I'm Going to Guatemala

Three years ago, my friend Bryn posted a book recommendation on Instagram. At the time I was in a professional slump and tired of working on things that didn't matter. I took his recommendation and read it cover to cover in 2 days.  Those of you who know me understand I've never been a big reader, and this book changed my perspective on what interests me. I'd never heard of the Author, nor of the charitable organization he'd started at the time, but instantly was drawn to his passion and the social mission of the company, Pencils of Promise.

It starts with giving first

Being who I am, I quickly made my way to a browser to do more homework on Pencils of Promise (or PoP as everyone involved in the org calls it), and was immediately greeted with a slow, mildly secure and WordPress error-prone site. Not the best first impression for anyone to learn more, let alone donate. After reading up on the org, I really loved it's "for purpose" mission and the quality of results it's programs drove. 

I thought the least I could do as a thank you to the Author for the take-away's I received in reading the book was to help them fix their site. I reached out to Bryn proposing to help them, he connected me and days later I received an open-arm welcome from the marketing team to help with some technical challenges they had. 

It felt like in a matter of weeks we had the site running 5x faster, 100% secure, optimized for load time and error free. I was honestly overwhelmed by the love and thanks I received from the PoP team, and it felt so wonderful knowing that small offer made such a big difference. 

 

Education Is Everything

I'm a big believer in primary education. It's what brought my daughter Olive alive and gave her the opportunity to thrive.  It's also something I've been lucky enough to appreciate in my life, yet 250Million children around the world are illiterate. Seeing my daughters now in school, and how much it opens their minds and hearts to the world only re-enforces my passion for organizations like PoP that are working to provide quality education for those who need it the most.

Fast forward a few years and I'm proud to be part of the PoP family. I've been able to support the cause in ways that both challenged me, and pushed their data-driven focuses forward. We've done some great stuff together but really we're only getting started! And that's why I was so excited to be invited to Guatemala in March to take part in building a school and see the impact we create first-hand.  

Here's to giving a damn, can't wait! ✏️

Imagination and Drive

This evening I saw a Craigslist post and it captivated me.

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/mis/5237173491.html (mirror)

Real or fake, let's imagine for a moment that humanity could genuinely give others the time of day, benefit of doubt, and care about more than themselves a majority of the time. Attempt to be selfless in the face of selfish. Act on opportunities to help others and ask nothing in return. Enjoy a cup of coffee now and not care about the next. That's a world I'd love. A world that reminds us we're never alone in the struggles to persevere.

I'm not a big reader, more audiobooks than most else. Even less a fan of fiction. While I have no idea weather or not this is real, I adore the message behind it, and how it identifies with us all.

What makes this more special to me is the use of Craigslist for a short term medium-format post like this. I've never seen anything of the sort and it's surprisingly impactful when you consider the platform it's was authored on.

I'm not one to get on the snapchat train. I laugh at the thought of spending the little time I have to create media that self destructs (seriously, am I the only one?). Yet in an age where we have such technology to separate the meaningless from the meaningful, new uses of old standards make the biggest punch.

I'm incredibly close to announcing my latest project that exemplifies this line of thinking. I hope if nothing else but for a small group of others like myself who believe there's more in the act of giving than receiving, it helps us take a step towards paying forward a life we can all enjoy in each others company.