UPDATE: As described and promised via the below post (Would You Take A Minute To Comment On A Post If It Meant That A Costa Rican Child Would Have An Opportunity To Follow Their Passion? Here’s Your Chance), we have donated a number of futbol (soccer) shoes and shin guards to Costa Rican schools. Please read more about our donation (and plans to continue donating in the future) here: Thank You Readers And Travellers For Making This Happen. We Could Not Have Done It Without You.
This is pretty cool. It isn’t everyday that I can say that I have published 100 posts, get to support an overwhelmingly great cause, and officially turn the big 3-0. But truth be told, the stars have aligned and everything seems to have fallen into place this week. Not only does this blog post mark the 100th published article since we first launched Costa Rica Travel Blog just over 2 years ago, but this celebratory post calls attention to one of the greatest topics I have ever had the pleasure of writing about. Throw in the fact that I’m turning a year older this week and it appears there’s no more room for icing on this big ol’ well-lit cake. Things are proving sweet enough.
So what’s the best birthday present or pat on the back I could ask for? About 1 minute of your time.
Ricky and I operate the “Travellers For…Donation Project”. It’s our small way of giving back when, where, and how we can via our business, Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated. We’re regularly evaluating the organizations we choose to financially support through the project and are humbled by the growing number of initiatives that are available to decide between with each passing year. For all of the ‘bad people’ in this world, far more ‘good people’ exist and it’s inspiring to learn how much they are doing for others.
Most recently, Ricky and I decided to get involved with the Escuela de Futbol Tres Equis, which is a small-scale Costa Rican organization that aims to provide local children with opportunities to engage in sport within their community. Offering complimentary physical education and sporting equipment to those who are unable to afford to follow their passion (futbol, otherwise known as soccer to Americans and Canadians), the school depends on people like you and me to help carry out their vision. Specifically, second-hand outdoor soccer shoe contributions and monetary donations (applied towards the purchase of used equipment) are needed to help provide the program with the gear it needs to run.
Ricky and I have already decided to collect as much equipment as we can so the program can support as many children as possible. Now we’re turning to you, our faithful blog followers, for your encouragement. Sure, we could easily cut a cheque to the organization and call it a day, but there’s something far more moving about a community uniting for a cause. No, we’re not asking for your money or even your child’s used soccer shoes. We are asking for your voice. Since actions evoke action, and inspiration inspires, and we’d love to hear your thoughts about paying it forward. Perhaps it will invite another reader to do the same.
All we are asking for is a comment left below that offers us your take on philanthropy – a thoughtful quote, an example of how you’ve given back, an explanation of how kindness changed your life, and/or a caring thought. Why? Because great power exists in learning from the experience and wisdom of motivated others. In turn for each comment (as long or as short as you wish – one comment per reader please), we will donate $1 towards the purchase of soccer shoes for the Escuela de Futbol Tres Equis. Considering the low cost of second-hand shoes, you’d be amazed at the number of brand-name footwear and shin guards that a few dollars can buy. Since our first goal is to fund the purchase of enough soccer shoes to outfit an entire child’s team, asking readers to comment below (under the “leave a reply” prompt) to help make this happen is hardly an unachievable task.
Throughout the entire draft of this post I couldn’t help but think of K’naan’s “Take A Minute”. If you’re not familiar with the song, I highly recommend a listen, at least once. It’s a symphony for peace wrapped up with a challenge – daring listeners to get up and give back. He sings,
“Nothing is perfect man, that’s what the world is
All I know is I’m enjoying today
You know ’cause it isn’t every day that you get to give.”
He couldn’t say it better. We may not always get opportunities to ‘make a difference’, or maybe we do, but we only choose to see opportunities as the ‘chances to give’ that they are when we are in the mood to carry them out. Either way, pockets of opportunity present themselves and it’s up to us to decide what to do with them. Today, we’re asking you to comment below and pay it forward. To those of you who take a minute to do so, we thank you in advance and hope you are able to take from others’ shared comments some motivation of your own.
Dear K’naan, you helped me write this
By showing me to give is priceless.
*Learn more about Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated’s “Travellers For…” Donation Project and the Escuela de Futbol Tres Equis: http://www.puravidaeh.ca/travellersforproject/
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What’s your take on philanthropy? What have you received or done to give back?