Okay, so all of my blogs so far have been about fundraising for my placement. I realize that this is a bit obsessive, but I had to get all my ducks in a row and make sure that all the web logistics were taken care of before I can proceed onto other meaningful subjects.
A little explanation is needed, I think. On the left side of my blog page, you will see two links under the heading, "Volunteer". One is the link to CUSO-VSO, which informs everyone about CUSO-VSO. Besides the individual stories from volunteers, I would encourage everyone to also read about CUSO-VSO's history and the length of time they have been sending volunteers overseas. Their mission statement is also important because it describes the scope of their work, which indicates the greatest needs afflicting indigent communities. After reading the impact of CUSO-VSO volunteers in developing countries, how does one not want to give?
Above the CUSO-VSO link is a weblink to my personal fundraising page, which I found to be particularly impressive. The page is a personal appeal for funds, complete with two images and an hour glass figure that tracks my progress by indicating the amount of dollars I raise, day by day. As you can see, my total dollar goal is USD$3,000, which can be broken down as USD$2,000 through on-line contributions and USD$1,000 through door-to-door canvassing. Upon my return, I will be giving several presentations, complete with photographs, to describe our work in the Singazongwe District. I anticipate raising more funds from this presentation and possibly recruiting some volunteers from around the Pioneer Valley.
Donors can contribute directly through my fundraising webpage. It has security features, allowing you to give with a credit card. If you prefer to send checks by snail mail, there is a place for you to enter your information and then send a check. If you choose this option, please remember to write the check to "CUSO-VSO" and not to me (Camille) because the funds do not help me directly, but rather the overall work of CUSO-VSO. Instead, my name should be placed in the memo part of the check, which on most is at the lower left hand (southwest) corner.
Please disregard the fundraising start date on my page. It reads May 1, 2009 (8:30 a.m.). The start date for me is actually today, December 13, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
Last night, I discussed with my sister how I can kick start this campaign and she came up with the idea of commemorating it with the upcoming holidays. She argued that because Christmas is a time of giving, people might feel generous enough to give the minimum request of $10 on behalf of someone they care about. What a wonderful idea! End the holiday with a new relationship with a developing country community OR start the new year doing the same! Donors' names will be listed on my fundraising webpage. Thus, as part of a donor community, you can see how your contribution helps to the total dollar amount and become a mini-celebrity for as long as my fundraising page runs! I will be asking my family members to contribute to CUSO-VSO instead of buying me Christmas gifts. The contribution won't edible or wearable, but will definitely be tangible and will last longer.
Over the next few days, I will be preparing some country briefings and writing about the culture of Zambia to generate stronger incentives to participate. If you thought today's blog was verbose, wait until you read the one tomorrow. Keep checking back here. . . if you dare! Just kidding.