Changing the world sounds like a huge task, doesn’t it? Truth is, changing the world starts with one idea to impact a lot of people, taken on by those committed to seeing the change. This is the case with a project I am very proud to be a part of: Give Love Build Hope: Jamaica.
Started by early childhood development consultant and non-profit executive Shernet Dixon and pioneering African-American ‘Modern Day Matchmaker’, Paul Carrick Brunson, the Give Love Build Hope: Jamaica project is the pilot program for school revitalization they hope to carry out throughout the Caribbean and U.S. In early 2011, Shernet and Paul recruited thirteen of the baddest women in all the United States to execute this life changing initiative for the students of the New Providence Primary School in Kingston, Jamaica! (…Just a small reminder Who Run The World? GIRLS!) As the Social Media Team Leader, I have the special task of making sure the project stays engaged with supporters, potential supporters, Tweeters, Facebookers, Tumblrs and all those in between. So when you see a tweet go up on @GiveLoveJamaica, that’s really me delivering the voice of the project but shhhh don’t tell anyone. *smile*
You see, January 16-22, 2012 the team, plus a few hundred volunteers, will be deploying to Kingston to physically restore New Providence!!! We are going to paint walls, give out bookbags loaded with school supplies, distribute uniforms, set up computers, stock and organize the school library and give meals to kids whose needs prove the necessity of our presence. And when we leave, we’re leaving with lasting relationships through our mentorship program, where we will assign as many students as we can with mentors based here in the U.S.
What started as a client project to lend my social media skills has turned into passion. Passion to touch lives. Passion to equip disadvantaged students with the educational resources that will help them be first generation leaders and trailblazers in their country. Passion to be on the ground, in a country giving back in ways words just can’t describe. The more I work with our team, the more I realize how major this project is and how influential we are going to be in the lives of the 927 students!
Launched less than a week ago, Give Love has gained attention from our audience with over 150 twitter followers, celebrity interest and even a handful of volunteers! Do you see where this is going?! In six months, we are going to be unstoppable! But we can’t do it without giving, passionate, committed people like you!
We have three key ways to take part in this project:
1. Donate. Financial donations are very important to cover our operational costs. We have an ambitious financial fundraising goal of $100,000. We expect to reach this goal through corporate sponsorships, individual donations and major gifts. You can inquire about donation options or make your donation here: Donation page
1a. While financial donations are key, we are also in need of in-kind donations such as school supply items, clothing, etc. Check our registry for items needed here: Donation page
2. Adopt- Our -School. A unique feature of our project, this is great for civic and greek-letter organizations, ministries, professional organizations and even other schools! To find out more about Adopting New Providence click Adopt-Our-School.
3. Volunteer. We need team captains, writers, photographers, data analysts, teachers, administrators, professional organizers, carpenters, painters and candlestick makers too- no seriously! Please take a look at our volunteer page to see where you fit in. There will be all-inclusive travel packages posted in a few weeks to make the cost as affordable as possible. The rest of what you’ll need will be provided upon arrival.
Now is the time to mark your calendar for Martin Luther King weekend 2012! When your friends ask what you are doing that weekend, tell them you are headed to rebuild, restore and renew a school and the lives of little ones in Kingston, Jamaica!