Lindsey Taylor Wood wrote -
Hello! Today, January 3rd, is my 30th Birthday. (Weird!) But rather than stress out about the end of my 20's, I've decided to give 3 girls in South Sudan -- one for each decade -- the gift of education.
The truth is, while I'm incredibly passionate about women's rights, Africa and philanthropy, initially, I shied away from using my Birthday as a fundraiser. Between the financial weight of the Holidays and seemingly pervasive "donor fatigue" it seemed like a lot to ask.
I ran into Tammy Tibbets, a dear friend and Founder of She's The First. She's The First is a nonprofit sponsoring girls' education in the developing world, and helping those girls to be the first in their families to graduate.
One of the schools that She's The First works with is in South Sudan. Since the country's succession from Sudan in July of 2011, it has been steeped in conflict. The volatile climate has made it nearly impossible for girls to afford or find access to school. When Tammy told me that just 400 girls in the entire country are in the last grade of secondary education and have the lowest female literacy rates in the world, I knew I had to do my part.
I know firsthand that investing in just one person CAN make a difference. When I traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011 I was privileged enough to meet the women I sponsored through Women For Women International. Seeing the transformational effect of my small monthly gift was eye opening. She was able to enroll her children in school and attend a vocational school school herself. The woman who introduced herself through letters so many months before was not the women that stood before me. It was a powerful experience.
It only costs $365 to sponsor a girl in South Sudan for one year -- that's $30 a month -- and my goal, as I mentioned, is to sponsor 3!
So whether you donate $3, $13, or $30 (Tammy tells me 3 is a powerful number :) I invite you be part of this with me! Take the dollars you would have spent buying me a cocktail and invest in opportunity. Let's kick-off the New Year, and my New Year, by giving back.
If you'd like to learn more about She's the First and their partner program in South Sudan, click here. Or don't hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can talk about why INVESTING IN GIRLS AND WOMEN IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO WITH DEVELOPMENT DOLLARS.
Who's with me?!?!?!
(Special thanks to John Kluge, Christie Marchese and Tammy Tibbets for inspiring me to do this! ...And here's a secret -- I'm guessing we're going to blow this out of the water and send a whole GROUP of girls to school! :)