Sunday, October 21, 2007

SOS…….SOS Children’s Village that is.

It’s really easy to get caught up in our own problems from financial hardships to failing relationships. Last week I forged a partnership with one of the most amazing groups of people I’ve ever had the privilege of calling my friends. They toil effortlessly for the greater good of children who can’t help themselves.

I know that I will get very bored if I don’t have something to work for on my circumnavigation other than the physical sailing and exploring. I also been feeling the need to start giving back having been very self focused for the past several years. I’ve found corporate success relatively easy, made some money, but the effort seems hollow. It’s time to put some effort into helping others.

I started searching for a multi-national nonprofit that I could join forces with to drive revenue and raise awareness for. The search turned of a long list of respected organization from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to the Red Cross. However, there was only one that really pulled at me. SOS Children’s Villages.

I sent one email to the USA office of SOS and within 24 hours received an overwhelmingly positive response back from them. SOS has operations across the globe and they’ve truly opened their doors to me adding a much needed philanthropic dimension to my plan. The general plan is to sail from Houston ESE around to the south coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic stopping at the SOS Villages there. I’ll be documenting the visits with pictures, film, and blog. SOS has invited me to stay for several days at each facility allowing me to get to know their individual characters and a chance to bring to life the story of one of the children or the many staff who make the villages possible.

From Haiti I’ll head to Jamaica, Columbia, Panama, and finally Tahiti visiting SOS sites in each country along the way. I don’t know much about public relations or how to use the media to my advantage, but SOS have put their resources in place to take care of press releases and getting the story out. Once I actually sail, they will be using their site as a platform to help track my progress and as a board to post my feeble attempts at telling their stories.

This past Monday morning was spent with the staff of SOS Children’s Village of Florida. I met the kind of people who can easily restore your faith in humanity. I want to tell their story in detail, but think the SOS stories deserve a page of their own either on this blog or on my other home page. To do this effort justice I am looking at a total redesign of the site that will include a donations page for SOS along with blog, photo gallery, and position tracking all in one place. If anyone is good with web development or knows someone who is that works at reasonable rates please point me in their direction.

Check out my new partner!

No comments: