About Mike Rusch

Based in Downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, Mike is the Chief Executive Officer at Pure Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to building world class technology solutions for Nonprofit Organizations, Individual Fundraising, and Community Advocacy.

Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for Help One NowMercy House GlobalCanopy Northwest Arkansas99 Balloons@HopeMob, Laundry Love, and Serve Northwest Arkansas.  

Prior to Pure Charity, Mike worked for Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Company, Hershey Foods, and served in the US Marine Corps. Mike is a husband of 22 years, father of 4, a lover of a great story, and never too far from a fly-fishing river.  

...on the streets of Addis Ababa

as I was downloading video from my camera last weekend, I was able to post the video of the boy in Addis Ababa that I mentioned in my Ethiopia - Day 4 post.  This is still hard to watch…

…from post on Day 4

After lunch we traveled back the guest house for some time with Sosi and then out into Addis to try and do a little shopping in order to return to the States with gifts and memories.

…but this is a moment that I will also never forget.

As we waited for the traffic light to turn green (it seemed to take an eternity), this boy who could not be any older than John Michael came to our van window begging for money. As I reached into my pocket, the driver asked me not to give the child anything because the traffic police could fine our driver (I assume the police do this so that the children will not run into the heavy traffic to beg).

And so with the equivalent of only one US dollar in my hand, I turned to the boy and looked into his eyes to motion that I could not give it to him. For what felt like the next hour, he looked back into my eyes and begged for this money…

…I was broken, and not because I could not give him the money. I was broken because the eyes of this child held no promise for a better tomorrow. One US dollar or even a hundred US dollars could not do anything for this child that would make a meaningful difference. What this child needed was a home with a mother and a father so that he could be a child. And there in that moment, I saw the face of the children who by some difference in circumstances never made it to the Care Centers I had visited just hours before.

…I was broken because even though I can’t help him in that moment, I can help him and the thousands of children just like him.

It simply does not have to be this way.

The World of 100