In two weeks I am scheduled to be boarding a plane for Nicaragua where I’ll be participating in volunteer service learning projects in two small rural towns. The purpose of the trip is three-fold:
- Participate in an archaeological dig for ancient artifacts which will then be used to create a small local museum that will drive traffic to the area and build up their economy
- Provide nutritional counseling and medical supplies to the local people. This will involve: planting a community garden, presenting cooking demos using local produce and participating in dietary recalls and evaluations at a free clinic that we’ll be running with doctors from a nearby city. (Our medical supplies have been donated by a doctor in the US.)
- Acquire an understanding of and compassion for a highly impoverished, malnourished population and contribute to a group effort to improve their way of life without imposing our own American practices, foods or ideals
Unfortunately, due to unexpected personal financial obligations and to a higher program cost than anticipated, my eligibility for this trip is in jeopardy and there is a very real possibility that I will not go. I have wrestled with the idea of raising money on my blog because the money will be used to finance my program cost (airfare) and will not be donated to a charity. But due to the culturally sensitive approach of the program, we have been informed by program coordinators that gifts (monetary or otherwise) would not be appropriate anyway. Our donation to this effort is of our time, our energy and our knowledge in our respective fields of study (both history and dietetics students are going). Essentially, if I’m not able to go, I’m not able to give, and that (plus feedback from several supportive blog friends and the fact that I don’t monetize my blog in any other way) is why I am now comfortable running a fundraiser on my blog.
What: Online Bake Sale Fundraiser
When: Starts Thursday 3/3 at 10am EST, Ends 3/3 at 10pm EST
Why: To cover cost of airfare for my service trip to Nicaragua
I feel it is important to clarify that this is not a vacation by any stretch of the imagination. We will be living in hammocks for a week without electricity, plumbing or any real connection to the world outside these small communities. We will participate in hard labor in extreme temperatures and then bathe in a river at the end of the day. I am giving up my Spring Break and am missing two important wedding weekends, and I say this only to emphasize my desire to participate in the program.
If you are interested in donating a baked good to be auctioned off, please send the following to email@example.com:
Name of Baked Good:
Specialty Diet Specifications (vegan, gluten-free, etc.):
Shipping Limitations (US only, EU only, etc.):
Photo of baked good (if available)
Blog URL (if available):
If you are interested in bidding on the baked goods donated:
Come back by on Thursday 3/3 from 10am EST to 10pm EST to see what goodies are available. I’ll notify the highest bidders for each product Thursday night, they will send me their payment and mailing info and I’ll pass the mailing info along to the baker of your winning goods and then will get them to you within two weeks.