Giving Tuesday

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Hey Echoers!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering that follows Black Friday each year. Considered the start of the giving season, it is a day for organizations, like Esther’s Echo, to rally its donor community, YOU! Giving Tuesday was celebrated in over 150 countries last year and generated over 21.7 billion Twitter impressions. Tomorrow we’re celebrating Giving Tuesday here in Canada, specifically Esther’s Echo will be part of the local Vancouver chapter of Giving Tuesday called VanGives. We’ll be joined by other local organizations who are all telling their story throughout the day and raising money for their causes.

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Last year’s Giving Tuesday was our single largest donation day in the history of the organization at $2,300 CDN. I am hoping we can match and surpass that record this year! Esther has already begun work on constructing their own building. While we don’t have the funds to complete the school yet, she does want to complete the foundation as soon as possible and any amount of funding sent helps. Construction is FAR CHEAPER in Sierra Leone. Every dollar goes a really long way.

Building Esther her own school is a dream shared by both Esther and myself. With their own building, Esther and Women in Action wouldn’t have to rely on making rent payments that could otherwise be reinvested into growing the school, reducing student fees, and paying teachers and the work has already begun with Esther at the helm. We still have rent to cover while doing the construction, so donations will be prioritized there while Esther also begins saving portions to continue the construction project.

Let’s ensure that Esther’s dream can be realized and let’s break that fundraising record! I’ll be updating tomorrow from the VanGives headquarters in Vancouver during Giving Tuesday!

You can find our Giving Tuesday profile on the Giving Tuesday Canada mainsite here:

https://givingtuesday.ca/partners/esthers-echo

Also check out the Giving Tuesday Canada Promo Video below and please consider giving us a shoutout on your social networks with hashtags #VanGives, #GivingTuesday, and #GivingTuesdayCanada

-Matthew

Donate for Giving Tuesday!

We Kept Women in Action Open Another Semester! Now On to Giving Tuesday!

Echoers!

Great news! In August we were running a fundraising campaign to see if we could close out 2018’s rent for Esther. And we did! We got all the funding we needed by the end of the month and transferred the funds. Through September, Esther brought the funds to the landlord and we waited as Esther negotiated with the landlord because we were late and they were starting to threaten legal action. But I recently received confirmation that we are okay at least until the end of this year.

Wire transfer receipt to Women in Action for the balance that YOU helped fundraise! Hoorah!

Wire transfer receipt to Women in Action for the balance that YOU helped fundraise! Hoorah!

So here is where I share our next two fundraising goals. By April, I’d like to ensure Esther has all the rent paid for 2019 which will be another 7,000 USD. 2500 of that we need by the end of December to allow Esther to remain for the Spring semester.

What about the second goal? Here is where things get more exciting. Over the last year, I’ve been talking about plans to build Esther her own building. I’ve wanted to do this for years because it means that our funding dollars aren’t just paying rent, but actually providing a space that BELONGS to Women in Action itself. That would mean that future donated dollars can ALL go directly to expanding curriculum, paying teacher salaries, and lowering student fees. Some of our funding already accomplishes these more exciting budget line items, but a majority of the funding goes to landlords. Rent is important. It keeps the school operating. But ultimately we want something more sustainable. How much will that cost? Originally, I thought the costs would be much higher – in excess of 100,000 USD. However, Esther has drawn up a plan with an engineer and it is more like 35,000 USD which is amazing. The school already has a plot of land to construct the new space which we helped to purchase a few years ago.

Activities resume for the Fall Semester at Women in Action

Activities resume for the Fall Semester at Women in Action

In addition, to help get things started, the staff and students have already started to construct parts of the building that they can do on their own.

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How can you help? Giving Tuesday is coming November 27th! Please consider us again this year. Last year’s Giving Tuesday was the single largest fundraising day we ever had. Our first goal is to cover the more immediate need which is Esther’s Rent. Anything in addition to that goal we raise between now and April will go to the construction project. You can find our profile at: https://givingtuesday.ca/partners/esthers-echo.

Thank you all so much again for your continued support! Also, welcome to our new donors who helped us during the August fundraising push!

Sincerely,

Matthew

Donate Today!

What a Year!

Hello Echoers!

2017 was a great year! Last January saw the end of our best giving season yet. February we spoke at Mulgrave Secondary's "Action for Esther" fundraiser. In the Spring we appeared at Capilano University's Justice High conference after celebrating International Women's day.  In the Summer, we completed the purchase of a new plot of farmland for Esther's school, The Women in Action Development Project.  Also through the Summer, you helped raise funds to support Women in Action through the heavy Sierra Leone flooding. This past November 28th was our largest single donation day ever during Giving Tuesday. I was the keynote speaker at the Connect Model United Nations Conference sharing Esther's story. And finally we wrapped up this year surpassing last year's best giving season. Thank you all so much for your support during all our adventures. 

But we don't want to stop there! I think we can yet accomplish even more. Esther is still short on clearing  rent costs on their school building for 2017 meaning expensive loans to keep the school open. Let's finish 2017 even stronger than we already have. Every donation means reduced school fees for students, higher wages for teachers, and a greater diversity of education at the school. Every dollar you donate goes directly to Esther and the Women in Action Development Project providing education and mentorship to vulnerable women and girls in one of the most challenging places in the world to live. We wish you all an incredible 2018 and our sincere thanks to all of you who have made 2017 a successful year for Esther's Echo.

Sincerely,

Matthew

Make your 2017 Donation!
Esther during her visit to Vancouver, Canada

Esther during her visit to Vancouver, Canada

 

 

At the Model United Nations and Best Giving Tuesday Yet!

Hello Echoers!

This past November had two highlights that we wanted to share! First, Matthew was chosen as keynote speaker for the Connect Model United Nations conference in Vancouver this year. Past speakers have included names like Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. Matthew's talk brought together our work with Esther's Echo seen through the lens of Matthew's passion for space and space exploration; an orbital perspective where the world is seen from above and where we share common hopes and challenges. In Matthew's words "from space, and I use the word 'astronomical' literally here, our differences become astronomically tiny and our similarities astronomically large." The work of Esther's Echo was shared with over 300 high school delegates and teachers in attendance at the Model United Nations conference where Matthew encouraged them to think cooperatively rather than competitively about the challenges facing our world. 

Matthew presenting at the Connect MUN Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver

Matthew presenting at the Connect MUN Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver

We also wanted to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, on November 28th, marked the start of the Holiday Giving Season. This year, we tallied a record $2700! All in ONE day! Thank you all so very much for your generosity! This is the most successful Giving Tuesday campaign we've ever had. Esther is not quite in the clear yet, however. We've helped raise about half of what she needs to clear rent on the building that houses the Women in Action Development Project. Without the rest, Esther could be forced to take out expensive loans, reduce teachers pay, or increase school fees. We want to help avoid all that so are calling on you to help by donating or sharing our story with others. To those of you who have already supported Esther's work, our sincerest thanks! You are helping to keep over two hundred young women and children in school and daycare programs. We will continue to update you all as we head into the Holidays! All the best on Holiday preparations!