The news from Nepal is devastating. More than 7,000 people have been killed in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck on April 25th, and thousands are still missing. Having been to Nepal and spent time reveling in the warmth and beauty of this special country, it’s particularly heartbreaking to see what has happened. That’s why I wanted to do something to help.
Since I’m not related to the Rockefellers or the Bill Gates Family, I had to focus on a more homespun approach. That’s when the “Popsicles for Nepal Challenge” popped into my head.
It started with our Roosevelt Elementary School Running Club. I simply brought four boxes of healthy’ish Popsicles to practice last week, emailed the kids’ parents in advance, then “sold” the Popsicles after practice on a donation basis. I told them that ANY amount was welcome, and if some kids didn’t bring money, I donated for them. This little running club (and their parents) knocked my socks off with their compassion, generosity, and their desire to help the people of Nepal. In less than 10 minutes, we raised nearly $200 for Direct Relief (www.directrelief.org), a humanitarian aid organization based here in Santa Barbara, ranked #1 on the Top 10 List of charities.
After starting the Popsicles for Nepal Challenge, our Roosevelt Running Club then challenged the Kids Corner Coyotes, another team I help coach on Saturdays. I have goosebumps as I type this….drumroll please…the Coyotes raised a whopping $420 for Direct Relief, thanks to one parent who doubled the kids’ efforts through his company’s matching contributions program. Thank you Kevin! And the topper? He also just matched our Roosevelt Running Club (and then some), so our combined efforts come to over $900–all in 10 minutes time–seriously. The best part of this whole process is showing the kids that small acts of kindness, when combined with others’ small acts of kindness, can turn into something much bigger.
The Coyotes have now challenged the Santa Barbara Track Club via Facebook and I’ve also challenged the Moms in Motion Running Team, as well as several friend’s and family’s hiking/running/workout groups here, and in different parts of the country. The ball is rolling!
Two hundred dollars (or even $20) here or there may not seem like a lot, but when sending resources to a country that had little to begin with, please know this money will go a long, long way. And Nepal needs A LOT right now.
This challenge takes very little effort. Simply bring some popsicles to your next practice or gathering and see how much people will donate in exchange for a cool, tasty treat. Popsicles are especially refreshing after a good workout! I hope whoever is reading my blog right now will take this challenge, then challenge another group (Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, book groups, cycling or triathlon groups, theater or dance groups, church groups, people in your office…the list goes on and on). Tweet it, post it on Facebook, and share this simple idea. Together let’s take a small idea and make a big difference in helping get the fabulous people of Nepal back on their feet again.
#PopsiclesForNepalChallenge #HomespunPhilanthropy #RunnersMakingADifference #PeopleHelpingPeople #KidsRock
Thanks for considering! Please let me know if you take the challenge. I’d love to celebrate your effort! xo
PS: Some of you may know that my husband, Jeffrey, is a professional photographer. He is also raising money for Direct Relief by selling one of his photographs of Nepal on his Facebook page. Here’s the link if you’re interested: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeffrey-Aaronson/108650762509168
UPDATE: This fabulous 3-person team in Hood River, OR took the Popsicles for Nepal Challenge and raised $124 for Direct Relief, taking us over the $1K mark. Way to go Tate, Abby and Anna!