300 cheers to marbles4ms ::

On 25 December, Give10 celebrated its 300th consecutive day of giving away 10$.

In the Christmas giving spirit, and Give10’s 100 day tradition, we asked you which Give10 project you wanted to see get an extra $300 donation.

Over on our Facebook page, you nominated six inspiring projects from our first 300 days of giving, and from boxing day until New Year’s Eve the Give10 community voted to select the winner.

All I can say is WOW! More than 950 of you voted. Two very awesome projects, on opposite sides of the globe, Marbles4MS and the Lamba School Playground Challenge were neck in neck through the last hours of 2011.

While, truly all of the six nominated projects are winners for what they do, Marbles4MS rallied hard to keep its lead, and took home the 300$ just before the clock struck midnight in New York. Congratulations Marbles4MS!

The Inspiration of Marbles4MS

Just a few weeks before our Christmas nominations took place, Cecil, a blogger over at istoryaa posed this question Facebook:  “Is there one person who helped change your life, perspective or direction this 2011? ” I thought about all the interesting people and projects that passed my way this year, and my response was this:

“There’s a kid name Connor who raises money for MS because he wants to help find a cure for his mom who has the disease. In all my giving 10$ this year, he’s one that’s really inspired me in my mission to help everyone believe that giving a little together can make a big difference.

I’ve never met Conner personally. I discovered his project on Twitter, and sent him 10$ day 136 of the Give10 project. Over time I’ve watched the updates his dad sends, and I’ve come to believe that he is a pretty amazing kid.

Connor saw a problem in his world that he wants to make better, and he’s using the skills and resources he has as a six year old (with the help of his awesome family) to do what he can to make a difference. If only we could all believe in the possibility of change and act on it with the hope of a child.

While Give10 started as my own experiment, over the past 300 days it has transformed into a movement to spread this same message: Each of us can make a difference for causes we care about, no matter how big or small our bank account is.

Connor inspired me this year, and I was excited to press the DONATE button on the Marbles4MS webpage to give the winning donation as my very last donation of 2011!

The Other Winners

Funny thing is, Cecil, the blogger who asked that question on Facebook, is pretty inspirational herself.  She’s also the founder of the Lamba School Playground Challenge, our runner up project that managed to get nearly 400 votes campaigning from their mobile phones in a remote Philippine village on New Year’s Eve. While they didn’t win this time, we surely haven’t seen the last of them. In fact, we’re already working on a plan to help make sure they get that playground built in 2012.

Truth is, all of the projects that were nominated are pretty awesome, led by some insanely inspiring people, and worth learning about. Here’s there links so you can check them out, and see if you want to give10 yourself to any or all of them in 2012:

Marbles4MS

Lamba School Playground Challenge, Philippines

Chab Dai, Cambodia

Welbodi Pediatric Clinic, Sierra Leone

Children’s Voice, Congo

Destination Paradise, Belize & the world

Thanks to everyone for your votes and for the part you played in making the world better in 2011.  Happy New Year!

Who inspired you in 2011?

 

PS. If you’ve discovered the Give10 project through the 300 day giving contest, and are wondering what we’re all about, read here to see how it all started.

 

blue christmas ::

I thought a lot about Elvis on Christmas this year.  Drinking pina coladas by the poolside, the king’s voice played on repeat in my head…. “I’ll have a blue Chistmas without you….”

Although I’m not sure Elvis and I were thinking about the same shade of blue in relation to the holiday, I did have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas….

While Elvis seemed more of the melancholy blue suede type, my blue Chrismas wasn’t the shade of sorrows.

My Christmas blue was serene, peaceful  and refreshing.   The blue of waves and dolphins. The blended color of sea and sky,  and their melted hue at the horizon.

It was curry shared with new friends on the beach for Christmas eve dinner and Christmas morning skyping across the sea to loved ones far away.  It was a Christmas feast at the Italian restaurant that was so good if you ate there once, you’d eat there three times, a gorgeous sunset, and a boxing day dive under the sea complete with Christmas tree worms covering the corals in their merriest shades of yellow, orange, and white.

My blue Christmas was one of thanks – thankful for family and friends across the blue ocean, thankful for a new year with a new start in Cambodia and most thankful that there was a real King who came at Christmas, and not just the one who sang about it being blue.

“Oh! darkly, deeply, beautifully blue.  As someone somewhere sings about the sky” – Lord Byron