Couple of the Week: Eugene and Minhee Cho

    Eugene and Minhee Cho, a Seattle-based middle-class couple, said that “traveling to a few places and seeing with [their] own eyes the faces, stories, children, and families behind the numbers that ‘wrecked’ our lives” inspired them to do their own charity work. After meeting men, women and children engaged in amazing work to lift themselves out of poverty, the couple decided in 2009 to donate their entire year’s salary worth USD68,000 to help the poor worldwide. But they didn’t stop there.

    The couple founded One Day’s Wages, an initiative that encourages people to donate their earnings for just one day, which is only about 0.4 percent of their annual income. Participants can also renew their pledges monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Donations go to organizations that are already on the ground.

    “Our pledge is that 100% of all your donations (minus transactions costs) go directly to projects and organizations doing amazing work to fight global poverty,” the couple says.

    How does a day’s earnings make a difference? “’One Day’s Wages’ breaks it down: USD20 covers clean water for one person for 20 years, USD45 can finance a child’s education tuition and USD10 can purchase a malaria net,” writes Andy Amsler for the Global Poverty website on “’One Day’s Wages’ can help take a bite out of the charitable giving deficit.”

    About the author

    • Chiden Balmes

      Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.