Epic Change – Building a Locally-Led School in Tanzania

Drop what you are doing right now, for about 3 minutes, and you can help build a technology lab for a locally-led primary school in Tanzania. All you have to do, is go to this website Ideablob, and vote for Epic Change in a $10k contest. If Epic Change is still at the top of the list come midnight tonight, these kids in upcountry Tanzania will get themselves a brand-new technology lab.

A line of eager kids forms to vote for EpicChange

Don’t doubt that the money will immediately go to great use. Read about what Epic Change did with Tweetsgiving this past holiday season. They know what they’re doing when it comes to grassroots fundraising, bolting from a literally unknown non-profit to an instant darling of the then-(relatively)-tightknit Twitter community.

There really isn’t anything simpler for you. This won’t cost you a single penny. It won’t take but a minute for you to register with Ideablob, check for the confirmation email in your inbox, and click to vote in the sidebar on the right of their page. And by taking those simple steps, you can have a significantly positive effect on improving the education for these children.

So, go vote. And when you’re done, please share this blog post with your friends. Tweet about it. Share it on Facebook. Post it as a Myspace bulletin. Make it happen!

This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

You Can’t Ever Have Too Much of a Good Thing

This should be subtitled: “Even when that good thing really, really pisses you off to begin with.” Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me. Towards the end of the day, I had an email forwarded to me that a friend of a friend launched a project which is nearly a carbon copy of a non-profit project I’ve been putting together for about two years. It was a crushing blow when I first read the email and saw the site (not quite ready to discuss the details…but maybe sometime soon).

As I read through the site, it was as if this organization had poured over all of my notes and ideas…at least a year’s worth of ideas on how the non-profit was going to be run, the event(s) that it would first put on, and how those events would be setup and managed. My stomach turned as I read on.

I spent a good deal of time tracing my steps and rethinking every conversation that I’d had about my project. I was absolutely certain that someone I’d spoke to had turned and shared the idea with this group. Convinced. The thoughts tugged at me as I drove home, as I cooked dinner for my kids, and once I put them in bed it just picked up speed. Gnawing at my brain, I just couldn’t seem to figure out how it was possible that someone else could have the EXACT same idea.

But mostly, I suppose the major feeling was sadness and anger that I took too long launching. I was beat to market.

Defeated, I started to sulk. Poor me, I didn’t get this out quick enough…

And then it hit me: I was more upset about the fact that I wasn’t going to receive the proper recognition for the idea and the project. WTF? That realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Am I really so self-focused? Am I missing the whole point of what I am doing in the first place? Like the clouds parting a huge storm, I saw the light.

I mean, sure, I wish I launched my project last year, but I’m still only a couple of months away, and why should this derail me in any way? In fact, shouldn’t this be exciting? The fact that someone else has the exact same idea is affirming and reinforcing. And in the realm of non-profits, the more people helping, the better, no?

You can’t ever have too much of a good thing.

Changing Lives: What Are We Doing Today?

If there’s one thing that has become clear to me, it’s that the world can use as many people as possible linking arm in arm to fight against social and economic decay. Even though conferences like G8 and campaigns like the Bono-fronted RED campaign have helped raise much needed awareness, the recent global economic collapse is widening the gap between the miniscule rich and ever-increasing poor.

In all of our endeavors, we should take a look to consider how proceeds, profits, or other benefits can make it into the hands and lives of those less fortunate. Remember, when times are tough for us in “first world” countries (a term I despise, but that most people understand), life hangs in the balance for many more people. If 1 out of every 6 people aren’t sure whether they’ll eat, drink clean water, or find shelter at night during “normal” times, you can be assured that the ratio weakens as global purse strings tighten.

Until this world starts thinking of poverty and hunger, homelessness and disease (preventable disease, my friends) as our problems, all will continue increasing.

We must be the solution.

Each and every one of us has the ability to do our small part. Think, if all your energy was placed or directed at a non-profit (or other charitable cause) for one day a month, or even every couple of months…wouldn’t you then be part of the solution? Do the math. Even if only a fraction of us lent a hand in those frequencies, there would be all of the necessary manpower and effort to begin changing lives. Isn’t that a simple request?

After all, a waterfall begins with a drop*…the true power of the singular is in the plural.

They are, in fact, our problems. And they need our solutions.

Please discuss. Add suggestions, ideas, successes. Any and all stories are welcome. If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment below and sharing/bookmarking this article. Thank you kindly.

* This idea was pulled from on of my favorite movies: The Power of One.