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Project Goodness update!

May 26, 2011

It has been a while since we’ve updated our website, but don’t be fooled, we’ve been busier than ever!  Below you can find a recap of our winter session that took place from January-March 2011.  Right now we are smack dab in the middle of our Spring session that will culminate in a couple of weeks.  We will soon post an update on that as well.  In the meantime, you can get updated on all the fabulous things our little do-gooders are up to below.  Also if you are on Facebook, Project Goodness has a fan page with additional pictures and info!  (https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Project-Goodness/121572324540309) Please make sure to “Like” us while you’re at it!  Thanks :)

In the winter session, we worked with 3 new great organizations for our Project Goodness giving projects;  Heifer International, The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, and Operation Smile.

This time around, the students giving projects were bigger and involved more of their school.  For example, the 5th grade class that chose Operation Smile as their giving project, not only learned in depth about the organization, but they put together a short video explaining what the organization does (gives free surgeries to children around the world that are born with cleft lips and cleft palates) and it was presented to the entire school. They also sold “Smiley Grams” at recess and lunch for 50 cents, with the goal of raising at least $240 (the cost of an Operation Smile surgery.) When all was said and done, these students raised an impressive $340, enough to pay for a life changing surgery for a child and some additional medical equipment and tools for the volunteer staff.  The students felt empowered as a class and rewarded in compassion for knowing that they were able to help change someone’s life for the better.

One of the 2nd grade classes learned about the importance of clean and safe water.  Many times when you teach children about poverty and the difference between what we have here in the states, and what some countries deal with on a daily basis, it can be very eye opening.  This was exactly the case for this class.  We learned all about poverty and what that means, and we learned about different countries and communities that live in poverty. Countries like Ethiopia and Uganda were discussed quite frequently.  The Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program is a charitable organization through Procter and Gamble, and this organization has created “safe drinking water packets” through PUR drinking water.  A tiny packet is poured into 2 ½ gallons of dirty and unsafe water, and within a matter of minutes, the water is purified right before your eyes.  The dirt sinks to the bottom, and the bacteria and parasites are killed.  Children living in poverty are dying daily because of the unsafe drinking water they consume.  With every sip of water they are taking a gamble with their life.  With these small packets from PUR we are helping entire communities live longer, healthier, disease free lives.

When the students learned that each packet only cost 10 cents, and that $1.00 could give a child clean drinking water for 50 days, they were on a mission to make a difference.  They presented the water experiment with the PUR packet in front of the whole school, along with facts about children living in poverty and how they don’t have access to clean water.  They inspired their entire school to help.  When all was said and done, they had raised enough money to provide 2,150 PUR packets to communities living in poverty!  (or  we were able to provide someone with clean drinking water for 10,750 days! OR 29 years & 4mos!) OR, we helped 7 families (of 5) have clean water for an entire year. We were all so overjoyed with their accomplishments!

The other 2nd grade class worked with an organization called Heifer International.  Heifer is an amazing organization that has been around for many years.  They provide livestock animals for families in need, helping to create a sustainable environment.  They look to give people a “hand up” not a “hand out.”  By giving these families a cow, a goat, a sheep etc. they are then able to take the milk from the cow or goat, or wool from the sheep, and provide nutrition or goods for themselves, but also they are able to sell the rest. With the profits of their sales, they are then able to send their children to school, pay for medical and housing needs, etc.  Heifer trains all the families in sustainable and eco friendly farming methods.  Heifer also requires that the animal’s first born female baby be passed along to another family in the community.   Heifer calls this “passing on the gift,” and it ensures that more and more families, and eventually entire communities will be able to support and educate themselves.  This was a great way for the children to understand the “pay it forward” mentality.

Heifer also provides fabulous lesson plans and resources for teachers, and I was able to get a lot of help with the lesson plans this way.  They sent along a fabulous book to read to the class that was based on a true Heifer International story.  The book is called “Beatrice’s Goat,” and tells how a young girl living in Uganda gets a goat from Heifer, and how it changes her life for the better.  After reading that story, my students were determined to raise enough money to buy a goat.  A goat cost $120.  Besides the in class Giving Jar, these students participated in a program called “Read to Feed.”  They had family and friends “sponsor” them monetarily for every book they read.  This encouraged reading of the students, so the parents and the teachers LOVED this!  On our last day of class we added up all our money, and found out that they had raised an astonishing $500.34!!  That was enough money for 4 goats and a flock of ducks!  They were more than thrilled with their accomplishments, and I couldn’t have been happier!

Here is some more feedback from the students and teachers about the Winter Session:

“Project Goodness has taught me that I have the power to change the world for the better.” ~Anita 5th grade

“One of the most meaningful lessons that Project Goodness has taught me is that “every little bit counts.” It really got me thinking that anyone can make a positive difference if they try.” ~Josh  5th grade

 

“If you teach children about kindness and goodness, they will be able to teach others the lessons they’ve learned.  Sometimes adults need to be reminded of these lessons too!” ~Boyan 5th grade

 

“It’s important to teach children about compassion because there is so much conflict in the world.  I love learning about positive ways to make a difference—it empowers me!” ~Rachel 5th grade

 

“Kids are our future, and if they learn about kindness, our world will be a better place.” ~Ashlyn 5th grade

 

“It’s important for kids to understand that even a little kindness can make a BIG difference.” ~ Sami 5th grade

 

“Project Goodness has taught me that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything!” ~Shelby 5th grade

 

“Before Project Goodness I never thought about doing anything for others.  I didn’t really know that I could do anything helpful because I’m just a kid!  But Project Goodness taught me that I CAN make a difference no matter what my age—I understand that now!” ~Jack 5th grade

 

“I’ve learned from Project Goodness that no matter how big or how old you are, you can still make a difference.” ~ Alli 2nd grade

 

“Project Goodness taught me that “every little bit counts,” and that means even if you help out, even in a tiny way, it still means something.  Small things count because it means we can all make a change if we try.” ~Isabel 2nd grade

 

“It is important to teach children about kindness and goodness, so they won’t be hurtful to others or make bad choices. Instead;  they’ll help others.” ~Nicole, 2nd grade

 

“Project Goodness taught me a lot of good things that I didn’t really do or know.  Now that I know, I want to grow up and be a philanthropist like Ms. Alli.”

~ Madison 2nd grade

“We spend most of our time now in schools teaching academic standards.  I feel personal growth is very important to children.  Project Goodness is a wonderful and organized way to start children on their own path of personal growth. Project Goodness helped my children realize that their life can be full of wonderful possibilities that they can actually initiate and accomplish.”

~Joni Simon, 5th grade teacher, Westlake Hills Elementary

“It is so important to teach our children about kindness, goodness, compassion and giving back—all the values taught in the Project Goodness program.  At this age children learn life lessons that stay with them forever—it leaves and impression that can help shape who they become as adults!”

 Kathy Zika, 2nd grade teacher, Beckford Ave. Elementary

Project Goodness has just started the Spring Session this week in 2 more schools.  The Spring session will go until June 2011. 

Besides being incredibly busy and involved with the actual Project Goodness programs, Project Goodness is also fully functioning as a non-profit organization.  We are currently in the process of putting together our board of directors (we have some very experienced and powerful people who are interested in helping Project Goodness grow, which is incredibly exciting!)  We are also looking at long and short term goals regarding fundraising, applying for grants, etc.  We have already done some smaller fundraisers and have been able to raise some additional funds in public donations.

In conclusion, Project Goodness has had an immense amount of forward movement since we have won our Pepsi Refresh grant.  The Pepsi grant has allowed Project Goodness to become a reality and a truly inspiring program.  We plan to continue our journey of empowering more students one little hand at a time, and to continue to teach the Project Goodness mantra of, “every little bit counts!”

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’!

September 2, 2010

Journey & the cast of Glee said it best…

I am elated to announce that PROJECT GOODNESS is an official $25,000 grant winner of the Pepsi Refresh Campaign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I want to thank each and every one of you for all your love, support, help, belief, & encouragement that you have given to me & to PROJECT GOODNESS over the last 90 Days.

This entire process was quite a roller coaster ride (especially towards the end there!)  but you all stepped up and fought for me & for PROJECT GOODNESS, & for that–I am honored, humbled, and grateful beyond words.  You all have shown the heart of what PROJECT GOODNESS teaches– “every little bit counts.”  Every vote, click, & text that you did and helped PROJECT GOODNESS get, made us grant winners.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all of your love–& I am literally moved to tears by the amount of support that has come out of this entire process.  Please help spread the word to those whom I don’t even personally know, who voted and supported PROJECT GOODNESS–it means so much!

I will definitely keep you all posted on the next phases of PROJECT GOODNESS.  We are already in 3 schools in the fall–and the plan is to continue to expand, & reach schools all over.

The next step is to fill out a bunch of paperwork, & then it seems not only will the funding be coming in pretty rapidly, but I will now have a professional team who will help expand the vision of PROJECT GOODNESS!  This is truly an amazing opportunity for me & PROJECT GOODNESS, & I am SO lucky to have all of you–my own team of loving, supportive, “good” people who have cheered me on.  I am SO incredibly grateful for all of your continual love & support, I know this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without all of you!

With tears in my eyes, love in my heart, & a passion to make a difference,

Alli D. Seigel

Founder/Executive Director/President of PROJECT GOODNESS

LEANING ON ALL MY GOOD PEOPLE!

August 28, 2010

PROJECT GOODNESS has only 4 Days left of this 90 day competition.  We have done so much during this time, including tons of outreach, meeting tons of wonderful, helpful, supportive people,  been introduced to wonderful schools, the list goes on & on.  The fact of the matter is that PROJECT GOODNESS is a brand new non-profit.  We just became “official” a month ago. Right now we have zero funding, so to win this grant is a HUGE step in the right direction.  Winning the Pepsi grant not only helps by giving our programs a budget, it helps with exposure & validity, not to mention the team that we are given to help us expand our vision.  I know you are all good people who believe in helping spread a little goodness in our world.  PLEASE VOTE & SPREAD THE WORD FOR PROJECT GOODNESS until Tuesday.  WE ARE SO CLOSE TO THIS GRANT!  Right now we are ranked #9, and we need to stay in the Top 10 until Tuesday to make our dream more of a reality. I am feeling a little defeated, but I am NOT giving up.  PLEASE VOTE, PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD, & PLEASE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN ME & PROJECT GOODNESS.

EVERY VOTE COUNTS.  EVERY CLICK, EVERY TEXT.  EVERYTHING! Click the tab below to vote, then text in your FREE vote by texting to the number 73774 (Pepsi) & in the message type 100222.  EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS, because as one of my students said “every little bit adds up to a lot a bit.” That’s right.  It does.  If you all told 10 people, who told 10 people, who told 10 people and so on, we would, as another one of my students said, “have a goodness ripple.”  Please help me continue that ripple!  We are SO close & you can help!  THANK YOU!

8 DAYS LEFT!

August 24, 2010

Thank you all SO much for supporting PROJECT GOODNESS & friends for the month of August, and this entire summer!  We have 8 days left of this VERY long journey, and we just need you all to PLEASE keep up with that support for 8 more days!  We are holding strong in our Top 10 spot (we are still #5) but we still need to fight to keep our spot, as the competition is tough!

25K would do HUGE things for PROJECT GOODNESS–allowing us to continue to bring FREE goodness programs to elementary schools.  Our children need to know that they CAN make a positive difference in our world, and that “every little bit counts.”  PROJECT GOODNESS teaches this as well as many other valuable lessons to our kids. Please help PROJECT GOODNESS get that Pepsi Refresh grant by voting for 8 more days!  Click the VOTE NOW image below to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS & our August Partners!  Then please text in your vote–Texting 100222 to 73774 (fast, free & easy).

In addition to supporting PROJECT GOODNESS, I would like to remind you of one of our August partners who need your votes too! Please read more about GATEWAY:

Theater Collaborative of Somers Point New Jersey is working hard to fill a large cultural void in their charming town.  Four years ago, the Gateway Playhouse (100 years old this year!) closed down due to lack of funding.  Since then, the community has been without a place to cultivate local talent and educate local children in the performing arts.  The Theater Collaborative, made up of professional performers, is inspired to help restore the playhouse and bring affordable, high-quality entertainment back to the region.
Please also Text in your vote for GATEWAY today by texting 100534 to 73774.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR SUPPORTING PROJECT GOODNESS & OUR AUGUST PARTNERS.  WE HAVE 8 MORE DAYS TO KEEP OUR SPOT IN THE TOP 10–PLEASE HELP US STAY THERE!

THANK YOU!

9 DAY COUNTDOWN!

August 23, 2010

We have reached the single digits!  After almost 3 months (that’s 90 days!) of working hard to get that 25K grant, we are SO close, with 9 days left to go!  We need to keep our spot in the the Top 10 (right now PROJECT GOODNESS is holding strong at #5) until August 31.  I thank you all SO much for your continual love & support.  As we only have a short time left, I still need YOU to help me by pushing hard for 9 more days!  There are 3 ways to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS everyday.

1. Click the VOTE NOW image below to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS & our August partners (we need your support EVERYDAY!)

2. Text in your vote for PROJECT GOODNESS by Texting 100222 to 73774 (Pepsi)

3.  If you are reading this via Facebook, please click that big yellow button you see on my personal page to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS via Facebook.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

In addition to voting for PROJECT GOODNESS daily, I want to remind you of one of our partner projects: THE LOMA LINDA FOUNDATION that needs your support too!

For more than 15 years, the Gingerbread House Project at Loma Linda University Medical Center Children’s Hospital has brought joy and smiles to sick and terminally ill children.  Providing a much-needed distraction from hospital life, workshops are held where children celebrate creativity as they build and decorate their own gingerbread houses.  Children feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as all of their completed houses are displayed in the hospital lobby as a “gingerbread vilage” for all to see.

Please also Text in your vote for The Loma Linda Foundation today by texting 101128 to 73774.

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING PROJECT GOODNESS & ALL OF OUR AUGUST PARTNERS DAILY!

SUNDAY FUNDAY CLICK DAY!

August 22, 2010

Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean PROJECT GOODNESS & friends don’t need your clickin’ love!  Ony 10 days left in August to vote, click & text to help us get that 25K grant!  Click the VOTE NOW image below to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS & our August team.  It takes only a moment to help do some good!  Don’t forget we need your texts too!  Text 100222 to 73774 it’s a fast, free & easy way to vote for PROJECT GOODNESS EVERYDAY!  Thank you! In addition to voting for PROJECT GOODNESS everyday, I would like to remind you of one of our other partners that we are supporting on a daily basis, & think you should too!
BEADS OF COURAGE:
Beads of Courage started with a nurse who decided giving stickers to children in cancer treatment wasn’t enough.  Children, she believed, should have more to show for what they endured each and every day in their courageous struggle to live.  Jean Baruch developed a method for children to RECORD, TELL, and OWN their stories of courage using (often handmade) glass beads.  Each bead is a symbol of courage, and each strand the beads make is a monument to the child’s strength.  Beads of Courage serves over 70 hospitals around the world and over 10,000 children battling with life-threatening disease.

Please also text in your votes for Beads of Courage daily:  Text 100217 to 73774

Thanks so much for supporting PROJECT GOODNESS, Beads of Courage & our entire August team today!

CALLING ALL WEEKEND VOTERS–WE NEEEEED YOU!!!

August 21, 2010

So only 11 Days left of the Pepsi Refresh challenge in August, and the competition is getting fierce. (Yes fierce, thanks Tyra.) A lot of projects seem to lose their places on the weekends, as their voters aren’t as strong, but I know I can count on you all to keep on clickin’, votin’ and textin’ for PROJECT GOODNESS.  Click the VOTE NOW tab below to support PROJECT GOODNESS & our partners this month with an easy peasy click.  Of course when you are done with that, you should immediately take out your cell phone and text 100222 to 73774. Takes a sec.  Too easy, and you can then check off your good deed for the day.

Today I would like to spotlight our one of our August partners, THE SKIP PROGRAM:

The idea for the Skip Program grew out of a family tragedy.  Lisa Johnson, having unexpectedly lost her Uncle Skip, wanted to do something to keep his spirit alive and celebrate his life.  Using the inheritance left to her by her grandmother, she created a program that gives underprivileged children the financial assistance they need to participate in sports and community activities.  Lisa is following in her grandmother’s footsteps, making a positive difference in her community by helping make the dreams of underprivileged children come to life in memory of her Uncle Skip.

Please support The Skip Program today in additon to supporting PROJECT GOODNESS!

Text 100847 to 73774 to vote for The Skip Program.

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING PROJECT GOODNESS & ALL OUR PARTNERS IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST!

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