The “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway!

When meritocracy exists in this world, it is only because human beings have made sure that good works were supported — and that kind people were encouraged. No one person on their own can make the world into a decent place.

In the end, it’s up to all of us. People have to make it happen.

I am grateful to know so many interesting, talented people — and I’ve met many of them through this website! I’m now asking them — and you — to help me raise money and awareness for two very special groups in Laos.

So with the generous support and encouragement of friends and readers like you, I am announcing the “Help In Your Own Way Giveaway”!

How It Works

From now until March 18th, I am challenging you find ways to help Village Science and The Language Project — two groups assisting students in Luang Prabang, Laos.

They need thoughtful people like you learning about what they’re doing — and then coming up with the materials or inspired ideas that can give them a boost. So take 90 seconds to read how other people are already pitching in and, who knows, maybe your support and imagination can lift them to the next level!

I’m going to Laos at the end of February to lend a hand to Justin Spelman and Carol Kresge — the Directors of these two groups. Before I return home, I will sit down with them and review a list of all of your contributions and suggestions. We’ll rank them in order of greatest impact. So if you can’t contribute a lot of money — no problem! This process is designed to also reward helpful / creative / awesome ideas! People higher on the list will have first pick from whatever is in the prize pool (see below) — and we’ll go down the list until the goodies are gone!

Pretty simple, right?

Some Suggestions

I am trying to avoid setting up a giveaway that says “Do X, Y, and Z!”. To me, that kind of spoils the whole spirit of the thing. I’d love to see people’s creativity engaged by the challenge, not just robotically retweeting some catchphrase in the hopes of winning a prize.

The bottom line is that I want you to help out in whatever way you’re comfortable with — because I really want you to help out!

Here are some suggestions to get your thinking started:

  • Maybe it’s donating money. Hey — Giving money to worthy groups is always a great idea!
  • Maybe you have an hour or two to donate your skills. You could help improve their websites, help them create professionally designed press materials, or even Skype with students to share your talents as a “Virtual Volunteer”.
  • Maybe you have an item to donate — like an used smartphone or digital camera. Perhaps you could donate one of the more specialized items that they need. Just send it along and, if you can get it to New York by the end of February, I’ll even take it to Laos for you!
  • Maybe you work for a company or group that could donate a prize for the giveaway. Or perhaps you know someone who works in an organization that can partner with these groups?
  • If you have a lot of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, maybe you could help raise awareness by letting your friends know about it while using the hashtag #HIYOW to spread the Help In Your Own Way message— and which is even more awesome because it sounds vaguely like a Karate noise…. “HIYOW!”


Did Someone Say “Prizes”?!?

Oh yes! Here are just some of the fantastic items we’ve already received to give away:

Follow The Twitter Feed For New Prize Announcements

Who knows — maybe there will even be more prizes announced along the way to keep people’s attention… so follow the Twitter Feed for all the latest announcements!

3 Responses to “The “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway!”

  1. Mary L February 20, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Good job Justin. Glad to see you turned out awesome.

  2. Christopher February 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    L & J,
    Thank you so much for this. We need more of you two in this world. Pam and I are gonna brainstorm on this.