week #2: mothers, marbles & fighting MS

When I remembered it was mother’s day, it wasn’t hard for me to pick which project I wanted to feature this week for #give10 x 10. Today we’re going to meet Connor and hear about his dream for his mom and how he became a world changer at age five.

You briefly met Marbles4MS when we first gave 10$ in July, and again in December when more than 1,000 of you voted on who should get an extra special donation on our 300th day of giving.

The thing I love about this story is that Marbles4MS isn’t a big organization’s fundraising campaign.  It is a five year old’s idea for change put into action. You see, Connor’s mom has MS and he wants to do what he can to help.

“Our project is raising money and awareness to cure our Mom and MS forever.  We try to inspire people to help us and we think it works.  Little kids can make a big difference, ” is how he described it.

Connor makes paintings using marbles rolled with paint in cigar boxes and sells them with proceeds going to the National MS Society so the “scientist guys can fix Mommy and everyone with Multiple Sclerosis”.  In its first year, Connor and his 9-yr old brother Jackson raised $45,000 to help find a cure.

We asked Connor to #give10 answers about his project. (no non-profit marketing spin here, just straight from the heart of a now six year old).

1. Last year #give10 gave $310 to Marbles for MS ($10 + $300 for our 300th day prize). What has this done?

The $310 donation was sent to the National MS Society.  They spend their money on scientists to find a cure and on helping people and families that live with MS.

2. What are you most excited about in the year to come. 

In the next year, we’re really excited to share our story with new people because just hearing it sometimes makes them feel better, and to see where our new adventures take us!

3. What do you think is the role of the individual who can only make a small donation?

For our charity, their role is everything.  When we sell a $2 bookmark, that sale is just as important to us as any donation.  That person helped and that’s what matters.

4. How can a small 10$ donation make a difference in achieving your mission?

In that $10 donation, there could be the dollar that finds the cure.

5. What is one thing you wish that the people who give to your cause knew or understood better?

We wish people knew how hard MS is to live with and that it’s their support that gives us the strength to keep going.

6. What do you think stops people from giving to a charity?

Maybe people can’t really connect with the cause, or maybe they think it would take more money than they have to make a difference.  But it could be their dollar that finds a cure.

7. What do you think motivates the people who do donate to give again?

When a charity tries new ideas to raise money, maybe the same people will be newly inspired to give again.

8. What did your project accomplish that you are you most proud of this year?

We are most proud of 2 things:  being invited to the National MS Conference in Dallas. We met so many people who are trying to cure this disease and made a lot of new friends.  The other thing we are really proud of is making a painting for the CEO of Valero Corporation in San Antonio.  We (Connor) told him it was going to cost $10,000 and he wrote a check to the MS Society.

9. What are three projects (other than your own) you would want other donors to learn about and support?

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation because she’s like us, making a dollar at a time.
  • Small animal rescue groups since so many animals need help.
  • And we’d like people to know about Make-A-Wish Foundation.  It must be so hard to be sick when you’re a kid, so it’s important to make a dream come true for them.

10. What is one question people usually ask you about your project, and how do you answer it?

Most people ask us when we’ll be done with our project. We tell them we won’t stop until there’s a cure.


You can find Marbles for MS online and buy your own original artwork from Connor here: www.marbles4ms.org

Facebook: Marbles 4 MS

Twitter: @Marbles4MS

Youtube: Marbles4MS

I have to say, that the only thing more amazing than giving 10$ to change is giving 10$ to a 5 year old world changer. Watch out MS, the future is committed to finding a cure.

Happy Mother’s Day to Connor’s mom and the rest of you out there!




It’s here: #give10, Year 2.

Ever since we finished up year one of #give10, I’ve been master planning what to do in the way of giving for the next 365 days. Thanks to all of you who’ve been  patiently waiting and asking. An even more gigantic thanks to those of you who’ve been keeping #give10 going with your own joy and generosity while we’ve been quiet.

So, what have I really been doing since March 1? Well, after a whole year of giving every day and staying up way too late at night scouring the globe for people changing the world, I needed a really long nap.  After that I did a little #give10 year in review to define what made giving away money everyday so awesome this past year. I tried to narrow it to a top three- but it was so amazing, I couldn’t pick fewer than four reasons it rocked my universe:

Most amazing things about #give10 year one:

1. Daily discovering all the new projects, causes, people and organizations making a difference blew me away!

2. Old and new friends caught onto the giving spirit in big and small ways. I was especially amazed by generous strangers.

3. Hearing actual stories of change and connecting with the causes we’d invested in.

4. Practical lessons I learned about the do-gooding world from being a daily donor. (And I thought I knew it all from working in non-profits for so long)

I decided these four things should make up the foundation for the journey we took for #give10’s second year, so I put these lessons into my magic hat and had a long think about what would make an amazing giving year sequel.

First, the Goal

Every good plan must have a goal. Last year’s #give10 goal was to prove to myself that even after 15 years of working in the humanitarian world, do-gooding is still worth it and giving can bring change. Goal accomplished.  This year, the goal is less about me. I’m going to keep going because I want to prove three things to you and to the disbelieving universe:

1. There are amazing people changing the world- and anyone can become one of them.

2. Causes, projects, and charities can be good and accountable.

3. Changes can happen.

So, here’s the giving plan

In simple, we’re going to keep giving to more new projects and give more to the projects we already love.

One time a week we’ll give 10$ to a new project just like we did everyday last year. Since we love discovering and sharing new causes, we really want to keep doing this even though we’re switching the rest of things up a bit.

The new part of the #give10 project will focus on learning more about the most awesome projects we discovered last year. We’ll be picking the top 52 causes that have already put last year’s $10 to good use and explore them a little more. We’ll focus on one of these projects per week, make a little bit bigger investment in their work, and take some time to learn about their stories and what makes them so great. It’s a #give10 x 10 of sorts: 1 cause x 100$ a week x 52 weeks.

And all those practical lessons I learned last year about the wonderful world of giving and non-profit accountability and social media for good? Watch this space.

This is awesome. What can I do?

When I talk about #give10, I always say we, because I truly believe it’s all of us that need to each do what we can to make a difference. If you want to be an active part of the amazing year to come, here’s a few practical ways you can help:

1. Pass it on: share the #give10 story and come back often to see what we’ve got to say (or sign up so you don’t miss anything)

2. Join the others who’ve caught the giving fever and try your own #give10 (or some version of it) for a day, a week, a year.

3. Share the projects you love. Write it in the comments, on twitter or facebook. We’re looking for at least 52 more great ones or nominate your favorites causes we’ve already given to be part of the #give10x10.

Let the giving begin!

February #give10 roundup ::

With all the excitement of marking the one year anniversary of #give10, we forgot to post the round up of all the world changing causes we gave 10$ to in February.

February was a flurry. Having only 29 days left on the giving calendar made it challenging to decide which causes would make the cut for year one. I was also on the road in the South Pacific for most of these days, making it even more exciting to mix up the final year choices with giving off the grid.

When I started this project many people asked how I would possibly find 366 projects to give to. Truth is, there’s more than enough projects out there to pick from. I’ve got a long list I haven’t given to yet to roll over into year two. And after we posted Molly’s story, a few more of you amazing people signed up to try out #give10 for yourselves. Every day there are new people digging up new causes in their own neighborhoods and around that globe that I hadn’t even thought about! (Be sure you’re following #give10 in your choice of social networks and cheer on our new do-gooders).

For now, here’s the February list. We’re almost done with our #take10 anniversary break and we’ll be sharing the #give10 year 2 plan very soon. Don’t miss it.

  1. Mama Hope 
  2. Childrens Hospital of Alabama
  3. ToGetHer there, Girl Scouts
  4. Iris the Dragon 
  5. Tirzah International 
  6. RISC Cambodia 
  7. Keep Your Neighbor Warm Fuel Assistance 
  8. Bike out hunger 
  9. CURE Childhood Cancer 
  10. Diaper Love 
  11. Project I see you 
  12. Purposeful Youth Azerbaijan
  13. AdvocAid 
  14. Big City Mountaineers 
  15. Virgin Atlantic Change for Children 
  16. CRS– Catholic Relief Services
  17. Magpas (to sponsor a kid sleeping in his hammock for a year in honor of his sister)
  18. Open Education Vanuatu 
  19. Barrels of Hope 
  20. Got Passport 
  21. Small World Cambodia
  22. We Women 
  23. Kid’s Peace 
  24. One Girl 
  25. Sole Hope 
  26.  CBM (I had to give through their US site, but learned about them through their work in Australia)
  27. ADRA for their projects in the Solomon Islands
  28.  Children’s Miracle Network (for IHOP’s National Pancake Day in the US)
  29.  Urban Light 

Who’d we miss?  We might be done with the daily giving for right now, but there’s going to be lots more giving in the future. If we haven’t supported your favorite cause yet, we want to know about them!

#giving #giving… one year gone ::

It’s official, I’ve successfully given away 10$ every day for the entire last year! (insert cheers here) Yep, that’s 366 donations to 366 different causes. And right now,  there are people out there all over the world using my 10$ to do work to make the world more amazing. I couldn’t be happier.

It’s great to have the sense of accomplishment you get when you complete a mission to do something everyday for a year. But the truth is, the greatest accomplishment I feel today isn’t the fact that I’m finished. Rather it is a feeling of overwhelming gratitude that I got to give, and that before me is a clean slate to choose how I will continue to live generously in the coming year.

This time a year ago, I felt discouraged with the world, so I started an experiment to see if  I could really make a difference. A month into giving away 10$ a day, I realized that what was changing most was me. I started #give10 because I wanted to share this with everyone. Giving is life changing and I decided that I wanted to start a moment of generosity.

Highlights of the #give10 year

– Giving away $3,660 dollars – $10 dollars at a time (for causes on 6 continents)

– Building a community of people who care about d0-gooding (we’ve met so many amazing people on FB, Twitter, G+ and LifeKraze)

-Raising $5000 for the Sak Saum anti-trafficking micro-giving experiment

-Celebrating Welbodi clinic on our 10oth day with 100$, Laos Rehab Project on our 200th day with 200$, and Marbles 4 MS on our 300th day with 300$

-Supporting projects and communities in countries where I traveled to this year

– Meeting Molly, and knowing that there are at least four people in the universe who will continue to #give10, even when I take a break.

And, speaking of taking breaks, now that the #give10 year is finished, what will happen next?

Well, this might be the last day of #give10’s first year, but trust me, the giving is just getting started. We will soon be revealing what is going to happen in  #give10 part 2, but   first I’m going to do something out of the ordinary. Since I’ve been giving 10 for so long, this week I’ve decide that I’m  going to take take ten days off.  And then we’re coming back, and its going to be amazing!

In the meantime, watch this space because we’ll be changing things up a bit in the coming week…

Thanks for being part of the #give10 adventure!f

7 days of giving to go, and meeting Molly ::

There is only one week left until we reach the one year anniversary of give10!

Exactly 43 days ago, I challenged you to join me for the last 50 days of giving, and I’m pretty excited that some of you were brave enough to actually take on my dare for do-gooding. (It is never to late to start, so if you want to take on the last 7 days of giving, get your wallet out today.)

In the meantime, I want to introduce you to Molly. I met Molly in November. She’s an early adaptor of the #give10 matching challenge. Not only did Molly agree to give 10$ away every day for the final 50 of the #give10 project, she jumped on the bandwagon of giving in December and has decided to take on the #give10 challenge for the whole year.

Molly is pretty awesome, but she isn’t a super hero or anything. Just like me, she’s committed to do her part in being generous and making a difference everyday.

I promised you Molly’s story in December’s roundup, and since she’s a blogger herself (over at A Foreign Land), I asked if she’d write a post about why she decided to join the #give10 movement. Here’s what she said ->

I’ve got a confession to make. I mean, I know we’re only just meeting, so sharing a secret about myself might be a little bit forward. But in truth, I’ll feel a whole lot better about this post if I’m upfront and honest from the get go.  Here’s the confession: I have serious cyber stalking tendencies.  I wouldn’t classify my tendencies as creepy or inappropriate, but I’ll Google the heck out of someone if I find them interesting enough.  I’ll track them down on every social media platform out there so I can check out their prom pictures, figure out what book they’re reading and find out if they follow any Kardashians on Twitter. (Mark my word, you can tell a lot about a person by the number of Kardashians in their Twitter feed.) And that, my friends, is how I got involved with the Give10 project. I was introduced to Stephanie through a mutual friend and after dinner I went home and put my stalker skills to use. (For the record: No Kardashians but a surprising amount of Charlie’s Angels inspired posing going on in her pictures.)

And boy am I glad I did. From the moment I read the introductory Give10 post here on wanderingzito.com, I was hooked. I quickly decided to commit to a month of daily giving. Now, after having wrapped up a December’s worth of Give10, I’m amped and ready to keep going into 2012.  I mean, they don’t call Stephanie an “idea woman” for no reason. Give10, is for me, an innovative and fresh way to look at charitable giving.  It has flipped my proverbial script by bringing it to the forefront of my mind.  Giving is no longer analogous to paying the electric bill. (Confession #2 – I have, in the past, written charitable giving checks feeling as much fervor and joy as I do paying our power company. Sad, I know.) But no more! Now each day I have an opportunity to research, discover and partner with a different organization. The variety is invigorating.  And quite often the challenge makes it even more fun. Who knew? Giving is fun. Plus, the process has made me keenly aware of the need that I see, hear and read about. Suddenly, I am on the hunt for new ways to spend the daily $10. Believe me when I tell you, it has been energizing, exciting and eye opening.  And I can attest, having spent some time doing not-for-profit work, $10 can go a long way. Therefore, I’m confident that our seemingly small gifts are in no way small to the recipients.

When I mentioned to my husband that I thought we should continue this past December he asked, “Will there be enough organizations to keep it up?” And if I’ve learned anything in the past month I’ve learned that, YES, there are more than enough worthy, reputable, outstanding organizations for us to keep going and going and going. So who’s in?

Will you join us for the last 7 days?

January #give10 roundup ::

sure, January was a long time ago. I’m behind on the updating you with my round up of where we gave for month 11.  My excuse is that I’ve been busy planning some pretty amazing things for when we finish out final month of our one year of giving away 10$ away every day.  And that day is coming oh, so soon! The most important thing is that even when we’re too busy to write, we’re never too busy to give.

Stay tuned. Big things are on their way in the world of #give10. In the meantime, check out the 31 causes we supported in January:

Did we miss your favorite cause? Let us know what it is.

the final 50 giving challenge: are you in?

If you new here, first thing you should know is that I’m a giver, and I’m on a mission to spread generosity. Be warned, you will be motivated to loosen the grip on your wallet by the end of this post.

For the the past 315 days, I’ve been giving away 10 dollars a each day to support lots of amazing causes. I only have 50 days left to give, and now it’s time for you to join me.

Last March I started the #give10 project as a personal experiment because I felt overwhelmed and disillusioned with the growing world of charities. I wanted to see if giving really does make a difference. It’s been more awesome than I ever imagined.

Over the past 10 months so many of you have messaged to say you’ve been inspired by #give10. You’ve matched my donations to causes you’ve like, you voted for your favorite projects every 100 days and a couple of you have even tried it out for a month or so yourselves.

Now that we’re down to the final fifty days I have an idea:

Starting on January 11, I want you to join me  for the rest of the adventure.

What’s in it for you? You get to change the world, inspire yourself and inspire others. (and get an amazing start your 2012)

What’s in it for me? Absolutely nothing. (I’m doing it anyway)

Giving is great. Yet, I know our budgets and timetables aren’t all the same.  So, like any good marketer, I’m giving you three options for how you can join me in the 50 day countdown fun.

Option 1: Be a Daily Do-Gooder

You match my daily give10. I’ll do the legwork to find and post a project each day. You follow me, click on the donation link I provide and give 10$.

Option 2: Be an Independent Giver

You commit to giving 10$ a day for the next 50 days to whatever causes YOU choose. One cause a day, 10$ day, 50 days.

Option 3: Delegate your Do-Gooding

You like the idea, and you have money but no time? You give me your money and I’ll give it away. I’m not a charity or a foundation, but I’m honest and will directly give your dollars away every day to the cause I post.

I’m betting most of us could give up a coffee or two and make one of the above options work, but should you have a legitimate reason you can’t, I offer a bonus plan.

BONUS Option: Choose your own adventure

Giving something some way is always better than giving nothing, and a micro-giving revolution has to start somewhere. The most important thing is deciding today that you will give over the next 50 days, and making it happen. Mix and match from the giving options above, then tell us what you’re going to do so we can cheer and follow!

If you’re reading this after January 11, don’t fear. It’s never to late to start giving.

How to sign up: No registration required, just leave a post in the comments and let us know that you’re joining the giving fun, so we can cheer and follow.  And use the #give10 hashtag when you give and tell others about it, so we can spread the spirit of generosity even further.

If you want to know all the places we’ve given so far? Search this handy roundup list. And if you know a rocking project that isn’t on this list yet, tell us now so we don’t miss out on supporting the cause in our final fifty days.

And if 50 of you join the giving fun, well, I might even do something crazy to celebrate.

50 Days to go. Who’s in?