A Large Mouth and a Big Platter

Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew.  At least that’s what people say – I’ve always had a heinously large mouth and luxurious cheek space. Other times you get addicted to Breaking Bad and lose a week of your life. I’m neither admitting or denying anything here . . . but I didn’t put out a Philanthropist of the Week article this week.

Big mouth and a large platter
A large mouth AND good looks! What DOESN’T this kid have???

I know, I know, your work-week was dull and your sitcoms unsatisfying without my wisdom-instilling publication, but hey, a man’s gotta veg sometimes, right?

Well – I’m back on track and want you to know what track that is. If I tell you all what I’m going to do then I have to do it, right? I think that’s the way it works anyways. So here’s what to expect from your favorite philanthropist-a-be here at TWP:

Philanthropist of the Week

I have five or six people lined up for interviews to be featured in Philanthropist of the Week, which I think is pretty great! Next week I’ll have Travis Breihan from Teysha who works to open up trade in the US for skilled artisians in Panama, giving them a great market and us a great product. Then I have Tab Barker who builds schools and wells in Nicaragua and has a very sustainable and well-built program; Chuck Winckley, who raises funds and donates gifts to underprivelegded families each Christmas; Theresa Alvarez, who helped start Futuro Fund; and Liana Mauro, a local Pilates instructor who built giving into her business model, supporting the Texas Advocacy Project and others.

This is just the beginning! Later I’ll be interviewing Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who ran against Rick Perry for Texas Governor and dramatically cleaned up the foster care system in Texas and set up a trust fund for future underprivileged youth. She is quite a personality and I’m so excited for the quotes I’ll get from her!  These people each have a great story we can gain from, and I want to tell it well.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua round-two is coming up in November! I’ll be going back to deepen my relationships with a couple of groups there and also explore “La Chureca” and other fascinating things in Nicaragua – all accompanied by my beautiful and trusting girlfriend (she’ll be completely lost about 90% of the time unless we get her Spanish going fast). We’ll be revisiting the three people you readers helped donate to and see how things are going with them, and are planning some new mini-projects that you can help with again!

So – I have my work cut out for me. Between working, reading, studying and interviewing for Philanthropist of the Week, and getting ready for Nicaragua, I have to fit in Breaking Bad, random naps, stretches of laziness and apathy, and all that other good stuff I’ve learned to deal with.  Hey, if I haven’t become perfect in my first 26 years of life I may as well just enjoy the ride, right?

You

I’m writing this blog for me, because it’s really fun and rewarding, but also for you.  I hope you’ll gain something with each article you read. So . . . I’d like to know what you’re looking for and what you’re interested in. What types of groups would you want me to write about? What aspects of philanthropy would you like me to explore?

One of my questions is about doom-and-gloom advertising by non-profits — you know, showing an African kid on the front of every web-page and saying “Donate 5 cents or this kid will die,” kind of stuff. I’m sure it works, and the urgency is important, but I just want to see what the impact is. Does this raise more money than positive philanthropy ads? What impact does this have on our long-term view of developing countries? Are there negative and long-term side effects to this type of advertising?

To study this I’ll be reading a few books that I’m super stoked to find time to read: Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day, Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa, and The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. I’ll also be looking for official studies that can get me real and quantitative answers – if you have suggestions for reading material let me know! And let me know what YOU would like to hear about!

Also–because what good does it do to self-promote if you don’t shamelessly self-promote–take a second to subscribe to this blog (the “follow” button in the upper right hand corner), “like” my Facebook page (right-hand side), and if you’re feeling extra amazing today post about it on your Facebook or twitter! The gods of Karma will be pleased, and so will my big mouth.

2 thoughts on “A Large Mouth and a Big Platter”

  1. I like this type of entry, too, Jeff! It shows that you actually are not superhuman! I think occasional vegging is an important part of quality of life. That is neat that you will be interviewing Carole Keeton Strayhorn. I remember watching her during the debates. Keep up tha goodness! Love ya!

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