In slightly less than a month, I will leave for Ecuador. Once there, my classmates, professors and I will purchase roughly $1,200 worth of school and hygiene supplies for the children of San Gerardo, an indigenous community in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. The 500 people who live in that community look forward to the visit from IUS students every year, and we’ve been told that we will be greeted as old friends by these wonderful people who are so appreciative of our help. In the past, IUS students have done everything from planting trees to securing the donation of computers for their school. Two years ago, IUS students made a video about the children of the community and our projects there. You can see it here if you’d like to learn more.
My classmates and I have several plans in place this year to raise the funds that we need to adequately supply the children of San Gerardo for the next school year. There are 125 children at the school, so if we raise $1,200 we can spend roughly $10 per child on supplies. We are currently selling bags that were handmade in the community, and we are also partnering with a local business which will donate 10% of their sales for a specific week (more on that once the details are more concrete). However, I realized that these projects aren’t guaranteed to raise the money that we need, and I started thinking about what I, personally, could do to raise funds.
That’s where the prints come in. For a $15 donation, I will print and mail/deliver any print from my website, Facebook, or personal print library (if you know a picture exists but can’t find it online, ask me!) in 8×10 format. $10 of the donation from each print will go directly to the children of San Gerardo. The other $5 will cover printing and shipping costs. This means that each print will directly purchase school and hygiene supplies for one child in San Gerardo. If I sell 10 prints, we will have funded 10 children. If I sell 30, we will have funded 30 children. If I manage to sell 120 prints, our funding goal will be met for this year.
You have three options when it comes to the prints.
- Choose an image that I have already taken. This can be from my website or my personal or professional Facebook albums. I have also created a “suggested prints” album on my professional page to provide ideas to those of you who didn’t immediately say “Awesome! I can finally own that picture I love!”, but you can pick any image you want.
- Request a picture from Ecuador. I will, internet access and time permitting, be posting pictures from Ecuador the entire time I’m there. If that doesn’t work out as well as I’d like, I will be posting approximately a million pictures when I get back. You’ll be able to choose any image you want from any of those albums. You can even request a specific image if you want. Want me to kiss a llama? Sure! Want a shot of a volcano? No problem. I can’t 100% guarantee that I’ll be able to fill all requests, but I will do my best, and if I don’t get the exact picture you want, you’re welcome to choose another. You can even request a picture and then later decide that you want a different picture from my albums.
- Wait until I get back from Ecuador to order a print. If you choose this option, the funds from your order will be used to meet the fundraising goals of next year’s group, and will still go to the children of San Gerardo. If you’re not sure that you’d like to order but are intrigued by the idea, this is the option for you.
So, how does this work logistically? It’s pretty simple. Take a look through my suggested prints album, as well as any other albums you want. I recommend that you start here and here, with my favorite personal and professional images from the last year. As soon as you find something that you want to own, send me a Facebook message on either of my pages, or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me the name of the album, the number of the picture within the album, and give me a short description (the picture of the rhino eating an apple, for example) so that I can find the image you want.
Then, I’ll give you my Paypal email address, and you can Paypal me the $15. If you’d prefer to hand-deliver or mail a check or cash, that works too. As soon as I receive the money, I’ll print and mail your image. If you’ve chosen to wait for a picture of Ecuador, message me with that information (and your request, if you’d like) and I’ll send you the PayPal address so you can pre-order your print. Then, when I return from Ecuador at the end of June, I will print and mail those images.
This sale will continue until the last week of May. I leave for Ecuador on June 2nd, and all print orders must be in a few days before that if you want them to be shipped before I leave.
I am so excited about this project, and I know that we’re going to raise a ton of money to help the children of San Gerardo! Thank you in advance for helping!