Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First fundraiser...get stoked!

With MUCH help from some people who I love very much I am putting together a series of YARD SALE FUNDRAISERS that will be held throughout the year.

Back in January I sent out a flyer (with the cutest Gorilla on it) advertising my yard sale. I made the flyer in hopes that people would donate any unwanted items from their home for me to sell.

Thankfully, I have had many people offer their donations and many more that plan to donate.

The first yard sale will be held Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18 at my grandparent's house.

My goal is to raise $500. I know this may sound like a stretch but we have some good stuff to sell thanks to some awesome friends! So I think I'll set my goal high! Nothing wrong with a little ambition.

I will check in as soon as possible with results from the first yard sale!

If you guys have any other fundraising ideas or would like to donate for the next yard sale or would like to attend the first yard sale please feel free to contact me!

A HUGE thank you to my wonderful grandparents Susan and Ronnie Jewell, my dad Jamey (he has been so supportive and so helpful!), my gentlemen Aaron who supports me no matter what (love him so much it hurts!), and all the friends who donated: Bill, Kathleen, Sam and Jeff, Tiffany, Katie, and Hugo. I appreciate you guys so much!


Short for details!

Thus far, I don't have a solid plan. I'm one of those spontaneous, live for the moment types.
But so far here are the details I do have (also subject to change):

Program of choice: Cross-Cultural Solutions

Their mission statement: Our mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. We are an international not-for-profit organization with no political or religious affiliations.

Location: Bagamoyo, Tanzania Africa

Length of stay: two weeks (minimum)

Dates: Undecided. Hopefully by April 2013 but it depends on how long it takes to raise/save $5000!

Program Fee: $2,988

What's included in the program fee: Cultural and learning activities, Lodging at a CCS home base, all meals and safe drinking water, In-country ground transportation, experienced and professional full time staff, pre-departure materials and support, all incoming local and international phone calls, 24 hour emergency hotline, comprehensive travel medical insurance.

Airfare costs: Approximately $1800

Miscellaneous costs: Visa and vaccinations

Cross-Cultural Solutions Website

Making dreams become reality

Hello everyone!

First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

For many years now it has been a goal of mine to volunteer overseas. Recently, I have also discovered a passion for aiding in the abolition of human trafficking. (Thanks Liam Neeson. Your blockbuster hit “Taken” helped raise awareness and my blood pressure while viewing your film!) On a serious note, after I watched the movie “Taken” I was fearful of going out of the country (something I’ve never done and always wanted to do) but then I realized that fear only suppresses. There are so many opportunities that are missed because of fear. On a larger scale my fear is NOTHING compared to the fear instilled in women, men, and children all over the world. My fear of what might happen is so miniscule compared to the people that are starving, the people that are abused in every way possible, the people that are broken and mistreated, the people that don’t feel loved, the people that are hurt and dying. Compared to the enormous heartache these people experience, I have everything. Yes, I complain of being broke, living paycheck to paycheck in my Mandarin apartment, complain about high insurance costs for the car I drive, complain about a mundane job, or the annoyances of going to college (God knows FSCJ never has their stuff together!) After considering the REAL problems of this world my problems seem so ridiculous. In fact, I’m quite ashamed that I have such a poor attitude sometimes. I am so very blessed, it is unbelievable! But what about the people who aren’t so blessed?
What about the people who have lost everything? The orphans with no family, no hope. The people who cry from hunger. The people who die from AIDS. What about them? Do you think they complain about car insurance or school or boring jobs? They don’t have any of those things.
How many times do we go through our routines of taking the kids to school, going to work, going to the grocery store, taking a shower, eating a warm meal, even going to church? Those are things we do everyday. But how many times do we stop to truly THANK GOD for those blessings. And how many times do we stop to consider all of the people that aren’t fortunate enough to have those things. What if it was you? What if happened to be that instead of being born in Jacksonville, Florida you were born in Ethiopia? Wouldn’t you want someone to help, someone to rescue you?

There is so much evil in the world, so many people that don’t care about the welfare of other human beings, so much hate and crime. But there is also love and goodness in the world. I know the whole world peace thing is a little cliché. I understand that it seems unattainable. But every little bit counts! If each person did their part we might really start seeing changes in the world. Someone wonderful once said “You can’t do everything for everyone, you can’t rescue everyone, but you can do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone.”
If everyone had that mindset we could do great things for our fellow friends. I use the word friend because I feel that too often we use the word “people” and there is a disconnect. We don’t care enough until it is someone we know, one of our friends or loved ones. So maybe by using the word “friend” everyone will understand the severity of the situation and truly understand that these are not just people. These individuals are moms, dads, daughters, sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, siblings.
With that said, I am currently in the process of planning a volunteer abroad trip to Tanzania, Africa, specifically, I am planning to go to Bagamoyo which literally means “Lay down your heart” (hence the name of my blog). I plan to use this blog as a way to track my progress from fundraising to my journey to Africa to resources that will help others get involved with volunteering and the abolition of human trafficking. I would like to do everything I can to make a difference setting aside all fears, doubts, discouragements, and insecurities. I will do my part to make this world a better place and I don’t plan on wasting another day because time is of the essence!
So please enjoy my blog and please follow if you can! I need as much support as I can get throughout this process!

One love and much peace!