Starting the New Year Right

The holidays aren't quite over yet, but I'm still looking ahead to 2014. My friend/fellow vagabond/renaissance man/living-through-service-extraordinaire Luke contacted me about a community in Guatemala that needs help sending 55 children from the garbage dump to the classroom in 2014. They need $10,000 to make this happen, and that's where we come in. The indigenous people of Guatemala are near and dear to my heart, so I'm starting off the new year by donating to the Integral Heart Foundation.

I already sponsor a boy in Ecuador monthly through Children International, but Luke knows I'm a sucker for a cause, so that won't stop me from making a one-time donation to help out a sustainable development organization that is bettering the quality of lives for Guatemalan children through educational community outreach. Programs like this don't just throw money at a problem, they incorporate the people they are trying to help and provide jobs, opportunities, and the change needed to pull a community out of poverty permanently, one child at a time.

Children born into the indigenous communities of Guatemala are at a huge disadvantage from the onset.  Imagine being born into this reality: Illiteracy rates in their neighborhoods will be over 50%, education won't be valued, and child labor will be expected. Violence and inequality will be the norm, as well as malnutrition. Short term solutions like clothing donations and food drives help, don't get me wrong, but providing an education is actually providing a future for these kids. If you want to read more about the organization and some of the personal stories, please check out this guest post from my friend Luke.

Video Tour of the Integral Heart Foundation

Hopefully you got lots of useful, thoughtful presents, and you're feeling the giving spirit in the air. Take a look at the pile of gifts under your Christmas tree and think about paying it forward.

You can make a donation here. Anything helps. Seriously, anything. Think of it as a couple Starbucks coffees, or a few iPad apps. Thanks for being so lovely and stay tuned for more updates! (seriously, get off the couch and go grab your credit card…)


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