This is the official headquarters of the <strong>2009 Givology Annual Holiday Challenge</strong>!
<br /><strong>Take the Givology Annual Holiday Challenge! Between December 15th and January 31st, you can register and participate in this challenge by joining <a href="http://www.givology.org/teams/2009-holiday-volunteer-ch/">this giving team</a>.</strong>
<br />Once you’ve completed the challenge, please write about your experiences in a blog post on this <a href="http://www.givology.org/teams/2009-holiday-volunteer-ch/">“Annual Holiday Challenge” giving team page</a>, and be eligible for a prize for innovative ideas and reflections! It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes a day on average, and you can win some awesome prizes.
<br /><strong><u>Prizes for Participation</strong></u>:
<br />- <strong>Everyone</strong>: A special holiday surprise from the team and a Givology gift voucher for matched funding!
<br />- <strong>For the best blog entries and ideas</strong>:
<br />o Copy of <em><a href="http://www.halftheskymovement.org/">Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide</em></a>, by Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times (top entry)
<br />o <a href="http://www.khayacookies.com">Khaya Cookies</a> (2nd and 3rd prize)
<br />o <a href="http://www.givology.org/giftcert/">Givology Gift Certificates</a> (4th and 5th prize)
<br />The best entries will be featured on our site and in our newsletter!
<br /><strong><u>Details of the Challenge</u></strong>:
<br />Between December 15th and January 31st, commit to spending five days (does not have to continuous) in total to spread the word about Givology.
<br /><strong>Day 1</strong>: Spend 10 minutes on Givology’s site. Register for an account and join our Annual Holiday Challenge! Make a blog post on the giving team page introducing yourself – where you are from, your interests, and why education matters to you (1-2 paragraphs). If you can, make a small contribution to a <a href="http://www.givology.org/donate/projects/">project</a> or <a href="http://www.givology.org/donate/students/">student</a> of your choice.
<br /><strong>Days 2, 3, and 4</strong>: For each of the days, pick a different activity from the list of activities below!
<br />• <strong>Spread the Word</strong>: Send a message to 20 friends to register and join the Givology community [<a href="http://www.givology.org/spreadtheword/">click to send a message to friends!</a>] and invite 20 friends to join our <a href="http://www.givology.org/spreadtheword/">Facebook, Twitter, and/or Linked-in Networks</a>.
<br />• <strong>Message a Student or Project</strong>: Write one letter to a student or project featured on Givology [<a href="http://www.givology.org/~NicoleV/blog/225/">read “a message about messaging”</a>]
<br />• <strong>Plan a Microfundraiser</strong>: Get a group of friends together brainstorm ideas for a potential microfundraiser later this year [<a href="http://www.givology.org/~ankitshah/blog/419/">What is a microfundraiser?</a>]. Jot down some of your best ideas and post them on the Holiday Challenge blog! Set a date to make the event happen where you are if you feel up to it! Some great ideas for the holidays include:
<br /> o Selling hot chocolate
<br /> o Holding an ice skating party
<br /> o Hosting a dinner party for Givology
<br /> o Holding a bake sale
<br />• <strong>Be an Advocate for Education</strong>: Pick up a copy of <em><a href="http://www.halftheskymovement.org/">Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide</em></a> to inspire a discussion with friends or just get together for some hot chocolate, cookies (we recommend <a href="http://www.givology.org/~joycemeng/blog/343/">Khaya Cookies</a> - don't forget our coupon code "GIVOLOGY" for 20% off!), and have a great discussion about education. Jot down some thoughts about the discussion and anything you took away from the discussion in a post on the Holiday Challenge blog.
<br />• <strong>Share a Cause</strong>: Pick a cause on Givology and make sure to tell someone at work, school, or daily life about that cause! Show your friend the Givology page for the cause and get him or her to register. Write about the conversation and anything you may have learned from it on the Holiday Challenge blog!
<br />• <strong>Design a Givology graphic</strong>: Put your creative digital photography, photoshop, or artistic skills to work by creating a design for a Givology campaign graphic and post your picture online on the Holiday Challenge blog, and <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email the graphic to us</a>!
<br />• <strong>Give us Feedback</strong>: Take a look at our website and write down some recommendations you have for us to improve our layout and features. Write your comments in a post on the Holiday Challenge blog!
<br /><strong>Day 5</strong>: Congratulations on completing the annual holiday challenge! Write a post on our Holiday Challenge blog (2-3 paragraphs) with some reflections on your experiences in taking this challenge and any exciting ideas you might have for Givology to better serve its cause from your five days of Givology cheer! <br />
After spending the last few days talking nonstop to people about Givology, I truly think that the cause for education and providing it to those who aren't as fortunate as we are strikes a chord with everyone.
Many of us take our education for granted, but when we're made aware of the fact that millions around the world aren't nearly as blessed in that regard as we are, we do want to help, and I think that's what this holiday challenge allows us to do. Some people who I would never expect to really express that much interest in Givology or the cause it fights for have really shown me great amounts of enthusiasm when I bring it up, and it really warms my heart to know that people do care. All they need is a little bit of a reminder as to what the rest of the world gets (or doesn't get) on a regular basis.
Hey guys! I'm Ankit Shah, a student at the University of Pennsylvania. I'm originally from Long Island, which is where I am until school starts back up in mid-January. In my free time, I like to learn. It's usually not academic as much as it is experiential. I consider hanging out, watching TV, seeing movies, spending time with family, eating, creating things to be learning experiences, and I like to be as conscious of this as I can.
The reason I think a strongly founded education is important, however, is because I wouldn't be nearly as able to consider those experiences I mentioned above learning opportunities. Education, in my eyes, offers a student boundless options because it gives them perspective. It provides the ability to look at things in a new way, and without that, creativity falters. For this reason, I think spreading education to worlds around us and to people who really don't have the resources to get it themselves is so key. The potential students that Givology assists have totally different life experiences from everyone else in the world that is granted with an education, but we can't learn from those individuals unless they're able to properly convey their own thoughts and ideas. That's why they need what Givology offers, and that's why we need to help them get it.