Treasure and the efforts of the Congregation and others like your readers, buying a Sewing Machine can impact hundreds of people. They can even impact an entire community.

So all of the gifts truly has an economic and a quality of life impact on a community.

George: That’s great. And there is a wide variety of products at so many price ranges, anywhere from $5-6 for things like school supplies, up to $200 for a Donkey! So regardless of your gifting budget you will find something there in this extensive list of items.

One of the things I want to be sure to mention is that if anyone wants to know more about this or might want to contribute to Starfish Treasure during this Christmas season, all you have to do is go to http://starfishtreasure.org

In wrapping this up John, is there anything you want to leave us with?

John: Yes, there are a couple of things.  I guess from a 10,000 foot view, as you were pointing out George, there are a couple of things I think are interesting when it comes to the way this catalog was put together… We wanted to have a variety of price points. The reason for that was so that anybody who feels lead to it can participate, from children on up.

We wanted to be sure we had a variety of items so that the spectrum includes something appealing to all. Not everyone will resonate with an animal, some business people for instance, might resonate with something that makes a clear economic impact while other people might resonate with something related to education. So we have a variety of objects and price points and everything is pretty much renewable and sustainable, which was all a very intentional component when putting the catalog together.

So everyone might not realize all that was intentional about this program, but like you George, when people start to go through the catalog and see how much has been put together they start to realize the actual impact on those people in need who will use the item.

George: During this Christmas season, as we see the commercialism with the hype for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we can end up losing sight of the real meaning of the season. Yet there are literally millions of people around the world in real need.

We start to understand that this is a project where we each can make a significant difference.

We can make a gift in honor of someone we care about, and have them understand that their gift is impacting someone’s life around the world. It’s such an enormous joy that can be felt. I really appreciate the work that you do with this ministry in helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world as well as the people of Boca Raton Community Church. Thank you.

John: Thank you George. I guess it’s like our little motto says, we’re trying to make it less about spending and more about giving.

George: And I like your phrase, “Touching Lives One Gift At A Time” I really appreciate you and I’m excited about getting the word about Starfish Treasure  to our subscribers and giving them the opportunity to experience the joy that we get.

Aim High! George Madiou Publisher and Co-founder www.TheNetworkMarketingMagazine.com

 

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George Madiou

George Madiou

George Madiou is a full-blooded Entrepreneur, complete with validating credentials, Degrees in Marketing and Management from SUNY and NYU (could ya guess he's a native New Yorker!) To date George has owned over 30 businesses, and says they varied from wildly successful to outrageous learning experiences. Among other successful ventures George has achieved high pin levels in two different network marketing companies.

George loves the thrill of teaming up with great people and seeing projects come to life and that passion is responsible for this magazine getting off the ground 10 years ago. George partnered with his good friend John Milton Fogg and here we all (and we includes you the reader) are, making history happen.

George lives in a small town named Boca Raton, Florida. He says "If this isn't Heaven, I know that God at least vacations here." Without question, the joy of his life is his family. He and Debbie are celebrating their 38th anniversary this year. They have two great young adult children, His son David and daughter Sara who is married to the greatest son-in-law Greg and the new love of his life, his first grandchild Jacob David!
George Madiou
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