My birthday is on Monday, January 11th on Monday. I'm celebrating with an action learning experiment and birthday wish fundraiser for Cambodian children. When I checked the names of donors so I could leave a thank you note, my heart stopped.
There was a $25 donation from Samathida Kem, the daughter of Kem Sokha, a human rights leader in Cambodia. Her sister, Monovithya, who is in Holland attending school couldn't get her dutch ATM card to work so she asked her sister, who is in the US now, to make the donation.
A big thank you Monovithya and Samathida for their generosity.
I've never met them face-to-face, but almost four years to the day, our paths crossed virtually when their father, a human rights activist, was thrown in jail in Cambodia. His daughters were quickly put on a plane out of the country. Once they arrived in America, they organized an all-night candlelight vigil in front of the White House to call attention to their father's plight. I blogged about it, after tracking them down on the phone. Their father was released from prison several weeks later and organized a Freedom of Expression Rally in Cambodia.
Prepare to be surprised! If your organization ventures out on social networks - tries a few experiments - you never now what connections will be made and what relationships will be cultivated. The community of people who have support the Sharing Foundation through my connection with them constantly surprises me. What also surprises me are there are people I don't know face-to-face who have donated. Social networks and connections let you strengthen loose ties with consequential strangers.The Sharing Foundation has raised a little over $24,000 on Facebook. If my birthday campaign can bring the total to $25,000 by my birthday, I'll kick in $530, $10 for each year. If we get to $28,000, I'll kick in $53 for each year or $2809. You can donate here.