How our friend Thea danced her way to Ethiopia for charity
Have you ever tried fundraising? I mean, since those days when you were in elementary school and had your squeezable cheeks to use as leverage?
I have and it’s TOUGH. No matter how much you may believe in a cause, to encourage others to feel likewise and then to donate towards said cause takes courage and perseverance.
That’s why when I see someone not only succeed on this front but essentially reinvent what it is to fundraise, I feel an overwhelming sense of awe.
This wasn’t just about indulging the novelty of our youth but a brilliant win-win fundraiser that she herself had organized to raise funds for imagine1day, a charity whose mission is to see that every Ethiopian receive a quality education.
Though the words Just For Fun Summer Camp were enough for some to get involved, Thea also set multiple donation thresholds that necessitated some form of on-video public display of commitment when each was met. Have you ever seen a hot dog with a ship captain’s hat dance it out at a bus stop? I hadn’t either until Thea reached that goal (see video below).
Just For Fun Summer camp was a hit and Thea succeeded in raising her financial goal (details below) by her own initiative for imagine1day. Reaching her goal meant that she would be visiting Ethiopia to get her hands dirty building a school for imagine1day.
A few weeks before leaving to Ethiopia she approached us and asked if KOOSHOO would be interested in donating headbands for her journey. Touched and honoured, we happily donated a number of our yoga headbands for Thea and her fellow fundraisers to keep the sweat out and the sunburns away on their inspiring trip.
Below is a beautiful first-hand account from Thea about her experiences in Ethiopia, a touching video filmed by our wonderful friends at Semperviva Yoga, and a few fun photos of her and the team rocking KOOSHOO in the lands where it all began for us humans.
Thanks so much Thea – you really are a tremendous inspiration and a wonderful friend.
First a video, then a letter from Thea...
imagine1day is a Vancouver based charity with a BIG goal: All Ethiopians have access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030.
I have been involved with imagine1day in a volunteer capacity for the past 3 years, supporting some of the amazing Creatributions (creative contributions) that raise funds for many different school projects in Ethiopia. 2012 was a "yes" year for me: I followed my intuition into a new job and the incredibly special opportunity of being part of the imagine Ethiopia 2012 Team. Being part of this team was a commitment to each raise over $7,000 to together support the community of Alose, Ethiopia, in building a grade 1- 4 school, complete with excellent teacher training and micro enterprises to ensure the community would be self sustainable moving forward.
It felt amazing to put myself out there, ask for help and successfully raise over $7,400. It wasn't until I landed in Ethiopia and entered Alose (on horse back no less!) that I truly connected how important this work is in my heart. I wanted to burst with pride and love for this community that is so obviously committed to education for their children. We saw countless examples of individuals putting their community ahead of their own interests in order to make this school come to life. A few months later I still feel overwhelmed with gratitude and love for all of the beautiful and warm people I met while in Ethiopia.
I feel incredibly lucky that I had the opportunity to be part of this important work and have the experience of a lifetime. 2 weeks of education, connection, cultural exchange, and big adventures left me cracked wide open and eager to share my joy.
Thank you to Jesse and Rachel for your support in supplying my team with your wonderful Kooshoo headwear. Your big hearts and kindness shone bright on the other side of the world!
For more info on the amazing work of imagine1day, head to imagine1day.org