For three and a half years, colleges and universities have paid my company to help recruit students. Over that period of time my team has become very good at what we do. And while our work has been completely worthwhile, it pales in comparison to the vision we have now.

Six Months Ago…
When I returned home from Liberia the idea of restructuring and launching Sahbu (i.e., giving a child in Liberia an education for each student enrolled through us here in the US) started to flow, but there were so many questions and I was so entrenched in the way I had been doing business, that I had a hard time working out all the details. I pitched the concept to Jodie Blake, my company’s Marketing Associate

and she encouraged me and helped me work through the details. One of the biggest fears I had was that my team might not be on board with the change. They had spent the last 3 ½ years becoming the best education marketers in the world, and here I was contemplating turning everything we knew about education marketing on its head!

Jodie worked feverishly to pull together an internal launch meeting – a meeting where I could pitch the idea to all the company’s employees. She worked closely with PRMarketing.com to best strategize the company structure and how to get everyone on board. She rented a conference room, ordered lunch, invited Karen from Lifting Liberia and fired up the projector. And I…well…I worked mostly on calming my nerves.

June 28th
I found myself standing in front of 20 of my closest friends…my co-workers (you know, the people I spend 8-12 hours per day with every stinkin’ day?!). I stood there and started telling them my story. I gushed about how seeing the children of Liberia suffer completely rocked my soul. I shared with them a little bit about the suffering I saw. I related the story of when I walked past a rusty metal shack with “F*CK = $50” (that’s $0.68 US for those keeping track) and saw young girls lined up to turn a trick just so they could buy some rice and eat for a day. And like the crybaby I am, I sobbed as I told them that we…the 20 of us sitting in that very room…were going to put an end to it all. Then, I beamed as I shared the good news; for only about $100 we could change a life!

$2,000 for Change
At that point I got to do the one thing I was most excited about. I handed every person in that room $100. I told them that I appreciated them and I wanted to give them the opportunity to get involved. Then I pointed to Karen Mathot, from Lifting Liberia and I said, “I don’t care what each of you do with your $100. You can take it home and pay a bill. You can take your spouse out to dinner, or buy yourself a small gift. Or, if you would consider it, at some time during lunch, discretely hand it to Karen for Lifting Liberia and that $100 will change the life of a child in Liberia.”

Make Change! Trust Matches Our Contribution
Lori Gilson, President of PRMarketing.com then stood up and let everyone know that Make Change! Trust, a non-profit foundation would match any donation we received that day.

I wrapped up the presentation and we broke for lunch. Pleasantries were exchanged, congratulations given and bellies were stuffed.

After everyone left, I asked Karen, how much money had made it back to her (I expected about half of it to end up with her). And she beamed, “$2,500!!!”

$2,500! So the $2,000 the company donated turned into $2,500! My co-workers put in an extra $500! How awesome is that?!

$2,000 Turns into $5,000
And, thanks to Make Change! Trust, that donation doubled to $5,000! Now, instead of helping 16 Liberian children receive an education, Lifting Liberia would have enough to send 42 kids to school! But the greatest thing about it is that my entire team is engaged…every single one of us wants to send 1,000 kids in Liberia to school before 2012 is over and every single one of us believes we can!

How can you help?
Success breeds success…nothing brings a crowd like a crowd…even with all we’ve been able to accomplish so far, we’ve got a long way to go to reach our goal. When you share Sahbu’s cause with your friends by “liking” our posts on Facebook, Tweeting about us or emailing our blog posts you’re helping us generate the awareness we’re looking for. Please, “like”, tweet, repin, email, text and whatever else you can and help us get the word out!

About Make Change! Trust
In 2006 Make Change! Trust was founded to change the world by providing grants to nonprofit organizations using technology in innovative ways to serve the deserving.  Make Change! Trust was started by internet entrepreneurs and philanthropists devoted to using technology to make a substantial difference in the world. With millions in committed capital, Make Change! Trust has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations fighting disease, poverty, homelessness, addiction, illiteracy and countless like-minded causes.