The 21-day challenge for a good cause

At the moment there is much suffering in the world and all eyes are turned east towards China and Burma. People’s suffering in these places is horrifying, but the charity being generated throughout the world is commendable.

Yet there are other places of need and suffering. Places that don’t get in the news, or get forgotten as soon as the next media story comes up.

For these smaller, less “famous” places I’d like to set up a challenge. How much goodwill can be generated in 21 days?

The challenge will begin June 1st and last for exactly 3 weeks.

If you know of a small project that you could contribute to, then feel free to generate money, goods or any other kind of support for this project.

However, this challenge is being made with a particular project in mind.

The English Teachers Association of Switzerland (ETAS) is currently supporting the Matopo Primary School project ( Cindy is doing an excellent job at keeping the blog up and goes down regularly to give teacher training courses and ship mateirals. I’ve been trying to support her and the school as well through my blogging, but feel this just isn’t enough – thus the challenge.

For Swiss teachers and any others willing to join in, here is what you can do:

Primary schools – start a collection of school materials (they need everything!). What can be found around the homes of the kids in the school? What are neighbours willing to donate?

The class can then write a letter to the school or write a comment and say something about themselves.

Remember that materials should be in good condition, especially considering that getting the materials down is very expensive and so shouldn’t have to land in the garbage.

Business classes –If you are working in a company, the learners can present the case to the person(s) in charge and make a suggestion for a possible donation (a good one is to pay for part of the shipping!) Again, include a letter to the school, giving them your support.

Adult classes – You could write letters to different firms requesting donations with a description of the project and what is needed.

If you are interested in joining the challenge, please leave a comment and I’ll be in touch with further details.

If you are in Switzerland, then leave a message at the etasblog and stay tuned for more.

btw- I thank this idea Berta (who tagged me), and the Comment challenge (thank you Sue Waters! I hope you don’t mind me taking your great idea and adapting it)

Thank you


5 Responses

  1. Wow, Illya! What a wonderful idea! I’m sure that the girls in the Comment Challenge will love to know how their idea has turned into something so social, generous…

    You always surprise me! I’m here following you to see how your project goes and even from a distance, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

  2. Dear Illya,

    This is fantastic. You are full of ideas and energy as well as best intentions and actions. I have also thought you have a great sense of humor. I remember this from OWP last year with Bee and Patricia.

    You are giving me too much credit but I am glad you could click both the comment challenge and the meme game which provided you with a virtual billionaire status 😉

    In our Department we collect waste paper, sell it and its profits go to needy schools in the communities nearby, that´s about all we do. Although the oil barrel is over $100 and we are getting tons of dollars everyday as a country, inflation is so high as well as unemployment that we still have a high percentage of critical poverty. We don´t produce almost anything, except oil, of course, so factories and farms have closed down, people have lost their jobs and almost everything we have is imported now. So we are generating jobs abroad and giving money away abroad as well to search for political alliances … (as usual I speak too much about the same thing, please forgive me).

    I am sure I will find here great news soon and will follow this thread with much interest. May this wonderful insight inspire many others.

    Hugs, Berta

  3. Berta,
    I disagree with you as it really was your comment that sparked something in me. I feel lucky to live in a country as rich as this one is, and really feel the need to spread it around.
    It’s admiral what your department does as well. It really often just takes only a little bit of effort to do something good. And even though it is often just a drop on a hot stone, for the people effected if means everything!

    Hugs back!

  4. @Illya – I am all for supporting the needy. Good grief! They need it in the countries you mentioned. I pay directly provided I am sure the cash goes to the needy.

    But good will? Let me bore you with a true story.

    16 years ago my older daughter, Hannah, was still attending kindergarten. I arrived home one Friday evening to be asked by my wife, Linda, if I’d nip round to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for a cake for the Kindergarten Fair the following Saturday. With no hesitation and went out and bought all the necessary items for around $7.

    Linda does not bake often but when she does she bakes wonderful cakes. The next morning she asked me if I’d deliver the cake to the kindergarten stall. I was also taking Hannah to her Saturday morning gymnastics class so I stopped on the way to drop off the cake.

    It was early. The women were still setting up the stalls when I asked one of them what to do with Linda’s cake. She pointed to a table where there were several cakes. “Just put it there.” she said. “We haven’t priced them yet.”

    I inspected the cakes. None looked as delicious as I knew Linda’s would be. So I went back to the woman and held my cake in the air and said “How much for this one?” She looked at it quizzically and said, “Four dollars.” I gave her $7.

    I quickly took my cake back to the car where Hannah sat patiently. She was puzzled to see the cake but was happy when I told her I’d bought it.

    You may already have worked out what my message is here. Linda’s good will in baking a cake cost her time, effort and fuel. Good will cost me $7. I also got a wonderful cake for $7.

    If I’d simply donated the cake, the kindergarten would have been given $4. What’s more my family enjoyed a wonderfully baked cake.

    In future I pay cash to charity rather than put effort into good will since paying cash usually provides more.

    The Comment Challenge was not a charity project though I have no problem with the way you are piggy-backing on its success for the sake of charity. Good luck with your project. I’ve paid my cash to the fundraisers here in New Zealand.

    Ka kite

  5. Hi Ken
    Your story certainly bares weight, but to me it illustrates that different ways to help are appropriate in different circumstances. At the moment, you would probably be hard pressed to buy a set of rulers for a whole class in Zimbabwe (see:

    I am also of the type to buy a humble beggar a sandwich or an apple rather than give him money, although I also give to charity.

    Thank you for the good luck wishes from New Zealand!

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