Each year we create a fundraiser and try to get support from our community to make a difference in peoples lives. Over the years we have partnered with some of our favourite organizations - Project Solution Jamaica, Hope For the Nations, Charity:Water and the Run For Water foundation with the intention to stir up some positive energy. We have been blown away with the support these organizations have received from our friends, families, colleagues and cyber friends. To date our awesome community has raised $50,722 towards these organizations.
In the fall of 2018, we are partnering with Run For Water to build a clean water well and a school for a community in Ethiopia.
Our team is very excited to personally be joining the Run For Water organization and going to Ethiopia in November 2018!
Let's always continue to pay it forward and spread love.
2019 RUN FOR WATER FUNDRAISER - A RIPPLE EFFECT
Nov 2018 I had an opportunity to visit the rural community of Awaash Qolaatii in Ethiopia - The community we fundraised with last year. I had a chance to spend a few days with the families who now have access to a clean water well. We laughed a lot, we danced, we played, we hugged and smiled until our faces hurt. I experienced emotions I’ve never felt before.
A recent project assessment made from over the years shows;
- Water wells built, starting from the first one in 2007, are all working well and past partner communities are thriving independently.
- Water borne diseases are down to 0.
- School attendance has increased by 300%
- Women are directly and actively involved in the economic and political sector in their respective communities
- Rape is reduced by 80%
The positive impact just from having access to clean water is out of this world...a true ripple effect.
2018 FUNDRAISER: Run For Water - Create Opportunity
We are blown away by the support this fundraiser received from people around the world. $10,149 of contributions came thru worldwide. From Belgium, Australia to Vancouver, Canada. I’m beyond excited to be making the trip to Ethiopia this November and seeing first hand the impact that the Run For Water team has on communities who will now have access to clean water. We learned that woman and girls in rural Ethiopia walk on average about 8 hours a day collecting water while carrying 50lb jerry cans. That blew my mind! So I wanted to experience what that was like. My initiative was to hike 80km’s over 4 days with a 45lb backpack on. A friend and I disconnected from technology and went into the backcountry to hike an average of 20km’s/day and camp in the forest. My pack wasn’t formed for my body type but that was a blessing in disguise. I got to experience my version of what it would be like to feel the discomfort of what that experience would be like for a few days. There were moments when I wanted to give up I was in so much pain and on the verge of tears from my pack. No one should have to make that much of an effort for something that we in North America can drink straight from our taps. Immense gratitude was felt during our trek and the support from our community in fundraising and reaching our goal was heart warming.
A huge thank you to the wonderful withinUs team for their generous giveaway prize to a person who had donated over $100.
Thank you so incredibly much to everyone who had supported! Whether it was words of encouragement or donations, it was so appreciated.
2017 FUNDRAISER: Run For Water - Disconnect to Reconnect
There is something really powerful about helping others. If there's one thing I want to accomplish more than anything, it's to know I made a difference. To make peoples lives a little bit better. To make people smile. To make people feel loved. Mark and I were at a wedding and seated next to the founder of an organization that we quickly fell in love with - Run For Water. After hearing about the project and it's significant impact first from a friend who had personally gone on the trip to Ethiopia herself and then from the founder, we set a goal in contributing to fundraise towards building a clean water well and a Primary School in Trigeba, Ethiopia with Run For Water. With the generosity from our communities, the fundraiser had received $8570 in donations towards the project.
One of the reasons I love Run For Water so much is because for the past 10 years they have been involved in a movement that has helped people become active in bringing clean water to the world. They have been the source of transformation for over 40 communities throughout Ethiopia and have raised over $3 million dollars which means 100,000 people have clean water for life. I can't wait to visit some of the communities that have directly been impacted by their movement.
2016 FUNDRAISER: Hope For the Nations - Hike For Hope
In August 2016 we partnered with Hope For The Nations. Mark and I decided to 'Hike For Hope' where we spent 3 days hiking throughout Yosemite National Park to summit Half Dome for sunrise (8,800 ft to the top!). For every foot we hiked, we wanted to raise $1. Our goal was to raise $8800 to rebuild a Hope Foster Home that is part of the Hope For The Nations community in Liberia. We were happily disconnected and without cell phone reception for a few days. When we arrived in Mammoth after our trek, we sat down in our cabin and checked our emails. Mark and I looked at eachother in tears of gratitude when we saw how many people had donated to the fundraiser. 59 very generous people came together, over doubled our initial goal and raise $17,445 towards the fundraiser! These extremely generous contributions allowed for two foster homes to be built. And this is a perfect example of why I love humanity!
2015 FUNDRAISER: Project SolutionJamaica - Feed 500 Kids For $5800
Most of us are blessed and raised in a land of endless opportunities, and given the right tools to succeed to benefit in our own lives. Others around the world are not so lucky. After traveling to 15 countries in 4 months I realized that in most countries there is a huge lack of opportunity and I want to change that.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a very loving home, with parents who provided me with a chance to live a wonderful life, a full belly and who have inspired me and taught me it's important to give back to those in need. I wan't to provide opportunity to the kids that have the skill but have little chance to get to where they want and have the potential to be. I want to help inspire and provide a chance to someone that needs it and for so little we can make a huge difference in someones life.
We were fortunate to be given that chance from someone in our lives. So in turn…why shouldn’t we pay-it-forward by feeding 500 children for an entire year?
Our goal was to raise $5800 to feed 500 children in Trelawny, Jamaica for an entire year. 58 wonderful backers helped us raise $5478 towards the breakfast program. We were so grateful for everyone who supported Project Solution Jamaica!
By following the link below you will be able to see pictures and video from past trips. www.facebook.com/ProjectSolutionJamaica
2014 FUNDRAISER: Project Solution Jamaica - 500 For $5800
Fantastic cinematographer and stunt performer/coordinator, Dan Rizzuto and I decided to collaborate on a fundraiser together. Dan is the co-founder of Project Solution Jamaica. After hearing about his passion for the project, how close it is to his heart, and what a massive impact his team was making in childrens lives, I asked how I can be involved. Because our birthdays are a week apart, we decided to create a fundraiser together.
Our initial goal was to raise $5800 to feed 500 children in Trelawny, Jamaica for an entire year. 85 generous backers helped us raise $6650 towards the breakfast program. We were blown away by everyones contributions!
A very special thank you to our friends at Lords Of Gastown who generously donated over 20 t-shirts to give away as daily prizes to people who donated.
"giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference."
2013 FUNDRAISER: Charity: Water
In 2012 I had the incredible opportunity to work for the inspirational series, The Buried Life as a Media and Communications Coordinator. The Buried Life not only exposed me to so many powerful organizations that are out there making a positive difference in society but completely opened my eyes up to how I want to show up in the world. This job was the primary reason why I started living outside of my comfort zone and pushing past my limiting beliefs. Thanks to them, my life turned a 180. I created my dream job as a full-time Professional Photographer, I started travelling, speaking up, and becoming curious about the world and myself. During my time in that role, I became familiar with an organization called Charity: Water.
Did you know that almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water? Every day, 5,000 kids die from water-related illnesses before they reach their fifth birthday. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections and BioSand filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.
I used to never celebrate my birthday because it was 'just another day'. I realized I can use this day as a great opportunity to make a difference. I started my very first campaign with a goal to raise $1000 and 27 incredible backers contributed in raising $2430. These donations were used towards a project that provided clean water to a community of 247 people in Tanzania.
Each family using the new water source contributed toward their project's construction — a small fee, but one that helps instill a sense of personal ownership for the project. Each family will continue to pay a small amount to use the water. The community will save this money for any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Fees weren't the only contribution the community gave towards this water project. They helped build structures to protect each water source after they were built.
The people here, especially women and girls, used to walk up to two hours to collect water for their families. The water wasn't safe to drink and often made people sick. It puts a huge smile on my face knowing that the people here are walking significantly less every day to collect water. Most importantly, the water they bring home each day is safe enough to drink.