Khata Life

Week 11: Khata Life

Welcome back to another week of GIVE52. This week’s organization, Khata Life, was started by my amazing friend Michelle Welsch. At the core of their work is a desire to support personal initiative and sustainability within the Kaski community in Nepal. It is my pleasure today to tell you about Michelle and Khata Life.

The story began when, in a bold move, Michelle quit everything and moved to Nepal. After working as a volunteer teacher in a monastery, she founded Khata Life. By working with local partners and focusing on community, Khata Life encourages leadership and education in Nepal. Projects focus on two main areas: education and leadership within Pokhara.

Michelle runs Learning House to encourage education and community, has installed a solar system to provide reliable electricity for the Matepani community, hosts career seminars connecting local leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs, and runs a dental clinic.

She says that in the beginning she started small “with projects at Matepani Gumba: buying books, hiring an English teacher, getting clothes donated…then the solar project, organizing field trips and health camps …and now the Learning House.”

Michelle and I first met when she worked with Seth Godin to host a summer internship. Since then, we have traveled to Kenya together and have cheered each other on with every new project. It has been inspiring to watch her turn her ideas for supporting an incredible community into reality and I continue to be in awe of her tenacity, bravery, and relentless optimism.

Michelle had the guts to quit a life she liked in favor of one she loves.

In her own words:
“I’m so very thankful I’ve had the guts to step into the doorway of chance and risk and opportunity (and disappointment and failure). Instead of letting confusion and anxiety get the best of me, I’ve clawed my way to make decisions that tackle my fears head on.

As a result, I’ve been able to create a life I often have to laugh and smile at, “This is real! This is my life!” I have moments that feel so surreal, so dreamlike.

I’m not the richest person, but I’m doing work I love with people I adore and I think I’m helping others achieve their dreams. That seems like gold to me.”

Here’s to a life you love.
Make this week a wonderful one,


First Book

Week 10: First Book

My mom saved the first books she read to me. She inscribed my name in each front cover along with the date she read the story to me for the first time. I am so lucky she kept these treasures because now I’m able to read them to my own little guy and add his name.

This week, I chose First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. I would love to donate to them in the hopes that other parents can experience the joy of reading to their little ones.


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss

Since their founding, First Book has distributed more than 150 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.

First Book makes new books and other educational resources available for free and at deeply reduced prices - exclusively to educators and community program leaders who serve kids in need.

They support the largest and fastest growing network of educators and program leaders serving children in need. In partnership with these heroic educators and other organizations, First Book transforms lives by improving access to equal, quality education for all kids. From books to backpacks, technology to toothpaste, First Book delivers critical tools for learning and life.

Here's to a new generation of readers,


1% for the Planet

Week 9: One Percent for the Planet

Often when we think of doing good, we forget about the for-profit sector and leave so much room for impact on the table. 1% For the Planet helps create partnerships that protect the planet. They are an organization that connects business dollars with doers. They link businesses that contribute at least one percent of annual sales with high-impact environmental nonprofits.

“When you have a whole life in the outdoors, you realize you have a sense of responsibility to protect these wild places.” - Yvon Chouinard

1% For the Planet was founded by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Blue Ribbon Flies founder Craig Mathews. Today, businesses and individuals are both making the 1% for the Planet commitment, creating greater impact every year.

“To do good, you actually have to do something.” - Yvon Chouinard

They collaborate with member businesses to identify where they can invest dollars that meet their business goals, and then they certify that every dollar contributed goes to a vetted, trusted environmental nonprofit. The goal is to not only direct business giving toward environmental causes, but to increase the overall amount of global dollars going to help protect the planet.

Your donation will be leveraged to unlock greater funding for clean water, more sustainable agriculture, tackling climate change, conserving wildlife habitat and more.

Want to dive deeper? I highly recommend the gorgeous documentary 180 Degrees South, it talks about the importance of wild spaces and features Yvon Chouinard and the story of an epic adventure.

Besides giving to this week's organization, this week for me is all about examining consumption. Where can I cut back? Where can I use a sustainable option over disposables? Where can I invest in a high quality product that will last a lifetime instead of a cheap fix that I have to keep purchasing and wasting?  Can I recycle more? Do I really need as much stuff??

Please let me know how you do your part. I'd love some suggestions and I'm eager to learn!

Have a lovely week and stay wild.