I learned about the concept of “helping others” as a little kid. My mom had me to go Meals on Wheels with her before I even knew what volunteering even was, and it felt “good.” In High School, I’d play cards with immigrant workers at a nearby shelter every Sunday (that was fun!) and raised money for the homeless by sleeping outside in a box in the freezing cold (not as fun!). Finally, I did some service work in Nicaragua, which gave me a first real look into both the pains of poverty, and a resilient positive spirit around our world.
I studied anthropology and did the whole Live in Africa thing — and fell more in love with the beautiful cultures and traditions throughout the globe. But my heart was equally broken as I saw how this beauty was often cloaked by underlying despair: be it a lack of education, health care, clean water, or women’s rights.
Since I moved to NYC, I’ve wanted to take some extra (albeit tiny) time and to devote my energy towards a non-profit. Then I discovered Watsi, a crowdfunding platform for healthcare. The concept is simple and super effective: donate as little as $5 to go towards a life-changing medical treatment. Once it’s fully funded, you receive an update when the treatment is completed. I reached out to ask if there was any way I could help, and learned they had a robust volunteer program. I signed myself up and the work has been awesome.
Soon after, Watsi teamed up with Nyaya Health (health care in Nepal), Kangu (crowdfunding safe births), Dear World (photography) and The Deltree (video & web dev) to launch a beautiful crowd-funding campaign: Crowdfund Health. I met the folks at Nyaya, who are here in NYC, and their energy is infectious; their modest office, small and bootstrapped team, and crazy-beautiful vision reminded me of Greatist way back when.
One way I’m helping out is by spreading these awesome postcards around the city. One side has a word, and the other side, a message:
Aside from that, I’m just trying to spread the good-ol word via The Internet. The campaign runs until the end of the year, so if you’re looking to stretch your giving-wings, I can’t say enough good stuff about Watsi, Nyaya, and everyone else who helped put together Crowdfund Health. Below is a video by Nyaya’s founder Mark Arnoldy, who summarizes all of this way better (and succinctly) than me. Check it out, let me know what you think, and give some extra love & support to this amazing campaign before the year is over!