The Only Gift I’m Asking For

With the holiday season wholly upon us, it seems we’re all making our lists and checking them twice. This year, there is but one thing I’m asking for–and I hope you’ll consider helping me get it.

Normally my holiday wish list might look something like this: That new CD my favorite group came out with, that new book my favorite author came out with, and that new video game that just came out. And slowly my belongings increase, needlessly taking up space that does the world no good. Further, as a full time college student, I don’t have time to read all that much, let alone play any video games at all (I still haven’t touched the DS game my brother got for me…last Chanukah), and with a large library of music already, I really don’t need more.

Some years I’ll even say something like this: Help me go green–buy used! Or send me gift cards so I can buy e-books and digital downloads which reduce consumer waste to practically nothing!

But that doesn’t give me more time to enjoy any of these gifts.

So I’m asking for this: Help me pay for my trip to Belize in the spring.

Belize? Isn’t that one of the most beautiful places in the world?

It probably is, but this isn’t your average vacation–in fact, it’s not a vacation at all. I’m going as part of N.C. State’s Alternative Service Break program, which sends approximately three hundred students on service trips around the world over spring break every year. The trip I’ll be going on is concerned with environmental issues and Fair Trade, organic farming in Belize.

As it stands, there are two possible projects we’ll be working on: The first is building drying racks for the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association that will be used in the farming process; the second is working with the TCGA to build a cacao museum that will boost their tourism industry and promote awareness of Fair Trade, organic farming.

I’m very honored to have been selected to be a part of this trip, but it costs a lot more than I’m able to afford on my own: Current estimates are between $1800 and $2000, depending on which project our contact in Belize decides for us. Therefore, I’ve started a fundraiser on ChipIn.com to raise $750 toward my trip–that’s a little more than one third of the total costs, which include room and board, the supplies for our project, airfare, and one or two small recreational trips.

This opportunity is very exciting and will be a great learning experience no matter which project we’re asked to do, not to mention it combines so many of the issues that are important to me: politics, the environment, and servant leadership. It would mean the world to me if you could give a small gift to my project and help me make a real difference in the lives of these cacao growers in Belize.

Learn more about our trip here: N.C. State’s ASB Belize website.

Make a contribution here: My ChipIn project page.

(If you’re unable to make a contribution today, I’ll be campaigning for donations through January 31, 2013, and a link to my campaign page has been added to the right sidebar of every page on my blog.)

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