Monday, November 14, 2011

My new calling in life: Philanthropy

I think I would make a great philanthropist.
I am a research assistant for Professor Callister at BYU. There is a group of us (2 professors, 1 librarian, 2 grad students and one undergrad student) who are working on a project about non-profit organizations.

I spend ten hours a week researching articles about, from and to non-profits. I read them, take notes then report back. Another aspect is that I research actual non-profits and see what they are doing to fundraise specifically using social media. I have such a vast array of ideas, thoughts and suggestions that I feel like I could start my own non-profit one of these days...

Today, I spent some time on twitter (@chelsie_akers) looking up some organizations. Two really stood out to me: Charity:Water and Room to Read.

charity: water funds a range of water technologies. These solutions include hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments and BioSand filters. In 2011, we expanded our work to Bolivia and Guatemala. 
Photo from Here
Every day, Charity: Water posts a photo of the day. Their photos are heart warming and moving.
There fundraising is impressive because 100% of what you give goes to fund the water projects.
Even if you make a credit card donation and the CC company takes a % they will use their private funding to pay that % so it truly is 100%.

Room to Read
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 
Photo from Here
On a recent trip to Vietnam, a reporter joined up with people who were receiving help from Room to Read. The inspiring and heart wrenching story really painted a picture of what the world is really like. It made me hope that I will never again take advantage of my education. The story is of a girl who has to raise her siblings because her mother died of cancer and her dad has to be out in the city working to pay off the medical bills. He told the reporter “I tell my children that we don’t own land that I can leave them when they grow up,” he added. “So the only thing I can give them is an education” (The full story can be read here).

So, If I could just be rich and become a professional philanthropist, I could not only be moved by my research but I could then click on the "DONATE NOW" buttons and give to such wonderful causes. And as such an important member of philanthropy, I would be able to join these organizations around the world as they make a difference, with a little of my help (with my imaginary riches).

As it is, I am poor as can be and can't even afford the $20 it would take to give one person clean water for a life time... But one day, after I find me a sugar daddy, our money will go towards clean water for lots of people!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I've Never Leapt

As cliche as this is going to sound, I am going to say it anyway... Today, I watched Julie & Julia and was inspired to write a blog post. It isn't about my desire to start cooking French food (although inevitably that is true) or the aspiration to write more often on this blog so I can be famous one day too (which is not the case, sorry), instead it is about one line in that Julia Childs said that really caught me off guard.

" Every morning when the alarm goes off at 6:30 am, I leap out of bed. By 7:30 I’m in class in my apron peeling potatoes. Then we cook stock, bone fish, dress pidgins, make pastries with so much butter it almost stops your heart just to look at it." 

So what does it mean that I woke up at 12:30pm today?

The only conclusion I could come to, is the fact that I don't have any passion. None at all. I have never once leapt out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. Even when I was serving a mission for my church and I was required to wake up at 6:30, I not once leapt up. It was more like a slow droop to the ground where I then proceeded to say a prayer which was intermittently disturbed by a few more minutes of sleep.

Besides the 18 months I was required to wake up at such an ungodly hour, I have only woken that early for really good reasons: an early college class (lets face it, I was late every time and ended up with a B because of it...), an exercise class (the only reason I was faithful was because a friend was doing it with me and I couldn't let her down) and black Friday (no explanation needed. Oh, except it was probably earlier than 6:30).

I really can not think of anything that I love enough to get me out of bed at 6:30?
Maybe, when I figure it out, I will be a grown up!? Let's just hope I can figure it out before I graduate... I guess if I don't there is always a PHD to be had...

What would make you leap out of bed every morning?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Whoot Whoot for new Boots!

This post is in conjunction with Archives of our Lives

My entire life has been me living in hot places. Until now... I moved to Utah and committed two winters of my life to the snow. Or rather two years of my life to a masters program at the good ol' Brigham Young University. The move has been great and has given me many new experiences, the most exciting so far has been fall (the season).

Even though I am having a great time up here, my bliss was quickly shattered last Tuesday. What, you might ask could shatter the bliss that one finds in Utah? Freaking rain! I hate rain. The rain here is so dainty and cute but still, it makes you wet. Being the Arizonan that I am, I had no idea how to prepare myself for walking around in the rain. When I got to school, parked, walked to the library and got to my research meeting I was soaked! What the crap? How was I the only one wet up to my knees? How had everyone else forged through the same rain and not got a drop on them? That, my friends is a question that I may never know the answer to. However, my solution was to come home and promptly order me some boots.

I had given the thought to boots knowing that snow is in my near future so I had some styles in mind that I liked. Unfortunatly, those tastes lead me in the direction of Nordstrom... I did however find a few that were marked down! Of all the cute marked down boots to choose from, I had to make a decision and it was made due to one word WATERPROOF.

Yes, I bought the Sorel 'Tivoli High' Waterproof Boot. 
Original Price: $139.95
Sale Price: $99


Not the best steal of my life but if I'm gonna fork out food money for the next two months on a pair of boots, at least I saved 40 bucks. And they're cute!