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The three of us who make up the writing and editing team, and many if not all of us at Jolkona, were brought into the world safely without any major set backs.

However, this is not the case for many women and children across the globe. One of our partners is hosting a project which assists those who face problems within the labor process in Palestine, and in honor of them and our 10 Days of Giving, the writing and editing team would like to highlight and support their cause.

The Scoop

Because of recent conflict that still continues today, the Israeli military has placed heavy restrictions on free movement. Due to several road closures in the West Bank, women in labor have been having difficulty traveling to hospitals safely. The United Nations estimates that around 2500 women face fatal or life-threatening complications while en route to receive assistance with labor. Consequently, the number of women who give birth without any proper medical attention has increased at the same time.

What We’re Doing About It

The writing and editing team here at Jolkona has created a campaign to help mothers and their children, while reducing these numbers. Lucky enough to have experienced safe births, the team is ready to help other mothers undergo healthy, successful deliveries while ensuring their children’s safety in the process.

The goal for the campaign is to raise $300 and provide six mothers and their children with these safe birth kits in an effort to support them in this difficult time.

Check out the video explaining what the campaign is all about:

How You Can Help

Support Safe Births in Palestine: Our partner, MADRE, has created a project to assist these women and children. Donations to the campaign start at $5, however, with your gift of just $50 you can provide a complete safe birth kit to a mother and child. As proof of who your donation has been helping, you will receive the mother and child’s name, as well.

MADRE, a partner of ours since 2009, is an international women’s human rights organization that works with community-based women’s organizations worldwide. Since the organization began in 1983, it has provided women in various countries around the globe with more than $25 million.

Support the Cause

Women and children in Palestine are in great need of our help with facilitating easier labor and deliveries. We invite you to join MADRE and us at Jolkona, with special help from the blogging and editing team, in supporting women and children in Palestine through our new campaign. Just in time for our 10 Days of Giving, a donation to the campaign is a great way to give back to the global community this holiday season.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

Make a difference while showing you care this season with a Jolkona gift card.

With our gift cards, you will provide the recipient with a chance to give back to any one of their favorite Jolkona projects.

This season, we have rolled out new holiday gift card designs, and with a style to suit any personality, you can’t go wrong.

Give a friend, loved one or family member a gift that will bring smiles to more than just one face. It’s just the right gift for someone who has it all!

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

Blackbuad, a software supplier that frequently works with nonprofits, recently conducted a Donor Perspective survey in an attempt to find out more about how donors are giving to various nonprofits and philanthropic causes.

The study found a few major issues donors are having with the giving process–and we’re working to solve them.

The Scoop

In the study, a total of about 4,000 individuals from the US, the UK and Australia answered questions related to their giving habits.

According to the results, the second most reported reason donors stopped giving, right behind a change in their personal finances, was that they didn’t fully know or understand exactly where their money was going.

One of the other more staggering results of the survey was the reported difference in giving between those above the age of 35 and those below it. The study found that people between the ages of 18 and 24 gave about $463 in the last 12 months, while people ages 25-35 gave $800 on average. The 35-44 age group gave at an average of about $1,390 in the past year.

What We’re Doing to Help

According to Blackbaud, “[by] tracking the impact of contributions and communication that impact back to donors, nonprofits can increase the number of regular donors and ensure they are not losing the regular donors they have.”

Here at Jolkona, we hope to do just that for donors by providing them with proof of what their donation has done, while attempting to appeal to people under the age of 30 by making mobile donations easy at the same time.

By following up with donors after they give to any of our projects, we are proud to provide a name, photograph or more about the person or people their gift has impacted. In doing so, we aim to provide donors with not only complete transparency, but with the confidence that their gift has truly made a great impact, as well.

Moreover, we hope that our mobile site and project pages will work to make giving easier for a younger generation who is always on the go–with a cell phone in tote. By making mobile donation easy to complete, we hope to appeal to all donors and their specific giving needs.

We Owe it to You

Our strides to make giving easier would mean nothing if we didn’t have our wonderful donors’ support. We would like to say a big thank you to all of those who have helped us and our projects out, and will continue to work to make your giving process even easier.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

It is estimated that a staggering 33.3 million people are living with HIV globally, and having killed over 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, HIV/AIDS has become one of the world’s most life threatening diseases, according to WorldAIDSDay.org.

The pandemic has been globally recognized once a year since the first world AIDS day was held in 1988, marking the creation of the first global health day. This Saturday, December 1, marks the 24th World AIDS Day, and a time when we should all reflect upon the millions of lives that the disease threatens and take action to fight the pandemic.

Phot credit due to worldaidscampaign.org

What You Can Do

Provide Medicine to HIV infected Kenyans with our partner Slum Doctor Programme (SDP). In Kenya, the government provides those infected with HIV/AIDS certain medicines to help fight the disease, but not with all the treatments that are needed. With a gift of $30 you can provide an infected individual in Kenya with two weeks of HIV treatment, or 1 month for $60. With your gift, SDP’s Tumaini Clinic program will help give free antiretroviral therapy that the government does not provide to Kenyans living with HIV.

Based out of Bellingham, WA, SDP also works locally to educate kids in middle school and high school with education about the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Give Care to HIV Infected Cambodian Children: Cambodia is home to the highest number of HIV/AIDS in Asia.  Our partner New Hope for Cambodian Children (NHCC) works with orphaned children who are infected with HIV and often are not adopted because of their infection. By giving just $75 to NHCC you can support the medical needs of one HIV infected child for 6 months.

Promote Health Awareness in Kenya through Soccer: Our nonprofit partner Village Volunteers hosts a Kick it With Kenya program in which you can sponsor one child’s opportunity to gain health knowledge while having fun. While attending the soccer program, the child you sponsor will receive a health and HIV screening along with medical care, room and board, and a chance to take part in the fun, community-oriented soccer event.

You can also give a donation to the National AIDS Trust, or start a fundraiser of your own on their website, or begin a campaign on ours. The projects above, along with World AIDS day and everyone working to fight the disease worldwide will also work to accomplish one of the UN’s Millenium Development Goals, which is to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Take Action

Whatever you do, we invite you to take action with us here at Jolkona and our sponsors around the globe who are working to fight the disease both today and throughout the year. Don’t forget to wear red in support of World AIDS Day and the fight against the pandemic on December 1 and give back to one of our campaigns to show your support!

To get more information on AIDS/HIV and learn the facts about the disease and World AIDS day, visit Worldaidsday.org and take the “Are you HIV aware” online quiz.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is easy to get excited about the great food and good times ahead, but it is also one of the most important times of the year to give. As a youth during the holiday season, my parents, along with people at my church and school, took the time to donate canned goods and money to various food drives.

Jolkona works with a multitude of projects year-round to eradicate hunger world wide, but for this special time of need we have created a compilation of some of these projects–and our very own holiday food drive.

Feeding into the Holidays: Give thanks and give back.

You Can Help

Provide Healthy Meals to Ugandan Children– Due to an increase in commodity costs, the price of a meal in Uganda has risen drastically. Through our partner, the Children of Uganda, your donation of just $55 will be used to feed a child for an entire week. You will help give children regular meals of rice, beans, and posho, a kind of porridge made with maize which is supplemented with vegetables, fruit, eggs and beef when available.

Give Fresh Produce to Children in School in Ecuador 40 percent of the Ecuadorian population consists of children ages 17 and under–and 70 percent of those kids and adolescents live in poverty according to UNICEF. Help our partner, Ecuador Children’s Hope Organization, ensure that kids in school receive the nutrients they need by giving them fresh produce. Your small gift of $65 will provide 300 children with fruits and vegetables for a week. By giving up a little, you will help hundreds gain so much.

Feed a Hungry Family in NicaraguaMADRE, an international women’s human rights organization that has partnered with Jolkona since 2009, has put together a project to give women in Nicaragua a gift that keeps on giving: gardening knowledge and tools. For just $50 you can give one woman the chance to grow food for her family by providing organic seeds. With their own gardens, women in Nicaragua can provide continuously for their families. Give today and help for months to come.

Build an Energy Efficient Stove for a Nepali Family More than 82 perfect of all Nepali households rely on firewood as a source of power; however, in the high altitudes of the country, trees grow slowly, and individuals must travel further and further each day as trees that can’t grow back quick enough are chopped away. With only $40 you can help families spend more time productively, and less time searching for firewood by helping build a full stove. Your gift will contribute good meals and some ease of comfort through our partner, Himalayan Healthcare. Instead of giving food for a week, help a family create nutritious meals for years to come.

Share What You Have

Most of us enjoy great food and treats throughout the holiday season, whether it is just one day of turkey, or a daily seasonal latte to help shake off the cool weather. However you enjoy this time, it is important to remember to help others find joy in these special days, and all throughout their lives.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

On December 14, 1954 the United Nations’ General Assembly suggested each country adopt a Universal Children’s Day, and today, November 20, is the day that is now recognized as such.

The day also marks the date the UN’s Assembly enacted the Declaration of the Rights of a Child and the Convention on the rights of the Child, the former in 1959 and the latter in 1989.

In recognition of this day, on which great accomplishments have been made for the world’s youth, we would like to highlight some of our projects that work to give back to kids everywhere, everyday.

Support the Cause

Help Families Fleeing from Famine in Somalia-Somalia is in a declared state of famine, due to the drought in the African Horn, which is the worst the nation has seen in 60 years. Those fighting famine are more prone to dehydration and the contraction of diseases; children are especially susceptible. With your donation of $50, our partner MADRE will provide 5 health kits to a family. Through your gift you will not only be supporting kids on this year’s Universal Children’s Day, but the families that help provide for them.

Support an Orphan in Kenya: More than one million children have been orphaned in Kenya due to high mortality rates from HIV/AIDS, leaving them without many basic necessities. Your $30 donation will provide one child with an outfit, and you will receive a photo of them wearing the clothes you gave. Any gift you decide to give will be provided to our partner, Global Roots, and to the Baraka Orphanage, which has successfully worked to find homes for over 1,800 orphans in the area.

Provide Maternal and Child Healthcare in Guatemala: With a high infant mortality rate, women in Guatemala are in need of assistance in the execution of healthy deliveries and infant care—the country’s infancy mortality rate is 33 per 1,000 live births, and is even higher in rural areas. With your gift of $166 you can provide a mother and child with one week and pre- and post-delivery care. Our partners program, Project Concern International’s (PCI) Casa Materna (Mother’s House), focuses on preventing disease, improving community health, and promoting sustainable development. Help us and PCI support children and mothers in Guatemala through this great opportunity.

Give an Overnight Experience to Underserved Youth in USA: Inspire our country’ youth to learn: by providing $30 to the Ron McNair Camp-In, you will give one child a partial scholarship to attend an overnight event at the Pacific Science Center, our partner who works together with Blacks in Science to host the event. The child you sponsor will receive the partial scholarship along with three meals during the event, and your donation will help cover the costs of the workshops, educators and supplies for the children.

A Global Gift

In support of both the UN’s Universal Children’s Day and its eight Millennium Development goals, we hope that you will help us celebrate this year’s Children’s Day by giving back to the youth of the world it celebrates. According to UNICEF, children directly benefit from at least 6 of the 8 of the UN’s Millennium Development goals, and are indirectly helped by the remaining two. Take a second to look at any of our projects, which address at least one of the goals in some way, and give back to our kids however you would like.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

Social media and the Internet have made it incredibly easy to give gifts to friends and family members, as well as donate to charities. Soon, Internet users may be able to do both in one stop. Either way, it is clear that online giving is a medium that has shown much potential.

The Scoop

Facebook has recently launched a new test feature which allows users to make a donation on behalf of a family member or friend through the website. The Charitable Contributions section in its soon-to-come Gifts application helps facilitate online charitable donations for the nonprofits it partners with.

So far, 11 nonprofits are working with Facebook, including the American Red Cross, Blue Star Families, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Donorschoose.org, Girls Inc., Kiva, LIVESTRONG, Oxfam America, Rainn, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Water.org. Donators can either choose which foundation they would like to donate funds to, or let the person on whose behalf they are donating decide.

The Facebook Gifts application is not yet available to all users, but is expanding to more users, according to the site.

To learn even more about Facebook Gifts and Charitable Contributions, take a look at the Facebook Newsroom.

A Popular Choice

Gaining more and more worldwide acknowledgement, online donations have become a way for nonprofits and other organizations to get people’s attention–and receive contributions. And the platform, it should be noted, has been quite successful at doing so.

According to NPEngage.com, “[o]nline donations are a larger percentage of giving every year, both in total revenue and number of donors.” The site also points out that online contributors tend to be younger, and give more both in their first donations and overtime.

It is no surprise then that the social media giant has tapped into to this resource, and we applaud the attention it will draw to online charities and contribution sites.

The application is a testament to both a platform that Jolkona has utilized for years, and the work the foundation has done to consistently attract young contributors to support our partners.

Keep Giving

We hope that the growth of applications like Facebook’s will continue to encourage people everywhere to contribute online to nonprofits like ours and to social causes all over the globe. Jolkona believes that our online contribution platform will add to the success of the goals of our non-profit partners, as well as to the betterment of the planet in its entirety, and is excited to see how the medium will expand in the near future.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

Back in July we ran our Give Health campaign, successfully raising some $9,000 + for our partners and their projects the world over. One of the non-profits we cozied-up to during the campaign was Socializing For Social Change (S4SC). They threw us a big party and taught us a thing or two about how socializing and social media can lead to social change.

We liked what we learned. For example, did you know that people are more likely to join digital social change conversations than start one? So we’re asking you to join a digital social change conversation today by tweeting @jolkona, liking/sharing us on Facebook, or pinning something of ours onto your Pinterest board.  We want everyone to know that anyone can be a philanthropist. Help us create awareness; help us encourage change. Social media = social change.

If you don’t believe me, check out this infographic, then check out our project our page. Choose a project, donate, see the change, and share the good news (via social media, if you like).

Give today to any of our 120+ projects and tell your friends about it.

We do social media, too: on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The gift of an education was the greatest thing anyone could have given me as a child and young adult. It’s what has allowed me to write this–and you to read it.

Here at Jolkona we know that learning leads to better lives and better communities, and have partnered with local, national and international projects working not only to make sure the youth of every country has primary education, but to take learning a few steps further wherever possible.

In recognition of UN week, we would like to highlight some of our partners that contribute to the accomplishment of at least one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals: to provide universal primary education by 2015.

What You Can Do to Help

Provide education to girls in Liberia: The More Than Me Foundation works to get girls in Liberia and West Africa into schools and helps to provide students with books, scholarships, and more. More than 61% of the most impoverished school aged girls in the Liberia are not receiving an education. The foundation has begun to help by already successfully putting more than 100 girls into schooling with full support.

You can give two girls a year of school supplies for only $25, or give four girls mandatory uniforms for only $50. If you want to take your generosity one step further, $100 will give a girl an education for a semester, and $250 will give the gift of education for an entire year.

Give books and education to children in Myanmar: Our non-profit partner Education Empowerment works to help provide kindergartens in rural areas with libraries full of books tailored towards the students’ reading levels. According to UNICEF, 70% of children in Myanmar who are able to attend primary school do not finish, and 33% never even begin.

Your small gift of $25 helps stock a library in Burma, and $50 will provide class materials for 50 Burmese students for 1 year. Either gift will give on for a lifetime.

Support Youth Led Journalism in the United States: Ashoka Youth Venture Seattle’s project, the Beat, tackles primary education with hands-on leadership by helping aspiring young reporters, photographers, illustrators and writers in the Issaquah area get published, and more importantly, noticed.  Through the Beat, teens publish a self-made page in the Issaquah Press.

Youth Venture is already inspiring young locals to get involved intellectually at the public level.

Through the course of extensive research required for writing about issues for the Beat, I hope to develop my own understanding, wrote Nitin Shyamkumar of Skyline High School in one of his articles for the Beat.

With $50, you can sponsor one student’s story and provide them with real-world working experience and understanding. For a $500 donation, you will sponsor an issue of The Beat and receive a digital copy, while helping the youth establish a more active voice in their community.

Help Educated Underserved Youth of Color in USA: Less than 25% of children of color in Washington State in the 8th grade receive a score of Proficient or higher on national math and science tests. The Technology Access Foundation is working to help increase that percentage by preparing underserved 6-12 graders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math for an on-track high school graduation and college beginning.

Your gift of just $30 will provide a student with headphones needed for Techstart, and for $35 you can provide headphones for language classes. You can also give an entire language arts class literature curriculum for a year for just $50, or help purchase robotics kits for students for the same amount.

Take Action

Give to these great projects or any of our other partners working to accomplish the UN’s goal today and help provide universal education to the youth across the globe. It may just be the best gift you give this holiday season.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and check out our Pinterest to stay up to date with what’s happening all of our projects.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this pagehttps://livestories.com/inspire/corks-and-forks

Jeans donned, tie loosely knotted, and shirt un-tucked, I followed the instincts of my sufficiently empty stomach and made a bee-line down the hill to the Blue Ribbon Cooking School on South Lake Union. My only hold up was a seemingly interminable red light whilst trying to cross the I-5. The rest of the evening was a go!

Food, glorious food!

Soon after a beer and a few too many appetizers later, I was rolling gnocchi and chopping sage with a group of friendly strangers – there’s nothing like the preparation of food to get people interacting! Who rolled the best gnocchi? Despite my three years in Italy, not me. I then powered straight onto Cocktail Mixology, where I learnt all about muddling and a French 75, named after the 19th Century French 75 mm field gun (Why? Think boom. Enough said).

I also connected with a couple fellow Brits. We dubbed ourselves Team GB. Many a “God Save The Queen!” later and I was onto the steak and salmon. Feeling the delicacies of the fish were a little too on the dexterous side for me, I passed to the meat. Steak in pan. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. Turn. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. That part went swimmingly. But when it came to the sauce, it was my pronunciation of tomato that drew heavy criticism. I made amends at the crepe station, however, where I teamed up with one of my fellow Team GB companions. We practically ran the show – our crepes looking as bright, round, and winsome as any gold medal.

To follow was the shrewdly observed silent auction with an incredible array of items. Then we were called to the table where we were treated to the buzz and clamor of our live auction and, of course, our much anticipated dinner. Everything- auction, dinner, and all – was as delectable as it was full of mirth.

One person’s determination to engender change

There were many memorable moments from the evening – the cooking classes, the food, the incredible auction items, Team GB – but, for me, one thing stood above all those: Adnan’s story about Jolkona. It was compassionate and compelling; an extraordinary reminder of how one person’s idea and determination could result in so much change – change for the good. It was truly inspiring to see how from the desire to help one Bengali man, who couldn’t afford to bury his own son, it could end up with where Jolkona is today: over 150 projects and over $500,000 donated. And more importantly, the numerous lives that have been impacted the world over.

The Jolkona team produced a special film for the event. Check it out:


 

The evening’s impact

Thanks to everyone who participated, donated, and put their time, energy and compassion into the Corks & Forks fundraiser, we were able to raise over….

$32,000!

Thank yous

First of all to everyone who donated so generously to the Kona fund.

We have to thank, of course, our brilliant sponsors: Coinstar inc., Ja Warren Hooker Fitness Performance Group, and Cornerstone Advisors. Little could have been achieved without them.

We also need to thank all those beneficent people who donated auction items: Adnan and Nadia Mahmud, Alexander Resource Group, Amazon, Andy Hytjan, Art Wolfe, Axtion Club, Barbara Grant Consulting Group, Barri Rind, Big Dipper Wax Works, Bob Colleran, Canlis, Carisa Marie, Chateau St. Michelle, Christos on Alki, Coach Aina, Coinstar Inc., Dave Henderson, David Jofre, Dennis Tom, Dreams Performing Arts, Edgar & Holli MartinezEnvy on Alki, Fairmont Hotel Group, FlyWheel Spin Cycle Studio, Gary Manuel Salon, Gene Juarez, Heide and Matthew Felton, IvarsKid Valley, JaWarren Hooker, Jen Duffy, Jenny Almukhtar, Jordan Belmonte, Justin and Jen Spelhaug, K2 Sports, Lauren Burman, Lisa Arlint, Long Provincial, Mary Hoy Shampoo, Material Good, Megan Fleming, Microsoft, Miir, Mission Latin Restaurant, Moshe Dunie, Mynt Expressions, Nancy Xu, Pacific Science Center, Parichey Gandhi, Pavan Potaraju, Pete Morse, Pete’s Market, Punit Java, Raghu Murti, Reconstruct Remodel, Quixotic Designs, Salon 08, Santina Rigano, Seattle Symphony, Tam Nguyen, Teatro Zinzanni, The Bridge, Trudy Muller, WaxDiva Lucy, Wing Luke Museum, Woodland Park Zoo.

I’m not ashamed to admit it, my love language is food. Food is affection. Food is happiness. Food is love. Cook me a bowl of warm soup on a wintery day and I might love you forever. Likewise, if you’re someone important to me, I’ve probably already cooked you dinner (or at least I’m planning to). You can probably imagine, then, my unabashed glee when Jolkona initially drafted up our Corks & Forks fundraiser event. And as each decadent, mouth-watering detail has been finalized, my pangs of anticipation have risen to a steady crescendo. Much grumblings of stomachs later, the event is here!


Great food, a better world

Hosted at the delectable Blue Ribbon Cooking School, this Thursday October 4th Jolkona will be throwing a soiree of cooking classes, dinner, wine, hearty slaps on the back, and much jollity – and all in aid of making this world a better place.

Guests will be greeted with a beautiful selection of appetizers and beverages. During this time of mirth and mingling, attendees will select 4 of 5 different classes to attend. The cooking stations for the evening are as followed: (1) gnocchi (2) steak & salmon (3) crepes  (4) wine tasting (5) cocktail mixology.

And then – we get to eat it! And just in case that doesn’t sound tempting enough for you and you haven’t seen it already, here’s the menu:

The menu

Appetizers

Vegetarian Samosas with Traditional Indian Chutneys

Tostones topped with White Fish, Pineapple Salsa and Cilantro Infused Sour Cream

Thai Grilled Chicken Skewers with Honey-Peanut Coconut Glaze

Dinner

African Spiced Carrot, Orange and Parsnip Salad

Salmon en Courte with Creamy Spinach and Walla Walla Sweet Onion Sauce

Steak au Poivre with Brandied-Peppercorn Sauce

Homemade Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Medley of Pike Place Market Style Grilled Vegetables

Dessert

Seasonal French Dessert Crepes

Blue Ribbon Coffee

Afterwards there will be a live fundraising auction. One of the stellar items up-for-grabs is a 5 night’s stay in the Fairmont Heritage Place in Whistler. There’s also a pair of K2 skis. Buy them both and that’s ¾ of your winter vacation covered!

The Kona Fund

The Kona fund has a special place in our hearts. Why? – because it’s really the cornerstone of our Foundation. Through it we offset all our operating costs, which then allows us to allocate 100% of your donation to your chosen project. All the evening’s proceeds will go to the Kona fund.

NextGen Tickets are $100 and General Tickets are $120.

VIP Tickets are $175.

Make (and eat) great food; make the world a better place. Come to Corks & Forks! Miss it, miss out.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we’re doing and the impact you are making.

GET INVOLVED!