Two years ago, after learning that 800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water, I decided to write a children’s book to educate my children and others about this important cause. Today, I’m taking the next step toward making a difference, with your help, to raise $5000 by December 31st, 2012 to build a well.
Donate to my campaign here: http://mycharitywater.org/Elirose2012
Learn about the book here: http://cleanwaterforelirose.com (There’s also a cute video you’ll want to see)
I’m not just asking you to give money though, I’m also planning on giving away 1000 copies of Clean Water for Elirose. That means if you donate any amount to my campaign, I’ll send you a copy for your family or to give to a loved one. Or, if you’d rather, I’ll donate copies of the books to classrooms in my community. $5000 is a big goal and I need your help. If you’d be willing to share my book and fundraising with your friends, family, school, or community, please let me know. Or, if you’d be willing to do a matching donation to help with my fundraiser let me know.
Every little bit counts, so click here to donate to my campaign.
Thank you for your support!
P.S. Even if you can’t give anything, enjoy this free gift, a printable Elirose coloring book
What’s really cool about charity: water is that 100% of the money we raise will directly fund water project costs in the field, and they’ll prove every single dollar. When the project we help fund is complete, they’ll send us a digital completion report with GPS coordinates and photos of the community we helped. Here’s an example. Read this story from charity: water to learn how clean water changes lives.
I know, I know, I’ve been super duper negligent on blogging here at Trying to Follow. I’ve been meaning to change that. I have however been tackling some more productive projects, online and off. You’ve obviously heard about Clean Water for Elirose from some of my previous posts this year. If you haven’t, it’s a children’s picture book I wrote last year about the lack of clean drinking water in the developing world. It’s been a fun and very successful project and I’d like your help in this last end of the year push to get the word out about the book. Here are some specific things you can promote about the book right now:
- A book-a-day giveaway! Follow us, retweet us, blog about Elirose and you could win a copy of the book Free. Details here.
- Pay What You Can pricing. I want everyone to get a book that wants one so you can order them for whatever you can afford, starting at $3 and Free Shipping
- Change the World 12-pack. Buy 12 books for $20 and use them as your tool to change the world, sell them (and donate the proceeds), donate them, gift them.
You all have been my biggest fans through the years, reading and engaging the conversations posted on this blog. It means a lot to me to have such a great community of people supporting my crazy ideas. Thanks for everything.
P.S. I really am brainstorming what this blog will turn into in 2012. Stay tuned, it’s not going away.
Click the image for proof of Princesses archetype
Here’s my idea, and I need your feedback. It’s hard to find a little girl that doesn’t think affectionately of the disney princesses and want to be one. The main problem with that, is that princesses don’t really do anything except look pretty and fall in love.
So, my idea is to create a coloring book with disney princess look-a-likes actually doing stuff. Research shows that as kids are exposed to media characters, they have a hard time breaking those characters out of the storyline they’ve seen (Bob only builds, Princesses don’t). A coloring book with those actual characters doing other things will be proof that those characters do other things (at least that’s my hope).
Now I just need to decide what they do. Here are some ideas, let me know which ones you like the most or if you have other suggestions for activities or which Princesses should do what. (I’ll probably only do 10)
Jasmine leading a protest
Belle as an architect doing math on a chalkboard for an addition to the castle
Ariel in mermaid form with hammer building a dock
Tiana rock climbing
Snow White coaching a football team
Cinderella bench pressing
Pocahontas as President
A Prince cooking and cleaning
Mulan doing surgery
The obvious goal is to break gender roles and provide examples to young girls who are already enthralled with these princesses as role models, to see them modeling the vast possibilities of careers and pursuits that we want our young girls to know they can pursue.
P.S. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but I know you still love me :)
I just launched an exciting campaign to raise funds to do a large print run of Clean Water for Elirose and I NEED your help. Go here right now and pledge some cash or if you need more details keep reading.
So, about 7 months ago, I wrote and published a book called Clean Water for Elirose, a children’s picture book that helps kids see in a tangible way the plight other children face across the globe with a lack of access to clean drinking water. Since then I’ve sold many copies, including a presentation to an elementary school! It’s been a fun project, but I’d like to take it to the next level. It currently cost $3.65 to print a copy of Clean Water for Elirose (not including shipping costs), but I’d really like to get that price to around $1 for two obvious reasons:
- It’ll be more affordable for classroom teachers and other groups to purchase at cost.
- More dollars can go toward funding clean water wells and less to printing books.
To reach my goal I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, an all-or-nothing fundraising effort to raise $3500 to do a large print run. If I reach my goal I’ll be able to order 2500+ copies at around $1 each and will be able to distribute a lot of those as rewards to those who have backed the project. All the funds raised through Kickstarter will go toward printing books, but every penny of profit afterwards will go to funding clean water wells.
And here’s the cool thing about giving to this project: Every $1 you give allows 100% of book sales to go toward clean water projects. By giving $1 your covering the cost of printing a book. So one someone orders a copy for $15, all of their money can go to funding clean water projects. It’s like multiplying your gift 1500% or more! And at the same time, this educational and awareness-raising story will end up in the hands of a young kid who just might become a world changer themselves.
Even if you’ve bought a copy of the book, please consider going over to the Kickstarter page and making a small contribution. Every little bit helps and if you do it today you’ll help build momentum to carry the project through to the goal. Additionally, I would LOVE it if you’d share the link with your friends and family, post it on Facebook, your blog, twitter, everywhere. If you haven’t clicked over already let me also say there are some very adorable kids in the featured video you just have to see.
I have two young kids, almost 4 and 5 years old now, that I spend most of my day with. And though they are wonderful kids, parenting has it’s share of ups and downs, particularly when it comes to discipline. Last week was one of those that I stopped to reflect at the end of the week and realized that we were having some ongoing discipline issues and it was probably time to step back and restrategize the approach. And, as I was thinking that I tossed out a comment on Facebook about it. Several people offered their condolences and then the topic of spanking came up.
I figured my facebook page might not be the best space for that conversation, but decided I might as well bringing it up here on the blog. I’ll keep my comments in the post brief, but hope we can continue the conversation view the comment thread that follows. Here is my very quick stance and a few lingering questions.
I do not spank and do not believe it is an effective or healthy discipline method. That being said, I have amazing friends who I respect deeply as parents who choose to spank and their kids are well behaved and all-together healthy individuals, and I don’t think any less of them for their chosen parenting methods. Here are just a few questions I have with the idea of spanking.
- It is almost always said, when someone approves of spanking that, “if not done in anger” spanking is a good positive thing. And I guess I’d just ask how a parent who spanks manages to do that? I give my kids timeouts in anger, I can’t imagine regularly choosing to spank my kid and not frequently struggling to not do it in anger. I guess I wouldn’t want to risk crossing that line. How do you manage to never spank “in anger”?
- Most people who I know who spank point to a biblical backing for it, mainly the verse referring to “the rod”. An accurate interpretation of that seems to imply not spanking with your hand or a wooden spoon, but an actual rod. That seems like something far more intense then “spanking.” If that’s your basis for it, do you also approve of using a rod or switch or paddle or something of that sort to enact discipline? And how do you choose to draw the line between what is appropriate and what isn’t?
Occasionally, via some easy-to-throw-out-a-politically-charged-topic channel like Facebook, a discussion will come up amongst otherwise thoughtful friends that will digress into meaningless banter arguing political talking points and no real engagement on the issues. It seems like such a missed opportunity, especially since a slower (as opposed to in-person debate) online discussion provides the perfect format to actually share legit facts from legit sources with each other and try and come to meaningful conclusions that effectively show both parties where we have misperceptions and where we get it right.
Now, if you think I’m about to bring you some brilliant solution to this conundrum above, I hate to burst your bubble, I don’t have a great answer. It only sparked my interest again recently as a situation like the one above happened recently on Facebook and made me realize that I have the opportunity to engage in some of this dialog over a longer period of time that I hope would be effective in opening my mind as well as others.
Why is this sort of dialog so rare in the church? We are so willing to get together on a weekly basis for hours long Bible studies, often repeating lessons we’ve heard before several times over. Why isn’t thoughtful factual discussion of the societal landscape and our misperceptions more often a part of our dialog? As just one example, how we perceive the poor vastly affects how we tend to engage them. Though Jesus put no qualifiers on what kind of “Least of these” we should help, we have a tendency to. A discussion of Why are the Poor Poor? Is definitely in order and it will bring up all the tough subjects like race and oppression, critical looks at capitalism and perceived democracy. Is there a way for Christians to come together from opposite ends of the political spectrum and have constructive dialogs on these topics? I’d like to be a part of that conversation if it’s possible.
Last Friday, I had the good pleasure of talking to 400 elementary school students about the topic of water and the fact that 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water. I came as a ‘guest author’ and read from my book Clean Water for Elirose as well as used several hands-on activities to try and make the subject matter concrete to the youth. I’ve never spoken to a group of elementary school kids that large, so it was a fun experience and a great opportunity.
Many of the kids went home with a copy of my book. With all the profit from book sales going to clean water projects, the event raised over $600 for clean water wells. It also, hopefully, instilled a knowledgeable and giving spirit in many of the youth that will have an impact on them and their families.
I might have a few more opportunities to speak to groups about the topic and the book, but what I’d like to focus on now is giving churches and other groups the opportunity to use the book as a fundraising tool for missions work related to well building. Hopefully, I’ll have some exciting stories to report back in a few months.
Clean Water for Elirose website