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Monday, October 08, 2007

Hey, Why Don't You Do Somethin'?

Help Public School Kids by Funding my Challenge at DonorsChoose

Talking about football and baseball while ensuring that the bar industry in Nebraska will NEVER be short on cash is fun and all, but by God, maybe we should give up a Friday night and do something to benefit society.

DonorsChoose.org is a great entrepreneurial charity organization that allows donors to pick and choose proposals from teachers across the country in need of materials and goods to make their classrooms a better place for students. I think it is safe to say that everyone that contributes to and reads Heavy Soul has a soft spot for education, and that none of us would be where we are without the wonders of public education (or private boy school education. Whatever.). So why don't you take $50 out of the $100 you would spend next Friday and give it to classrooms in need? Like they say: children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

About the two projects that I picked...one I picked because it was not only the only cause in Nebraska, but because it dealt with photography. Between Napa and my little brother, I find this one of particular interest.


" I'm in the process of creating an invigorating, challenging, and inspiring curriculum for my DIGI KIDS. This is what I call the students using the digital equipment for the yearbook as well as developing their own photojournalistic portfolio.

Currently we have only 2 working cameras for over 40 students on the staff. It's extremely challenging to conduct a class project and teach the students life-long photography skills with only two cameras. This is a simple request, but as always, school budgets are extremely limited.

With more cameras, each student will get more hands-on experience, allowing us to stretch far beyond our current limits. Your donation will be instrumental in providing this opportunity to the students.

My project needs multiple digital cameras to capture images for the school yearbook and to create photojournalism portfolios. The cost of this proposal is $540, which includes shipping for any materials needed for fulfillment."

The other one is to fulfill the need for a inner city Chicago school be able to properly equip their football team so the kids that want to play can play.

I think they're both great causes, and everybody should donate what they can to help them out. Hell, even if it is $5, it is $5 more than they had.

So let's see if we can come up with $50 a man and help out some kids.

Come on, guys...this is not a big deal. Everybody that is any part of this blog has an extra $10 laying around.

This is a good cause, in particular the project for the middle school in Lincoln. It's a chance for kids in a public school to be able to learn some pretty cool shit with technology that is going to be prelevant for probably the rest of these kids' lives.

They only need $273 to completely fund that project. Let's help them make it happen!
I'll donate, but one question: Is entrepreneurial charity an oxymoron?
No, it is not. Entrepreneurial charity refers to the fact that it is a privately-funded organization, started by someone in the civilian realm of the world, as opposed to a government-run program.

It refers to the organization as being started in the "entrepreneurial spirt," which, to me, means that they have come into the market and filled an estabilshed need through innovation.

Also, if you look up the Denali Initiative, "it offers a fellowship program for non-profit executives who wish to develop social entrepreneurship ventures in their home communities..."

So, although I know what you're saying, I think that it is, in fact, not an oxymoron.

All that aside, thanks for stepping up, MIB!
Sorry, the paragraph in the above comment about "the Denali Initiative" sounds like something out of Lost. It is just an example of an organization that falls under what I am talking about.

Here is a definition taken from a 2003 In Business Magazine (which I am not sure is still "In Business." Ha!) titled The Business Of Social Entrepreneurship In A “Down Economy”:

SOCIAL entrepreneurship can be defined as the development of innovative, mission-supporting, earned income, job creating or licensing, ventures undertaken by individual social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, or nonprofits in association with for profits.

Here's the link:

Fine. I donated. Next time we donate to a private school in Omaha that needs money to change from a 42" to a 50" plasma tv in their classroom.
Nice, Deuce!

Now look at the icon on the main page--three people have donated, and we're at 40%.

Only $300 to go for the Heavy Soul Challenge, and only $123 for the Digi Kids project in Lincoln.

Let's step up that last $123 at least!
Another note--we are currently (I think) #9 of all "general" blogs (or basically private blogs like ourselves), and have donated as much as the campaign going on...the Hillary Clinton for President website.

Pretty cool stuff.
I appreciate even more than social entreprenuership that of social capitalism whereby the cause empowers those being helped in such a way that it can be a symbiotic benefit to the leader of the cause and those benefitting from it. An example would be the village phone program in small
African countries where destitutely poor women could take micro loans from communications companies to purchase a cellular phone and charge small amounts of money to village people to use the phone. In the early stages of this scheme "phone ladies" were able to earn say 4 times the average village income. The idea got weird when cell phones became ubiquitous and the companies providing the deal maintained their high margins, but the spirit of the idea is invigorating. What if you could come up with something to solve a major problem in society, and become a viable business?

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