I want to tell you about a non-profit organization I became involved with just prior to the summer. Their name is Cradle to Carreer in Kenya. And they are changing the world, one child at a time, starting in Kenya.
You've heard this a number of times I'm sure, but trust me, this is different. I am very selective of the people, organizations and causes I align myself with because not everyone out there is honest or a straight shooter. Many people are out to fill their pockets or push their personal agendas, but I assure you C2C Kenya is the real deal.
My long time friend Will introduced me to them in a round-about way and we hit it off right away. They needed an overhaul from their old website and didn't know where to begin or how to reach their goals. We began by identifying their problems and finding appropriate solutions. Their main goal was to increase donations so that they could send more kids through their program.
The reason Cradle to Career is different than other charities is that the goal is to take a child from a young age and nurture them all the way through college. As we know from news, movies, and other organizations, Kenya is ridden with poverty, crime and corruption so this organization provides shelter from all that.
While C2C Kenya provides shelter and a refuge for children to grow and develop safely, their main focus is education. Clearly education is the key to success, and Father Henry Simaro quickly identified this. You see, Father Henry isn't trying to provide just a meal and a bed for these kids, he is trying to make provide them with a full education to compete in a nascent global market as individuals and as leaders.
For each kid that he helps, he is building a legacy that over time will reach thousands and eventually millions of lives. Father Henry himself is a USC alumni, so he definitely understands the value and significance of a solid world class education.
I decided my company and I could build their website and support them with their online technology needs. The website launched over the summer and it was a great success. The online donation system immediately helped bring over 30,000 dollars in new donations and the number just keeps going up. We have several plans in motion to increase awareness and drive more revenue as well. All with the use of online technology.
But it's not just about the website. That is just the latest component to the organization and it is brand new. It takes time to build a following online, however last Friday Cradle to Career held its Anual Gala in Newport Beach at the world-famous Big Canyon Country Club. I, along with my Wife, and three friends: Candice Cendaña, Debbie Miller & blogging superstar John Chow, were privileged to attend and participate. I was blown away by the generosity of each individual and groups that attended. If you think I'm just blowing smoke, you are wrong. Someone donated $5000 for a glass of tap Water!
My friend John Chow bid for a 20 person party in the beautiful city of Corona Del Mar and his bid won at $2000 (watch the video). Someone even donated 180,000 dollars towards the completion of a new school in Kenya to support Father Henry's program. Yes, that's not a typo, that is 18 and four zeroes! Dozens of individuals made similar contributions ranging from $100 to $20,000. The price to attend was a mere $150 but even that helps children get a good education.
It is amazing what happens when people with a common goal get together and target a problem. Imagine the problems we could solve if we did this every day!
Now that the website is done, and the Gala event turned out to be a great success, we are moving onto the projects of raising awareness and building a following and support for the cause. If you are on Twitter, look for the hashtag #C2CKenya. It may be a little empty right now but we are going to share with you some really great stuff over the next few months and will be kicking things into full gear in January 2013.