Epic adventures and donations can go hand in hand.
When the US Navy veteran Austin Shirley returned to civilian life, he felt as if he was missing a purpose. Shirley then decided to devote to the veterans wounded in combat. He mapped a route of 4000 km, starting in Jacksonville, Florida and ending in San Diego, California. He traveled the route on foot with Archer, his dog, and John, his best friend, for nine and a half months, raising funds for his teammates. He ended up collecting over 62,500 USD for “Wounded Wear” and found the missing purpose in his life.
The love of life and passion can coexist in one place.
When Cynthia Hellmann and Gregory Flatt came to Mali to work as Peace Corps volunteers 15 years ago, they had no idea that they would fall in love with each other and with the work they were doing. When back in the United States, they continued to support economic development and sustainability of food in Mali, founding “Ecova Mali”. Motivated by the talents and kindness of their friends on the other continent, the couple makes microloans and micro-donations to community projects and organizes training of agricultural practices and business.
Fight for what you believe in.
Anurag Gupta, a 30-year-old Indian immigrant, founded “BE MORE”, a nonprofit organization that uses research, narratives and online communities to change the systems that perpetuate social inequality in the United States. Gupta’s passion is solving issues of ethnic inequality and he decided to concentrate his activities on domestic issues after getting his degree in law. Embracing the cause rather than addressing the problem in court allowed him to connect more deeply with others and helped him find spiritual fulfillment in life.
Don’t underestimate the power of viral videos.
When Chris Hooley showed to his 11-year-old daughter Kaylee about a way to make a homeless person smile, he had no idea she would become inspired to create a charity “ReKindle”. Together, father and daughter spent the last 11 months organizing street events to distribute food, water, clothing and toiletries for homeless in Phoenix, Arizona, along with a team of volunteers. Everything is recorded on videos and posted on YouTube.
Sometimes it is necessary to go beyond the call of duty to help those in need.
The delegate Andy Conner used to spend most of his time patrolling the roads with the biggest prostitution rates in the state of Washington. But when he got tired of arresting young women, he decided to ask them why they don’t change their life and realized that, for many, being on the street wasn’t a matter of choice. He decided to organize a community house for girls, offering advice, insurance and vocational training so that they can restart their lives. Conner operates the “Genesis Project” and continues being a police officer.
Social media have great power (of donation).
Three students at Syracuse University have created a way to make donations that takes advantage of our constant connection with social networks. Inspired by a glass on his desk in which he kept the coins received as change, the founder Ian Dickerson asked for help his colleagues from business classes and came up with the “Centscere”. The “Centscere” is an online platform that allows social media users to choose a charity with which they would want to collaborate, determining the amount they wish to donate to each post. A daily activity is a way to make a difference.