Charitable Giving

Adventure Activism, Charitable Giving, philanthropy / 23.11.2011

I met Kathryn Ely on one of her good days. The progression of her illness had left her with little appetite. But as she perused the menu of this Castro Valley, California coffee shop she smiled. “I think I’ll have bacon,” Kat said. “I might regret it later. But right now I don’t care.” You really can make friends on Facebook. Over the past several months Kat and I had become acquainted online. Mutual interests in backpacking and philanthropy brought us together and a joy trip out west gave us...

Adventure Activism, Bikes, Charitable Giving, Cycling, Madison, Outdoor Recreation, philanthropy / 06.09.2011

  All creatures great and small have a friend in Ilizabethe  Zelandais. An avid cyclist and runner she’s also the benefactor of homeless animals in need of refuge from the tribulations a cruel and uncertain world. This self-proclaimed “fairy dog mother” extends her love of fury four-legged companions by raising funds and awareness for the good work of the Dane County Humane Society. And over the next two months Liz hopes that you’ll help support her personal pledge drive she calls Sweat 4 Shelter.
Adventure Activism, Africa, Charitable Giving, philanthropy / 18.08.2011

I have a hard enough time balancing my own checkbook. So how can I be expected to make a financial decision to help improve the life of a complete stranger? I’ve got $25 to invest in one of 1,755 small businesses around the world. Through the Kiva Foundation entrepreneurs in developing countries are eligible to receive funding to start or spur the growth of their venture. But feeling more than a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility to do some good I’m starting to understand why the world is such a fucked up place. Here I am entrusted with the power to take action and make a difference and all I can do is sit here paralyzed by indecision doing nothing.
Adventure Activism, Africa, Charitable Giving, Ethiopia, Expedition News, philanthropy / 16.08.2011

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.
Adventure Activism, Africa, Charitable Giving, Climbing, Environmental Justice, Ethiopia, philanthropy, Photography / 12.08.2011

A caravan of five Land Cruisers bounces along a rocky path. Five hundred miles north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the village of Atsemba is only accessible by a dirt road, and the nearest town is over an hour away. The passage is not so much a road as it is simply the clearest line of travel across a dusty landscape scattered with stones and scrub grass.

In this remote region of East Africa, donkeys are more common than cars. And the arrival of so many sport utility vehicles in this austere community of 3,200 draws an excitable crowd Laughing voices rise with the sound of beating drums. Ululations and cheers from the growing throng are jubilant, welcoming. People of the village and the surrounding community come running to meet honored guests-17 tired travelers. Their white skin and pristine sportswear are a stark contrast against the dark complexions and second-hand cotton clothing of the villagers. But everyone shares broad smiles and eyes that shine bright with excitement. The visitors, from North America and Australia, are eager to see their vision of foreign aid brought to life in the shape of a four-room schoolhouse they helped to fund here. The people of Atsemba are just as anxious to show them. Children are quick to take the strangers’ hands as they enter the heart of the village. The new arrivals exchange greetings with village elders, some offering handshakes, others offering hugs. It’s a boisterous and happy parade of strangers, one of which-a tall, athletic blond woman-tries to go unnoticed. She’s hard to miss, and, as she’d visited Atsemba before, a few of the villagers recognize her as the catalyst for the occasion. She smiles warmly, but Shannon Wilson tries not to draw anyone’s attention. It’s clear she doesn’t want today’s celebration to be about her. Even as she cuts a bright pink ribbon to dedicate the new building at the Atsemba Community Primary School she has very few words. “We hope that your children will envision a brighter future for themselves.”