Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shopping for a cause...

For the last year, I've been involved in starting a Washington DC chapter of The Citizens Foundation USA (http://www.tcfusa.org/), my favorite charity (and once employer) that builds schools in underprivileged communities throughout Pakistan. My fellow members and I recently chose a particular school project to support through our fundraising efforts (information about the project at the bottom of this post).

We're starting a fantastic new fundraising program to support our project, one that allows just about anyone in North America to support TCF while shopping at a very interesting new website, jasmere.com.

Jasmere.com is a new “social shopping” website that sells unique items at great discounts. Once you sign up, each weekday you'll get an email from them offering a different, unique product from a specialty web retailer--normally one that hasn't gotten a lot of press yet. Jasmere will offer this product for sale at a heavily discounted price for a limited period, and the price decreases further as more people buy it.

Jasmere offers a range of novel and beautiful (or delicious) products, such as gorgeous purses made in Cambodia, children’s toys made of organic alpaca from Peru, letterpress cards made on an 1870s press, and even chocolate chip cookies or fresh oranges from Florida! You have 24 hours to act on each day’s offer, except for Fridays, when you have the weekend as well. For more information see this. Check out a list of the products they've offered since starting last month here.

And here's how you can help TCF: Each time you buy something on jasmere.com in the next month (starting today), enter the code "TCF" in the gift code box at check-out. At the end of the month-long period, jasmere.com will give us $5 for each time the code was entered!

So do check out jasmere.com today...even better, right now. Just sign up for their daily emails, and then shop while supporting education for children in Pakistan.

And now a bit about our project:

We're raising funds to cover the annual operating costs of a school in a village in the Bagh district, in the Azad Kashmir (the Pakistan-governed Kashmir region). The Umm Dardah Campus, named after a female Muslim scholar, is a primary school located in a village that was destroyed in the earthquake of 2005. Construction of the school, which is earthquake-proof, is 90% complete and will start operations in April 2010. Like all TCF schools, the Umm Dardah Campus will include open, airy classrooms as well as a play area, a library, and an art room.

Sustaining the school for one year costs $13,800, which covers utilities, salaries for teachers and other staff, teachers’ transportation to and from school, administrative overheads as well as and books and uniforms for the children. These items are provided at highly subsidized rates to kids who can afford them, and free of cost to those who can't.

Thanks to fundraisers held last fall, we're well on our way to achieving our goal--but we have to get all the way there by April! So every little bit helps.

Happy shopping.

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