Monday, December 14, 2009

Bloggers Taking Action: Pencils of Promise

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One of my dear friends, Mimi Nguyen, is a founding member of Pencils of Promise, a wonderful 501(c)(3) organization based in New York, that partners with local  communities and organizations to build schools of early-stage education in developing nations for some of the world’s most impoverished and undereducated children. Sadly, there are more than 75 million children in this terrible situation worldwide.

I have been thinking about what I can do to help since the first time Mimi told me all about this amazing organization. I devote my blog to sharing inspiring people and places and I am hard-pressed to find a more inspiring cause. As I thought about it, I realized that bloggers have an incredible platform for getting the word out about wonderful causes such as this one. In an effort to try to make a difference,  I contacted many of my blogger friends and they were just as inspired by Pencils of Promise as I was.
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{High School Students Outside of their Bamboo Dormitories}
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{The First Pencils of Promise Class Outside of their School}
Last December, the Pencils of Promise team visited a small village in Laos and by July 2009, they had built a new school for the village children who started attending classes on September 1st. This month, Pencils of Promise will be opening their third school and they hope to open the doors to education for more children in 2010.
Our Blogger Collaborative Project will benefit the females students of Champet, a village in Laos that is home to the only high school in the area for surrounding villages.  In order to attend this high school, the students must leave their families and homes to live in dormitories. However these dormitories are worlds away from what comes to mind when we think of Western boarding schools. Most importantly, PoP wants to point out that girls are moving and living in these unsafe dormitories which consists of make shift bamboo huts in order to get an education.  It is heartbreaking but so courageous at the same time.
The goal for Bloggers Taking Action today: To build safe, legitimate housing for the female children of Laos in order for them to have the opportunity to further their education.  Currently, some parents are unwilling to send their kids to school because of how dangerous the bamboo dormitory huts are.  This dormitory Pencils of Promise hopes to build will accommodate about 200 Laotian girls.

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In the spirit of the holiday season, we are asking for your help today on behalf of these children. Just think of the enormous impact we could have if each person who reads this post makes a donation. Whether you give $10 or $100, every little bit helps ($35 buys shelves for a classroom, $50 provides pencils for one year, $100 provides a teacher’s salary for three months and so on)! We are in the midst of the giving season and hope that you will find it in your heart to make a donation to this worthy cause today.
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If you would like to stay informed about the difference Pencils of Promise is making, be sure to become a fan on their Facebook page.
Image Credit: Nick Onken, the gifted photographer who so generously donated his time and talent by traveling to Laos with the PoP team to capture their progress on film.

A very special thank you goes out to the following bloggers who are participating in this collaborative effort today along with me. I couldn’t have done this without you. Thank you for using your voices to raise awareness for this special cause.
Lauren of Pure Style Home
Marianne Strong of Haven and Home
Valorie Hart of Visual Vamp
Amanda Harris of Oliveaux
Katie Denham of katiedid
Jennifer Ortiz of Bits of Beauty
Everyone from Material Girls
Crystal Gentilello of Plush Palate
Lauren Rauter of Rock Paper Scissors
Erin Gates of Elements of Style
Lucinda of Chateau de Lu
Cassandra Lavalle of coco + kelley
Julie Richard of Shelter
Megan Arquette of Beach Bungalow 8
Bradford Crowder of The Bedlam of Beefy
Jessica Graves of The Lovelist
Courtney of Under A Paper Moon
Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen
Seleta Howard of Simply Seleta
Averill of Odi et Amo
Melissa of Reverie-Daydream
Brooke of Blueprint Bliss
Daniela de la Torre of DecoLove
Sarah Ring of Jeune Marié
Michele Ginnerty of My Notting Hill
Paige of I *heart* You
Carolina Saunders of Carolina Eclectic
Maria Killam of Colour Me Happy
Kamela Cody of Modern Girl Style



Hi Paloma, what a lovely and inspirational charity. I just contributed online which was an easy process (fyi-the minimum is 10.00) thank you for bringing this most deserving cause to our attention!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for supporting this wonderful cause, HH! I made sure to change the minimum in my post. :)

Haven and Home said...

Hi Paloma,

I am so happy to be part of such a good cause. I hope this brings a lot of awareness to their cause and hopefully new dorms to the children.


Blayne Macauley said...

Hi, It is so wonderful what you are doing! What a great way to get support! I wanted to let you know that my company, Beacham & Company, REALTORS has already made a donation, and plans to donate an additional dollar, up to $50 for every person who comments on my blog post saying they have donated. I think this will be a great way to spread the word through our clients as well as additional blogs, and help raise some money!
Here is the address, I can't figure out how to get it to link:

Unknown said...

Thank you so much, Blayne! That is so generous!

La Maison Fou said...

Great Paloma,
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I had not heard of this before.
Happy Holidays!

Mango Gal said...

Such a wonderful cause! Thanks for posting about it.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Great Idea, Paloma! It's so great your bringing the whole community together. I just went over to make a donation. It was very easy!

- Naomi@thirteenandsouth

My Notting Hill said...

Paloma - great job for pulling this all together! Michele

My Notting Hill said...

Paloma - great job for pulling this all together! I'm glad to be a part of it. Michele

LindsB said...

What a wonderful cause to get involved in, I love that my favortie bloggers around the world are all coming together for something meaningful this year :)

Jessica @ Lavender and Lilies said...

Such an amazing cause! Thanks so much for bringing it to light. It broke my heart but also inspired me that these girls are that committed to their educations.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Paloma, Such a great effort by you to do this for such a well deserving organization. Thank you for including me & Merry Christmas!

Patrick Clarkson said...

it's a good action.that great!!!thanks for the littles.merry xmas & happy new year~~~~~~NFL Draft

musicvita said...

Very good organization. There are few that really make an impact, and this time of the year it really touched my heart.

Theres no reason why we shouldnt have a link on our site back to the organisation.

Merry Xmas

DecRenew Interiors said...

I just put a post on my blog about this charity and have made a donation. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful organization with us and for including so many blogger's to make such a difference.


stacy mayer said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I have joined and am making a contribution. I will definitely be posting this on my blog as well in the coming day or so. I am a new follower of your lovely blog. Please visit mine as well. You are most welcome! Stacy Mayer

Heather H said...

How funny~ the other founders of this charity are good friends with my boyfriend. It is wonderful to see that good will can reach so many corners of this small world!