My blogger friend Beth Kanter had the best birthday ever last week, and I am proud to say I was part of it. We've been online friends since we met at BlogHer or WoolfCamp or SXSW, I forget which, and we are connected on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter and any channel that we find each other on. I follow her loosely (we're not close friends by any stretch of the imagination), but when she asked for a very special birthday gift a couple of weeks ago, I was happy to chip in.
A week later, on her actual birthday, she thanked us all:
Today is my birthday and this year, as I have done for the past 8 years, I asked friends and family to donate to the Sharing Foundation in my honor. (If you want to know more about why my family and I care about the children of Cambodia and this charity, take a minute to watch this video my son, Harry made.) Last year, I got 51 people to donate $10 for my 51st birthday using my blog, Twitter, and other social media outposts. This year, I experimented with Facebook Causes birthday application.
We raised $6,255 from 162 donors! That's enough to cover the cost of school uniforms for 615 Cambodian youngsters. Many children in Cambodia do not go to school because their families lack the $10 for a uniform, required for school attendance. Last year, the Sharing Foundation's sewing school, a vocational training program, made over 1250 uniform sets and donated them to needy children in Roteang Village, to the Street Children's Assistance NGO, and to a poor government orphanage. The sewing girls, who are employed by the Sharing Foundation's vocational training program, earn from the first day of their training, so this is a win-win situation.
See her blog entry, "Thank you for the best birthday ever! We raised $6,255 for the Sharing Foundation to send 625 Cambodian youngsters to school!" for all the details and linkage.
I'm going to appropriate her idea for my own birthday this summer. And maybe you like it too?