Posts with Category Giving Back

Don’t see poverty, see potential

Jessica Jackley in Uganda about to have her life changed by changing lives.

Jessica Jackley eventually became the co-founder of Kiva, but before that she was a lovestruck philosophy major who followed her boyfriend across the country to California where she worked a temp job at Stanford.  While there she attended a lecture by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, which makes microloans to the poor.  She was impressed at how he simply sat down with the poor and asked them what they needed, instead of telling them what they needed. She was inspired to do the same.

She quit her job and spent three months in Uganda interviewing farmers and fishermen.  She saw how small amounts of money could…

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Calling all Ball State student writers

Who are you writing for? Why do you write?

These are big questions.

I want to help you help our community with your writing skillz. (That’s right with a z!)

I’m assembling a League of Extraordinary Writers who want to improve their writing and make an impact in the Muncie community. Over the past few years, I’ve committed myself to helping local organizations tell and share their stories, but there are more stories than I can tell. I need help. I need you!

This League of Extraordinary Writers will work with organizations like the Leadership Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters, TEAMwork for Quality Living, and the Facing Project. Writers will take on assignments with deadlines and have their work featured in newsletters and…

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Be a part of the Facing Project story

(This is a joint note from me and my co-founder of The Facing Project, J.R. Jamison.)

Stories make a difference.

Stories shatter preconceptions and expand our worldview.

Stories change our hearts and inform our minds.

Stories feed our curiosities and our souls.

Every person has a story and so does every community.

What’s yours?

We invite you to be a part of the story of The Facing Project by helping us reach our goal of creating website. The site will house the tools to help the project spread to other communities, and will allow current Facing Project communities the ability to share their stories on their own unique sites, such as This next step in our story will push this movement forward and provide the opportunity for thousands of unheard voices to be shared.


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American Made Messenger Bags by LexiWynn

My Timbuk2 laptop bag was made in China. I’m not sure of any bags that are made in USA until now…

LexiWynn Bags are made in Illinois. They’re running a cool Kickstarter campaign to help launch their new label.

Tell me what you’re favorite beer is the comments for a chance to win one of their cool Koozies. You’ll also be entered to win if you RT my upcoming tweet, or share my facebook post. The winner will be randomly selected.

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The greatest thing you can give is your time to another.

Unfortunately I didn’t have loads of time this year to give. Between traveling for three months researching EATING, and speaking across the country, which had me away for more than 30 days, I was booked. When I did have free time, I spent it with Annie and the kids.

I simply didn’t have the time to give as much as I would’ve liked. Therefore I feel like I wasn’t the Big Brother (through Big Brothers & Big Sisters) nor the ally through Teamwork for Quality Living) that I should’ve been.

These are definitely two of my biggest regrets from 2012.


On a much more positive note, I found a vehicle in which…

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Time is the most important gift

It’s giving Tuesday! You know ever day after Thanksgiving has to have a theme, don’t you?  Tomorrow is…Wednesday?! Did we run out of themes?

Anyhow, this is the day when everyone is supposed to give to their favorite cause. Really this is something that you should do throughout the year and be very intentional about, and not wait for a post-Thanksgiving theme day or a cashier asking you if you’d like to give $1 to X cause.

Do you give when the cashier asks?

I don’t. Yes, I’m the guy in front of you at PetSmart who hates orphan puppies. I like to have more of a connection with a cause than a knee jerk reaction. I put more thought into my giving decisions than I do into what kind of gum…

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The Facing Project: Looking foreword

The Facing Project is really taking off. J.R. Jamison, my co-founder, knows a ton of people who are interested. We’re not just talking in Indiana, but in other countries. We’re not just talking a small group, but campus-wide projects and mayoral commissions. I promised I would follow up my introductory post about the project with the foreword to the initial project we launched in Muncie with the help of TEAMwork for Quality Living. Here it is…

(Oh, one more thing. I’d love it if you liked the Facing Project on Facebook. We’re almost up to 100 likes)

Every Community has a story. What’s yours?

Poverty is a hot button issue in the Muncie and Delaware County communities, as it is nationally, and internationally….

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Announcing The Facing Project

(UPDATED: 4/16/13)

The mission of The Facing Project is to help communities tell their own stories.

If you believe in the power of stories, please like The Facing Project fan page.

I believe that each of us needs to put that thing we’re best at, that drives us, that makes us feel alive, that fuels our passions, to the use for our local and global communities. For me this is taking complex issues like sweatshops, the global food system, and poverty and telling the stories of individual people. Suddenly all the stats and bootstraps that we argued about disappear and we are left with the story of an individual who faces the challenges of that…

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Africa Does Not Need More Orphanages

Abide Promo Video from Abide Family Center on Vimeo.

Kelsey Nielsen, a 22 year old social work major at Temple University, pointed me to a post she had written about orphanages in Uganda. It kind of blew my mind in that it made me look at orphanages in developing nations in a new way. Kelsey spent 12 months in Uganda and started the Abide Family Center (feel free to donate!) alongside Megan Parker. I asked her to expand her post and write a guest post.

Patrick, a twenty year old, first time father, sits with his wife’s head in his lap. Their beautiful four month old baby boy lay sleeping next to them.   Patrick sits silently listening…

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Are you making a career of Humanity?

Career of Humanity

As we celebrate the life of one of the greatest Americans, everyone seems to be asking this question: What would Martin Luther King Jr. fight for today?

New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman argues that income inequality and lack of upward mobility is the greatest injustice of today in the United States:

Yet if King could see America now, I believe that he would be disappointed, and feel that his work was nowhere near done. He dreamed of a nation in which his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But what we actually became is a nation that judges people not by…

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