Imagine1Day “Creatributors”

Watch an idea transform into reality and you’ll never be the same again. When you see a community torn apart by war, famine and death come together and build a brighter future, it’s hard to not believe that anything is possible. After three weeks last fall traveling in Ethiopia I’ve come to understand exactly how individuals can make a difference to change the world.

The non-governmental organization Imagine1Day is making it possible for ordinary people to deliver creative contributions to improve the lives of millions living in poverty. Through the process of Creatribution a handful of do-gooders blend their artistic talents and passion for helping others to raise money and awareness for the building of schools throughout one of the poorest countries on the planet.

For the second year in a row a team of Imagine Ethiopia Creatributors is set to arrive in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia’s capital) on October 23. From there they’ll visit village school projects underway in remote region of Tigray. In the lead up to the trip, this year’s participants hope to raise $100,000 (the funds required to finance a three-year, self-perpetuating education project with imagine1day). Each participant has his or her own unique creatribution project and has set very specific personal and fund-raising goals to inspire their progress toward providing primary education to every child in Ethiopia by 2020.

This combination of adventure travel and charitable giving is right in line with the goals of the Joy Trip Project. Having made the journey to Africa myself to witness the building of several schools in Ethiopia I can attest to value this conscientious and well-run organization brings to people in need.

Take a look at the list of creatibution projects currently underway. And if you’re so inspired please make a contribution to support their efforts. ~ JEM

Katie Thurmes (link to: / Creatribution: Give Good

Leveraging her strengths as a photographer, lover of people, and all round positive person, Katie did a special Mother’s Day event in Denver, shot a fab wedding in Vegas, and used her blog to ensure that her community was more than excited to get involved.


Mary Anna Noveck (link to: / Creatribution: The First Grader, Wine, and Tennis

At first glance, Mary Anna’s ideas of fundraising would seem to border on barely legal. All part of the plan, as Mary Anna has found support through her local school (they cut her a check for being so amazing), by setting up a wine tasting at a local cinema (Shiraz meets a screening of The First Grader), and by getting her Santa Monica tennis community involved in a benefit tournament. Ace.

Andi McLeish (link to: / Creatribution: Climbing and Shooting

Don’t get nervous, Andi McLeish is not the lone gunman on the seventh floor. She is the hardcore, rock climbing, photo-snapping lady your mother warned you about. From a series of photography gigs to a community-wide climb-a-thon, everyone knows that Andi is going to Ethiopia in October and that she expects some warm up climbs in Squamish in the mean time.


Nancy Herb (link to: / Creatribution: Summertime Big Easy

Nancy is not your typical educator. Sure, she knows her way around a school, and perhaps that’s what originally peaked her interest in Imagine Ethiopia 2011. She also happens to be friends with some of the hottest Soul/R&B talent in Vancouver and is throwing a good, old-fashioned summertime fling to heat up an otherwise chilly summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Michelle Lazar (link to: / Creatribution: In Lieu

As one of those people who sees opportunity everywhere, when it came time for Michelle to devise of a Creatribution project, she didn’t see what she wanted to do, she saw what she wanted to do instead. In Lieu challenges participants to choose a luxury in their life – Starbucks coffee every morning, television – and reallocate the funds they would normally spend on life’s little indulgences to imagine1day’s work in Ethiopia. Who’s up for a double deep water well and a spritz of quality education?

Brittany Wood (link to: / Creatribution: Goals for Good

Date night is important and Brittany has got something for parents who may be looking for a little latitude when it comes to balancing time together and with the kids this summer. Goals for Good is a workshop that Brittany will be offering to school-aged children this summer in her home state of Washington. Kids will learn how to create a vision for what they want their life to look like in the future and will learn how to set goals that get them there. Drop off the kids, have a romantic evening out, pick up the kids, manifest destiny.

Michael Millard (link to: / Creatribution: How Do You Do TV

At first, Michael just wanted to get out of his apartment near Vancouver’s Kitsilano beach to meet the people in his neighborhood. Then inspiration struck. How Do You Do TV invites people to submit videos that they make about the people in their neighborhood. The rules for submission are simple: your neighbor can’t be related to you and can’t be someone you’ve ever met before asking them to make the video. Michael is also available for hire to website sponsors to feature the businesses, products and services available in each neighborhood.

Co-leading this year’s trip is Sapna Dayal , imagine1day’s Executive Director, her colleague Adam Millard, imagine1day’s Development Director, Majka Burhardt , a legendary rock climber, guide, author, and coffee expert, and Ted McDonald, owner of Adventure Yoga Retreats.


The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support of sponsor Patagonia

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

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