Happy New Year - A Little Reflection & Big Gratitude

Happy New Year!! Here we are, 52 weeks later. 52 charities in 52 weeks. A little experiment in weekly generosity - and you all made it incredible.

This all started as a simple effort to bring attention and support to organizations bringing about positive change in 2017, but it has turned into so much more. 


It is hard to even begin this letter and to decide what to say about this project and the tremendous impact it has had on me over the last year. It was a hectic time, for sure, but having a weekly ritual of searching for the positive - to research, report, give and reflect with you all.. it’s been magic. 

It is hard sometimes not to become pessimistic and hardened by the world. Learning about these organizations, meeting some of the remarkable individuals behind them, and rallying together with such an optimistic and energetic community to contribute what we can, has made me realize that while we may not be able to control our circumstances, we can control our reaction to them. 

This year, I watched you all take action. Some of you donated to every suggested organization, some simply made a large donation in the beginning of the year to a single charity, another decided hours were more valuable and offered her services to small nonprofits, and others decided to forge their own path and research and give to local organizations all on their own. However many times you gave, and in which ever way you decided to go about it: may I humbly say: thank you! You have inspired me more than words can say. 

I am so grateful to each and every one of you for making this project so wonderful. I am so in awe of this group of people, all committed to helping others and to spreading positivity. Hearing your stories, sharing ideas, and discussing what each cause has meant to you has been an absolute honor and a massive privilege. I am walking into 2018 with a huge gust of wind in my sails, and that is because of you all. 

I can write for hours on end about everything I’ve learned. About how I still have no idea what the right way is to give. About complicated thoughts on public vs. anonymous, local vs. global, cost-effective vs. visionary, personal vs. utilitarian, time vs. money, and how much is really enough? Instead, for now, I thought a simple letter of gratitude felt more right. Right for this group, with whom I’ve spent hours grappling with some of these big questions, and right for this time - welcoming the fresh, shining, bright empty page that is 2018. So for now, know that I am grateful. Great. Full. 

I hope we can keep in touch and that you will continue to carry the spirit of this little experiment in weekly generosity with you, as I will. 

Sending you so much love, my heart may burst.




As the countdown to 2018 begins, I want to take a moment to say thank you! You have made this one of the best experiences of my life. More on that next week, because right now I want to tell you about one of my favorite organizations of this entire project: Watsi.

Watsi allows you to directly fund life-changing surgeries for people around the world.  100% of donations go to providing treatment. Watsi simply blows my mind. They have two programs: Watsi Crowdfunding and Watsi Coverage that "use technology to help create a world where everyone has access to care — whether that’s a life-changing surgery or a check-up".


Here's how it works: First, a patient seeks care at one of Watsi's medical partners. If they cannot afford care, a member of the staff asks if they would like to share their story and participate in crowd funding their medical bill. A profile is submitted and approved and the patient gets treatment while their profile is posted online. Donors fund the treatment and get a post-treatment update about the patient they helped. Watsi has supported over 15,000 patients from 23 countries. 

Here's to health and happiness in the New Year. What an opportunity to change a life.

All the best and more,

Pencils of Promise

WEEK 50: Pencils of Promise

Can you believe there are only 2 more weeks of 2017? Welcome back to another week of GIVE52.  Today we are giving to Pencil’s of Promise. 

Pencils of Promise, or PoP for short, builds schools and increases educational opportunities in Laos, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. They believe that every child deserves a quality education and are innovators in the non-profit space with a “for-purpose” model and 100% of donations going to programming. As of the time of this email, they have built 429 schools, trained 783 teachers, and impacted 74,503 students. You can read more about their impact here.


"250 million of the world's primary school aged children lack basic reading, writing and math skills. Poor, unsafe infrastructure, untrained teachers and preventable illnesses are all barriers to quality education, especially for children living in rural, developing communities. In our countries of impact, Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, students and teachers lack the resources and tools proven to overcome these barriers. In Ghana, 28% of primary school students will drop out before completing primary school. In Guatemala, four years is the average length of schooling for a child. And in Laos, 30% of the population is illiterate, with even higher rates of illiteracy amongst ethnic minorities. Students in these communities attend class in dilapidated structures or outside, under the shade of trees, rather than in formal schools. Teachers in these communities lack formal training and don't have a support system in place to help them become effective educators." 

"Pencils of Promise provides the means, methods and materials necessary to give the world's neediest children quality education and basic literacy. We build primary schools to ensure students have safe access to a structurally sound, quality learning environment. We train and coach teachers, implement WASH and provide innovative in-classroom programs to create a scalable model for a complete, high-quality education. Our teacher training workshops model effective classroom practice and high-engagement instruction. We build safe and clean bathrooms and teach students about water, sanitation and hygiene to keep them healthy and in school. We integrate e-readers and tablets into our programming with the goal of achieving basic literacy for 90% of students by the end of grade six.” - PoP

Here’s to quality education for all. 

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!