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Posts tagged World Give Day
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My favourite day of the year is almost here: World Give Day – May 4th, 2012. After completing my own personal giving journey for 365days I had the honour of meeting people from all over the world that are doing so much to give back in their own way. I was asked by the team at World Give Day to write a story how small gift can create a big impact. It happens to be the 365give philosophy. You don’t have to be a Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey and give billions of dollars away in your lifetime but one small gift / give and make a huge impact.
My World Give Day story is based on one such women that saved one little beings life in Romania while there on business.
Meet my sister Karen Somers – animal rescuer extrodinaire and Stella – the life she saved from Romania. You will see how her one small gift has brought so much joy to a family and will now make a great impact on hundreds of dogs lives.
Little Stella is one of over 2 million street dogs that wander throughout Romania.
This one-month-old pup crossed our paths on a movie location outside Bucharest. At the end of a long, cold night shoot, during a rain storm, this sickly puppy was the last dog left, too weak to find shelter. We were in a foreign country and didn’t know what to do.
Stella’s experience is a common one in Romania, a country that struggles to provide for its impoverished citizens on every level. Night after night, thousands of dogs go hungry, left to fend for themselves in temperatures that will eventually freeze many of them to death. The problem is not only a moral one, it also comes down to math. Every unsterilized female dog and her offspring in their lifetime and that of their puppies can produce over 67,000 dogs. Spay and neuter programs, education and shelter are in short supply to deal with this overwhelming dilemma. So USA-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, Romania Animal Rescue (RAR), was formed by American animal activist, Nancy Janes, to help where help was so sorely needed. Nancy and her team have created an effective free spay and neuter program in Romania utilizing highly skilled local veterinarians. They go town to town, doing up to 300 operations in a weekend. Their efforts are making headway on a grassroots level, slowly transforming the way a generation will help “man’s best friend”.
Stella and I were lucky that night.
She was wrapped up in a blanket and smuggled into my Romanian hotel room. After fostering with a local vet, she got her shots and flew home (20 hours on my lap) with me to California last November. Stella is an incredible dog. She wakes up with joy and goes to sleep in peace. She brings laughter and sunshine where ever she goes. Stella inspired me to help her family left in Romania.
In Stella’s name we are raising $10,000 to help Romania Animal Rescue’s spay/neuter program.
You and your dollars will make a huge difference to a homeless dog in Romania. Please donate what you can afford today to the Stella Fund.
“This post is part of a blog series inspired by World Give Day and hosted by GiveForward. To find other posts in this series please visit www.worldgiveday.com or follow us on twitter @worldgiveday.”
212 Days ago I started a personal mission. I committed to giving every day for 365 days. I believe you can change the world one give, one day at a time.
On May 4, 2011, I will celebrate World Give Day to bring an awareness to daily giving and highlight its many shapes and forms. Some gives are big, like the donor that gives half his fortune away. Some are considered small, like buying a coffee for the next person in line at your favourite coffee shop. After 212 days of consecutive giving, I know that every “give” counts. Every action of giving creates a ripple effect in one way or another and inspires people to also give. If we all conducted a give every day the world would be a better place to live.
My personal giving journey has connected me to some extraordinary “Every Day Heroes.” These people are doing remarkable things because they are motivated by their passion to give. Whether they realize it or not, they are inspiring other people through their own personal giving actions. These are the individual donors that are the backbone of philanthropy. It people giving in their lives, donating, volunteering that keep the world of philanthropy going. Quoted by Wikipedia the modern day definition is “”private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life.” It doesn’t day “have to donate $1,000,000 or more” nor does it say you have to be a massive not-for-profit organization helping hundreds or thousands of people. It’s every day people doing every day actions that change the world. Do you know an Every Day Hero? I would love to hear their story please leave a comment, tweet or Facebook.
Day 212: Give 212 Celebrating the Every Day Hero
The 365give Top 5 Every Day Heroes
Chelsea (originally from Vancouver) is about to move Lira, Uganda. During a recent trip to Uganda, she was touched by the street children. They have been so personally touched by the abandoned and orphaned children in Lira, Chelsea and her partner Morris are starting an organization called the Atin Africa Foundation. Just like that. Through their project they will positively and deeply affect the lives of these children. That is truly world changing.
Calista is 11 years old. I’m not even sure where to start with her accomplishments as a volunteer. Last year she was awarded Volunteer of the Year for the Special Olympics of Philadelphia. She has already raised enough money by selling her crafts and homemade lollipops to grant 1 wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation and she is working on completing her second very soon. This continues to include Pennies to Parents, Operation Christmas Child, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Unicef, The Red Cross – I could keep going. One of the most remarkable things she is working on today is trying to get her family an Extreme Make Over – Home Edition with Ty Pennington as her brother has special needs and their home cannot accommodate him anymore. I believe it is the next generation that will make a huge impact on the world and Calista is a remarkable example of this.
Carlo Garcia truly is an everyday hero. Carlo dedicated 1 year of his life to giving every day. Yes we are on a similar mission. His site Living Philanthropic featured a different charity every day for 365 days. He made a personal donation to each of the charities in hopes to inspire more people to give every day. Carlo isn’t a millionaire, but gave up personal indulgences like lattes and more clothes to make his donations. He personally donated $4165.00 and inspired others to give an additional $15,149 to various organizations featured on his site. Even though his 365 days of giving are over, he is still continuing his mission of giving. You should see what he is doing for year 2!
Wendy Bourgon packed her whole life up for a simple reason. This is a quote taken from her site:
“Visiting Zambia and Kenya opened my eyes to the oneness of the human family. I came to realize that regardless of where we live, we all share the same hopes, dreams and frustrations. We all want to eat, have a home, be cared for when we are sick, be comforted when we grieve and see our kids fulfill their potential.”
Wendy moved to a small village in Zambia to do one, simple thing – to give. She didn’t go for a holiday. She has committed her time to help a village struggling in Africa. She is finding ways to give a hand up not a hand out by making the village sustainable not dependant. Would you dedicate a year or more of your life to a group of strangers on the other side of the world removing yourself from the everyday comforts of home? Could you dig a well? Take care of goats? Help a community thrive and grow? Wendy is doing it and she is hero for that reason.
Last but not least is my 3 year old son Nicolas, my miracle and inspiration. My husband and I were blessed to adopt Nic at the age of 11 weeks old. Now 3 years old, he gives back in so many ways. He has made a choice to learn from his parents and their journey of giving and participates in daily giving naturally. Without prompting from his parents, he is an avid garbage picker, environmentalist, volunteer and donor. He will stop dead in the middle of a fabulous bike ride just to get off his bike and pick up the garbage on the side walk. He has planted his first vegetable garden to support the planet this spring. His favourite place to go to make a donation is the SPCA (local animal shelter) and he even helped me when I stopped to help an injured cyclist. At 3 I see how he inspires adults and children by the choices he makes. We can teach our children to give at any age.
World Give Day is just around the corner (put in the date). You don’t have to give away your life savings or volunteer for 100 hours to make an impact. Just do/give one thing. My challenge to you is to commit to give one thing every day for a week and see how it feels. I guarantee you it will feel good, you will feel happy and after the week, inspired to give more. You will know that every day of your life has counted.
Time Commitment: You never stop giving