Several weeks before my birthday every year, my mom calls and asks "What do you like for your birthday?" And every year since she became a grandmother to an adopted Cambodian child, I said, "Make a donation to the Sharing Foundation." This year, she wondered whether I was going to ask my family to give me an outhouse for my birthday. No, I asked them to contribute $10 to the Sharing Foundation (and they did)
I guess you're wondering why my mom asked about the outhouse?
TSF has helped support a poor school named Beng Krom School, with 595 grammar school children on the far side of the Mekong. Sharing Foundation's founder, Dr. Hendrie or our in-country director, Elephant, regularly makes two trips a year across, on a rickety wooden ferry, to bringing school uniforms made in the Sharing Foundation's sewing school, and school supplies. Two years ago, with funds from the Long Island chapter of the American Association of University Women, we were able to replace their highly arsenic contaminated well with a huge rainwater collection tank and delivery system to supply safe drinking water. Now Beng Krom’s children really need three latrines to expand from the two they have for all their children and teachers. Now thanks to a generous Sharing Foundation donor who responded to our appeal in the holiday newsletter, local builders will build three latrines, bigger and stronger than the “family latrine” shown above.
My kids emptied out their piggy banks to helped and cooperated in making a birthday campaign video. Unfortunately they don't have credit cards (that's a problem for some of the potential donors like the bloggers I met in Cambodia - take for example Denith)
I want to thank everyone who has contributed so far. One problem with the Global Giving interface is that I can't get to a back end to see exactly who has donated to follow up with a personal note or blog post, so please leave me a comment if I haven't personally acknowledged your support. I do get to see icons with first name and last initial. For example, I know that Earl K. and Ruth K. are my parents.
Here's a round up of wonderful birthday blog posts and even a "bethcast" that I can say thank you.
Christine Martell from VisualSpeak blog created a screencast with a delightful analysis of the photographs used to describe the campaign. I never realized this before, but one of the photos I took at the Khmer Literacy School has someone's butt in the background. I was so happy to get the kid to smile and look in the camera that I didn't notice!
fter I posted my birthday invitation to donate to the Sharing Foundation, I also told my friends on Twitter that my birthday was Friday. I tried not to over tweet or become a twit. And tried not to put the ask in my tweet, just something to get people to click on the link.
Holly Ross at NTEN tweeted about the blog post on the NTEN blog. Then I got a google alert that let me know that Michele Martin had posted and I tweeted about it, thinking that if I mentioned "bunny suit" without a direct ask for money, people might click thinking that I was wearing one of those other kinds of bunny suits. Also on the Google Alert, I discovered that Britt Bravo has posted on the Netsquared Blog too. I was relieved that she didn't use the naked photo of me. I tweeted that too .. And, Amy Gahran responded that teasers like that do sell.
This is just a sampling of birthday wishes so far - and it isn't even my birthday yet! So, thank you to those who donated. My birthday isn't until Jan 11th, so there is still time to contribute $10! And, if you want to write a post on your blog to celebrate my birthday as part of the bloggers campaign, you'll find a whole bunch of embarrassing photos here and here