be inspired: tara whitney & whitney wells

are you struggling with how to give?

tara whitney’s recent project “whitney wells” is an amazing example of rallying around a cause and supporting it with time and funding. her entire family is on board — her kids even proposed ideas on how they’d like to contribute. Her post and call to action:

whitney family

This year the idea of ‘giving back’ has been a pretty consistent theme in many of the conversations Jeff and I have. We talk often about the different things we see that are wrong in our world and what might be the best way to change or help them. Jeff in particular is incredibly passionate about this subject and will spend days and hours thinking about things only to come to me and do a complete mind dump rant about his ideas. The one thing that has always been a roadblock for both of us is “which one do we choose?” and “should we possibly start our own charity?” and “if so, what should we do?”

I think a lot of people have the same problem. You have money and time to give but have no idea where to give it. There are so many causes out there that need our help, how do you possibly choose just one to support? There are also scams out there and people who aren’t doing exactly what they say they are with donated money. How do you know who to trust? And even another block for me is the complicated nature of many charities. Where is your money or time going, exactly? Who are you helping, exactly? I want to know those things.

So, when Charity Water landed in my lap I was moved to tears immediately.

I emailed a link to Jeff saying, “I can see us starting something like this of our own.” It was so simple, and so effective, and so personal.

Jeff responded with, “Why start something new? This is exactly what we have been looking for. Lets join up!”

We quickly decided that we wanted the whole family to be involved. We gathered the four kids and showed the video one afternoon. We didn’t say a thing, just asked them to sit and watch. Neither of us wanted to push our agenda, we wanted to see what their reactions would be before we said a thing. We wanted them to WANT to do this. At the end of the short clip, there was a chorus of, “I want to give up my birthday too!” and we were totally delighted and surprised.

The ideas kept rolling in:
“Let’s make cards and fliers and pass them out at school!”
“Let’s give up everything we drink BUT water and donate what we would have spent on soda and juice!”
“Let’s post on mom’s blog and ask for help!”
“We can email our entire family!”
“I can raffle off a photo shoot!”

We let them choose our campaign name: “Whitney Wells” and how much we would love to earn: “$10,000!

$10,000 will give water to five HUNDRED people. One HUNDRED families. TWO entire communities. The idea that my small family of six could be in some way a part of doing this gives me that butterfly feeling in my chest.

We started our campaign with our own donation of $500 – the amount we would spend on our birthdays this year. (There is a frutratingly unfortunate glitch in the system and our first donation isn’t showing up on our campaign page. Ergh! We are in contact with the awesome people at charity water and they have confirmed our donation did make it in and are working on fixing the glitch.)

And now we are asking you. Please help give the world clean water. Turn your tap, flush your toilet, push “water” on the door of your fridge and be so, so grateful for what we have. And think of the agony so many people in our world go through every day just to get a single sip.

Please donate any amount that you can. Nothing is too small. Any amount helps us to reach our goal. Just $20 gives ONE PERSON clean water for TWENTY YEARS. If four of you donate $5 we reach that goal for one person.”

We love the idea at the give ten project and are going to start by giving $10 to the cause. We’d other give ten readers can do the same. Support the Whitney Wells Charity Water project here. Or, start your own campaign here.

Have you begun a campaign for a cause that’s near and dear to your heart? Do you have a story that will inspire giving? Share it with us in the comments or via email.

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