As each of us at Pangea Educational Development have been reminiscing about our successful launch event, I began to start counting. Yes, the donations given were of course a wonderful contribution to our mission, but I began counting heads too. There were 100 people (give or take) who came out to support us on Saturday evening, dressed in swanky outfits having no idea what they had just gotten themselves into. At least half of that number responded saying that they had prior commitments and couldn’t make it. I’m not great at math, but the count we’re looking at is about 150 people in relation to that event. Add members of our campus initiatives at Michigan State University, DePaul University, and Students [ex)Change Programs at various elementary and high schools around the Chicagoland area and then add our followers on Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo, and this blog and we begin to get the picture that there are a few people who believe in and support our mission.
From those 150 who attended, we raised enough money to build a library at Tooro High School in Fort Portal, Uganda. It was just a year ago that an unincorporated group of people from Chicago went over to Uganda to make a difference, fundraising the money with their own family and friends. So what’s the significance of this? Between the two, what is the difference?
Nonprofit organizations are meant to meet the needs of communities where the public and private sectors fall short. These organizations of people work collectively in different capacities to achieve this goal. Some work on the staff of the movement while others show and spread their support by engaging their friends, family, and communities in the events put on by them from collecting shoes to attending benefits. Some volunteer their time in schools in their own community to combat the challenges our school face at home – no matter where they live. Others span the globe to take part in the work we are doing in underprivileged areas of the world. And others simply “like” or “retweet” things we put on or social media sites.
All of these people are a part of Pangea Educational Development and an integral part of our mission. That, I believe is the beauty of nonprofits: they bring people together. We are the converging point of different races, religions, nations, languages, genders, socioeconomic status’, and many more for the sake of our mission to make a quality education accessible to as many children as possible by equipping schools with the resources they need and to make them self-sustainable to allow them to begin to meet their own needs.
To get more involved with our movement, check out available positions, our volunteer program, Students [ex]Change, take part in our Shoe Campaign, or check out our calendar and attend our monthly board meeting!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead