Welcome!

Thanks for coming to my new blog!  I hope you’ll look around for a second, get a feel for what I’m doing, and join the conversation.

My name is Jefferson Cloward – I’m 25, live in Austin Texas, have a great job, a nice computer, and a decent car; I’m healthy, strong, have every opportunity ahead of me . . . but I’m dissatisfied.  I go to work 5 or 6 days a week and make enough money to pay the bills and rent out about 4 hours of each day where I can do what I really want to do.  Life is short, and I want to do something meaningful.  When my hair has fallen out and my gut is hanging over my belt I want to look back with a boyish grin and a head-full of great memories.

So that’s why I’m here!  Over the next year I’ll be digging into philanthropy as much as possible: studying, writing, interviewing, and most importantly doing.  I’m doing a series of trips to the developing world to really experience their people and their struggles, see what organizations are doing to help, and find out how much of an impact that help is making.  I live in a town that loves to help – hippy town USA here in Austin Texas – and I love the energy this place has.  I’ll be diving into the local nonprofit scene, connecting and helping, and asking questions.

So – join me!  Come here for updates on what I’m doing, to read about what’s going on abroad and here in Austin, and find a way to give better. There are so many ways to help . . . but some things work, some don’t, some make things worse,and some just make the giver feel good about themselves.  This is my quest to find a sustainable way of helping that isn’t culturally invasive, leaves those served with a higher self-worth and cultural pride, solves a pressing problem, and will continue to grow long after I stop.  Please read, respond, send suggestions and tips, challenge my positions, and grow with me!

– Jefferson

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