Help Wanted: Choosing a Birthday Cause

If you’ve been around here very long you know I like to run. I like to travel. And I like to give away money to people who are changing the world.

One thing you may not know yet is that I also really really like to celebrate my birthday. I’m not the kind of girl who likes to have just a little party with hats and cupcakes. I believe in birthday events.

Lucky for you, my birthday isn’t until October. But in the spirit of event planning, I’m already thinking about it, and I need your help.

If you were here last year, you’ll remember that we used my birthday as an excuse to get a $5000 matching grant for Sak Saum’s work to prevent human trafficking in Cambodia.

Well, this year, I’m turning nearly a significant age, so I’m upping the ante. I’m combining all the things I like to do into a birthday extravaganza. I’ll be traveling to Chicago (which is pretty far from Cambodia) and celebrating the day by running the Chicago Marathon- a race I’ve always had on my non-bucket-list. And of course, what better excuse than running a grueling 26.2 miles to raise money for a cause that is changing the world.

This week, as I laced up my shoes for my first miles of training I started contemplating what cause I wanted to run for. It’s hard to pick a favorite when you love all 366. So then I thought, why not ask all of you!

Only 121 days til my birthday run. If you were running a marathon, what cause would you choose? Or better yet, if you were going to #give10 to a birthday girl running a marathon what cause would compel you to reach deep in your pockets?

Let me know in the comments what cause you’d nominate and we’ll have a vote off. It doesn’t matter if it’s a project we’ve already given to or not.

Thanks!

halfway to awesome ::

Big thanks to all of you who joined this week’s virtual birthday fun to raise our first $1260 to help girls and women in Cambodia by multiplying awesome.

We’ve made half way to our total goal. Since every single dollar you gave (or will give) will magically turn into two dollars through a matching grant, this means we’ve already have $2520 dollars going to educate villages in the prevention of human trafficking through the work of Sak Saum.

 

“If your birthday is over, how will we raise the second half?” you may be wondering. Do not despair, since I’m older and wiser, I’ve got a master plan. (But please keep reading because you’re part of it)

 

According to  my calculations it took only 25 of you to raise what we have so far in nearly one day! And whether the gift was 10$ or $100 it all added up quickly (and made for a very exciting birthday).

 

The best part about this is that there are still hundreds of you reading this who haven’t given yet, but have the will and the means to do so. (If this is you, you have permission to stop reading right now and donate immediately).

 

Sometimes we think, if there are hundreds of others doing this, maybe my single contribution isn’t all that important. But that’s exactly opposite of the truth. If everyone does something, big things happen. If everyone assumes someone else will do it, nothing happens and we’re all left to wonder why.

 

I’m going to keep doing my part and talk about our Multiply Amazing project for Sak Saum online and off for as long as it takes to reach the goal. Since I’m the kind of person who really likes to celebrate their birthday for as long as possible, I’ve set the online birthday fundraiser to go for another 38 days.I figure a 38 year old girl should be entitled to at least that many days to celebrate. And, in November, we’ll also be organizing the sale of some amazing Sak Saum bags in the USA to help our efforts. If you like handbags, you’ll love their fall 2011 collection.

 

Here’s what you can do:
  • If you haven’t given yet and want to join the exclusive club of people funding this project you can do that right now here.  (If you can’t give online for whatever reason, drop me an email and we’ll sort it out for you)
  • Share the love by sharing the link. You can help us multiply our reach by introducing the project to friends we don’t know yet.
  • Buy a bag or sell a bag. It’s almost Christmas after all, we can help you get your shopping done while you help change lives! (details coming soon).
Together we will make a difference. Thanks for being awesome.

Help Wanted: multiplying awesome

Today is my birthday and in addition to giving 10$, I want to raise $2490.

Every day in the #give10 world, we’ve done the same thing. We find an incredible project changing the world for good, give them a bit of cash, and then tell you about it, in the hopes that spreading the word of good work will in someway multiply its effect.  It’s been awesome, and because we’re in the business of multiplying awesome, today we’re starting out something brand new.

Drumroll: We’re launching our own little micro-project experiment and we’re asking you to #give10.

No, we’re not becoming our own charity or asking you to give money to us.  Something really amazing recently happened and  we want you to be a part of the rest of the story.

Here’s how it began: One day, many moons ago, in the early days of #give10,  I met up with a great organization in Cambodia called Sak Saum. “Sak Saum” is named after the Khmer language word for “Dignity”, and the people who run this project are in the business of restoring freedom and dignity to women who have come out of situations of human trafficking and forced labour.  They offer a one year program to rescued and at-risk women, and have built a place where women can heal and learn while gaining practical vocational skills.The women sew beautiful bags which are in turn sold to fund the project to help more women.

 

So, I liked them, gave them 10$, and posted it on Facebook like I do every day. But on the day I gave to Sak Saum, something different happened.  Someone else caught a vision. This vision turned into an opportunity for a matching grant for Sak Saum.

 

Like I said before, giving is contagious.

 

To make a long story short, our 10$ is about to multiply 500 times.  This is the kind of math that I like. If you’re quick with numbers, you’ve figure out that we’re helping Sak Saum get a total grant of $5000. How it works is that the #give10 community (that’s you and me) raises $2500, and the organization funding the match (The Antioch Group- a.k.a. TAG) doubles it. And, since I’ve already given the first $10, we’ve only got $2490 to go. More simple math.

 

And what difference will this $5000 make in the world?  Over the course of the year, the women of Sak Saum will organize and conduct events in poor villages where other women and girls (and even sometimes men) are at risk of being trafficked. Their goal is educate other people to prevent them from winding up in the dangerous and difficult situations they know first hand. At the price tag of about $200 per event, 25 communities will be reached.  I’d say that’s a bargain when it comes to changing lives.

 

So, what does this all mean?

It’s simple, I need your help to raise $2490 by mid November. In honor of celebrating my 38th today, I’ve set a 38 day goal for our campaign. I think we can do it quicker than that.

Here’s how you can help.
  • Go here and #give10 or 20, or 100.  If you’ve cared enough to read this far, you definately care enough to donate the cost of 2 mocha frappucinos.
  • Tell someone else about it. One thing we’ve learned through this project is that other people care more when you care too.
  • Give me money for my birthday. Since I’m turning 38 and mostly have everything a nomadic girl could need (other than a tall dark and handsome traveling companion) I’m going to give all my birthday money to this project.
  • If you want to give, but online giving doesn’t work for you, drop me a line (stephanie.zito@gmail.com) a comment, or a tweet and I’ll make it work
And what will you get?
  • The joy of knowing you’ve made the world better today
  • Some follow up reports of how the project goes and how lives are changing because of it
  • My gratitude, a shout out on Twitter & Facebook, and even a special surprise for some of you hi-rollers
So, what are you waiting for? At 10$ a piece it will only take 250 of us to change someone’s world.

Check out the Sak Saum project & #give10 here -> http://www.razoo.com/story/Saksaum

‘Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.’ – Edmund Burke