Welcome!

Hi there!  My name is Jefferson and I am . . .

Well, what I am is perpetually dissatisfied.  I’ve learned that I just don’t belong in the nine to five world of middle-class America.  Nothing wrong with it, I’m just not comfortable here.

Being dissatisfied isn’t all bad, really.  It’s taken me to some cool places.  Last year I went to Nicaragua twice for 11 days with almost no plans.  I wanted to understand people in another country, that’s all.  Oh, and I wanted to help.

And that’s why I’m here.  I started this because . . . giving is fun.  It’s exciting and it has introduced me to some of my best friends.  It’s also really challenging – who to give to, how to do it, how to raise the money for it . . . there’s a lot to learn and a lot to do.

It starts the first time you help someone do something they couldn’t do for themselves.  It feels good.  It’s . . .

Well, it’s satisfying.

No moral authority there – I fully admit that I want to give to others because I find meaning in it.  It gives this difficult and short life something beautiful to feel good about.

It starts with a girl with polio who wanted to be able to walk again; a guy who wanted to new bed, some PowerAde, and a Braves jersey; a lady who was abandoned by her sons and wanted some food, a blanket, and some other basic supplies; a lady with Aplastic Anemia who wanted to be home with her kids more often; a boy who wanted to go to private school.

It starts with all the people around the world who are already doing amazing work to help others.

This blog is my exploration of philanthropy.  I’m traveling, interviewing, and trying some of my own stuff out as well.

But who are you?

Maybe you’re here because you like doing the same kind of stuff.  Maybe that itch of dissatisfaction has made you do something you’re proud of.

If so, I’d love to hear about it.  Introduce yourself down below and let me know what your favorite nonprofits are and why you like them.  If you’re writing about something similar, link it here.  I want to read it and I want to help get other people to read it too – I’ll put it up on my Philanthropy blog-roll.  And hey, I interviewed some great philanthropists in Austin – check out their stories and see if you can copy what they do or help them out with a donation.

This blog is about finding the best ways to give, telling the stories of as many people as possible to connect us with people around the world, and coming together to support those who need it.

I hope you like what you see!

14 thoughts on “Welcome!”

  1. Jefferson – have you ever heard of this website?
    http://www.kiva.org/
    I think it follows quite well with your principles and thus may be something you would be interested in supporting yourself or asking others to support as well. It perfectly follows your idea of helping without being culturally invasive or insensitive. Plus, it’s completely win-win, you loan money, people better their lives, you get your investment back and then you can keep it or reinvest it!

    1. Hey Eliza! Thanks for the tip! I haven’t delved too deeply into microfinance yet, but I have read a bit about Kiva: people are always talking about how they grew insanely fast with their direct sponsorship model, so it’s interesting to see how that works as opposed to other microfinance groups that have all the money go into one pot and don’t necessarily report back what happened to individual families. Kiva tapped into the desire donators have to feel like they’re making a difference because people watch “their family” as they grow their business.

      1. Yeah, people like to feel that direct connection, which is why things like sponsor a child work, you’re sponsoring one particular kid who you can know and get attached to and see the results of your involvement – people like getting something back out of what they give, completely understandable of course, and the easiest way is something direct like that rather than a “give me money and it will help these types of people”. It’s great though, people helping people, if we all helped each other out just a bit more, things could be so much better!

      2. Definitely. Ya, microfinance is really attractive to me for that reason, and I think it’s attractive to a lot of Americans because it’s about us helping someone pull themselves out of poverty for a permanent change in their lives rather than just a temporary fix. We need our temporary fix programs too, don’t get me wrong, but it’s great to see all these individual success stories by entrepreneurs in developing countries.

  2. Brother, I will keep you in my prayers. This is a noble act with pure intentions that you are about to journey into. Positive vibes, safe travels, and inward peace my friend. Keep us updated

    Sincerely,
    Joshua Baltajan

    1. Thanks brotha! Thanks for stopping by – I hope you like the articles and [hopefully] take something away that helps you in whatever you’re doing! I always love feedback, suggestions, reactions, and all that good stuff – so send it my way 🙂

      Did you get here from AwesomeSauce?

  3. I am currently slaying the Dissatisfaction Dragon by donating to two organizations that provide education, school meals, supplies, etc. One is through The Weekend Philanthropist (hey, that’s you!) and benefits a girl in Nicaragua; the other is through ChildFund and benefits a girl in India. I get to write to them, receive letters and drawings from them, and the non-profits keep me informed regarding grades and other accomplishments. I love it and highly recommend both organizations!

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