What really defines giving? Is it a Wikipedia definition we search on Google? It is donating millions of dollars to one organization in hopes to create the change in the world you want to see? Or is it as simple as one small action, one small gesture, or participating as a community to bring people together to create change.
This give did just that – it brought a community together to enjoy life and create change for people around the world and the planet.
Day 301: Give 301
Just when I thought I was going for the music I realized this weekend was so much more than just a music festival. I was giving back in more ways than I could count.
There are a list of initiatives that Hillside has taken to help give back to the community as well as the planet. Just by attending the event our family gave back in so many ways:
1) Supporting musicians from all over the world
2) Recycling, Reusing, Reduce
3) Planting Trees
5) Solar Powered / Living Roof Main Stage
Over the past 20 years Hillside has calculated through their green initiatives they have saved over 410 tonnes of C02. (Equal to 80 cars taken off the road for 1 year)
1) Volunteers washing all the dishes, cutleries and glassware used over the course of the weekend.
2) Water Tanker providing fresh drinking water so bottled water does not have to be purchased by guests
3) Shuttle Buses to encourage less driving
4) Meatless Meals provided by food vendors
5) Tree Planting (partnering with the Green Legacy Programme)
6) Educational Classes on all things sustainable and the environemnt
Other than the tree planting we participated in all these ways plus a few of our own.
1) We camped rather than staying at a hotel saving on a weekend of electricity.
2) We drove our fuel efficient rental car to the Festival.
3) We brought our own reusable beer mugs (from Vancouver) from previous year’s attendance. (You could buy a new one that was made from corn!)
I felt great attending an event that was giving so much. What if ever event took the time and thought that Hillside has to help the planet, educate and entertain! Have you been to an event this summer that creates change in the world. Leave us a comment and tell us about the event you attended.
Time Commitment: 2 days of nothing but great music and fun in the sun
Cost: $40 day pass to $110 for a 3 day weekend pass
If you had asked me on Day 1 what Day 300 of 365 Days of giving would look like I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question. Now I am here and the official countdown begins to the final day of giving. I will tell you one thing about giving every day – it feels GREAT! Just knowing I will accomplish this mission and I have been able to reach out to so many people is enough the get the celebration under way.
What better way to celebrate than to dance? Here is a little something created by two students that have a passion for children in Africa.
Day 300: Give 300
On Day 262 I did a post on an organization called Building Tomorrow. The post featured a student intern named Claire. Claire is working with the Building Tomorrow team, learning all there is to know about the challenges in Africa and the challenges of being a not-for-profit organization.
The above video featured Claire and her co-worker Estelle as they have taken their passion for kids, education and Uganda and created a very fun video to help bring awareness to Building Tomorrow. This is “Gen Y” in action in their own unique way. They don’t have money to give but they are creative, innovative and committed. I have said it before but Gen Y is the generation that will change the world.
Today my give is to help bring awareness to their Twitter Campaign. They have a simple goal and we can all help. 10,000 Twitter Followers for Build Tomorrow before the end of their internship at the end of the summer. If you are in the not for profit world you know awareness is half the battle. The big goal is to get the attention of Ellen Degeneres as they go on this Twitterfest. They understand the impact celebrity can make on an organization and I give them big kudos for putting themselves out there to try and get the attention for an organization they feel so passionate about.
Here is how we can all help.
1) Follow them on Twitter.(@BldgTomorrow)
2) RT this post and make sure you include Ellen (@TheEllenShow). She will have to take notice if she get inundated with tweets.
3) Join the Tweetathon #BTweetathon. The party begins tomorrow -August 2, 2011 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm tweet, tweet and tweet some more.
Building Tomorrow has a simple mission – they are encouraging philanthropy among young people by raising awareness and funds to build and support educational infrastructure projects for underserved children throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
We know the children in Africa need our support, care and love and we now have the chance to show the next generation we support their philanthropic endeavours. Do your give of the day in just a few easy clicks. Click to Follow @BldgTomorrow, favourite their video on You Tube and in just 140 characters send Ellen a quick note.
I may be my Day 300 of giving but it`s never to late to start giving. Make today your Day 1 of giving every day and show the children of Africa you care.
Time Commitment: 3 minutes of Twittering
As much as I like to share my stories of giving every day I love sharing how others are giving back. I recently met a women on Twitter that always amazes me. She uses her talent and expertise to give back in a way that is near and dear to my heart. She gives back to a place in the world that needs all the help they can get especially right now - The Pearl of Africa Uganda. They are on the edge of being part of the terrible disaster that is happening in The Horn of Africa and she has discovered a way she can give right from home.
Day 299: Give 299 Guest Post by Marcia Bujold
Like fire, the internet has the power to both create and destroy. Most of us prefer the creative side of the internet, of course, and many people are using online communications to really make a difference.
I have recently been part of an international group of professionals working via the internet to help a needy community in a faraway place. We are strangers mostly, in Hong Kong, London, Denmark, Uganda, Romania, Canada, United States and more. We know each other by our avatars and email addresses. We talk by email, Facebook and Skype, spinning around the center point of one man with an urgent plea for help.
It Started With a Post on a Forum
For me, it started with a post on a forum of documentary filmmakers. Ridealist – a media production company in Hong Kong – was producing a pro bono video to promote and raise funds for Hands of Action Uganda, a community group in the Bududu District of eastern Uganda, and their effort to give dairy goats to needy families. There was no budget for travel to Uganda to shoot footage, so Ridealist was searching for a motion graphics artist to help tell the story with animation.
I Use My Expertise to Change the World
I’m a graphic artist, broadcast designer and animator. Usually, I work with documentary filmmakers to make and promote their films. I’m also making my own documentary about traditional kitemakers in China. Uganda was way off my radar – I knew almost nothing about it – but it sounded fascinating and worthy. I wanted to do it.
Uganda, the Pearl of Africa
Uganda is nested in the vortex of Rwanda, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With so many crises in this region, Uganda is often overlooked by the news media. Called the Pearl of Africa, Uganda has world class mountain ranges, gorilla habitats, volcanos, teeming wildlife, and many cultures.
The Bududu District lies in eastern Uganda near the Kenyan border, on the slopes and foothills of an extinct volcano. Mt. Elgon, once the highest point in Africa, is home to leopards, antelope and monkeys. Elephants walk these forests, and for millennia, have carved out deep caves in the mountain in search of salt. The handsome people of this region are mostly farmers. Their fields stretch up and down impossibly steep slopes, growing coffee, bananas, passion fruit and vegetables.
A Troubled Nation
Despite its rugged beauty, the Bududa District is troubled by widespread poverty, malaria and hunger. HIV/AIDS has killed a generation of parents, leaving behind hundreds of young children to fend for themselves. The steep slopes are prone to landslides and erosion, which contribute to declining soil fertility and crop failure. In 2010, over 350 adults and children were killed by mudslides during an exceptionally rainy week.
So much sadness, but at what point did it really grab me? Was it the photo of sweet faced orphans jammed shoulder to shoulder in a tiny schoolroom that made the AIDS crisis real to me? Or pictures of earnest farmers learning to terrace the slopes, the life and death urgency written on their faces? Or was it simply the photo of a lovely 10 year old girl who reminded me of myself at that age, that sparked a desire to help?
A Helping Hand
This community works hard to heal itself, but they need a hand. In addition to housing, feeding and teaching 180 orphans, Hands of Action is developing programs to establish self sustaining agriculture, build a library and a school. Director and founder Mukhobeh Moses Khaukha, known as Moses, is the energy behind this effort. He is smart, polite, and untiring, even when struggling with a bout of malaria… he does not quit.
Producing the video
Ridealist’s Chris Gelken sent me a script, voiceover track and a short video of Moses. I began to research, design, illustrate and animate the piece. The deadline was tight, so I planned the piece around a series of illustrations that would simply fade into each other. Some scenes would use frame by frame cartoon techniques: a man throwing a fishing net, fish leaping into water, the splash turning into goats. Using paper and pencil, I drew each position, then combined them with watercolor illustrations using my Mac and animation software. I then edited the animation together with materials sent by Ridealist.
The Work Continues Post Production
It was great fun to make the animation, but more was needed to bring traffic to Hands of Action Uganda’s new website. With so many interesting stories in the Bududa area, a blog is a natural companion for their website. So, Moses and I have been working to set it up. For now, it is mostly articles about the serious issues facing the Bududa community, but in time, it will also be a journal of progress, and a window into the unique culture of the Bududa people.
Meanwhile, Moses continues to make online friends. Facebook has been a great resource, and there are now professional fundraisers, social workers, media people and friends joining together to help. Momentum grows every day, and some very good things are happening. The community was recently awarded an agricultural grant from the Trellis Fund and University of California to develop a sustainable organic passion fruit crop. There have been donations of food, mosquito nets, books, soccer balls and building materials. And we hope to add online fundraising soon, something which is a stumbling block for many African communities.
The Hands of Action Uganda project opened my eyes to the real potential of the internet. When we use it creatively with open hearts, we can do a world of good.
Marcia Bujold is a filmmaker, artist, graphic designer and art director working in broadcast animation, web design and print media. Marcia has designed and directed a wide variety of animation, promotion and graphic projects for major broadcast companies