Dear Friends and Family,
I am writing this note as a request to help my friend Aracley with her fundraising project, while at the same time you will be helping many girls in a faraway country with their needs.
As I'm sure you all have figured out I am a huge Donny Osmond fan. I have never quite reached the "stalker stage" (even though my family may argue this....Ha) but it is kinda fun when people say, "I saw Donny in a magazine and I thought of you...or I saw Marie on Oprah and thought of you.
Here is my request..... last Aug. at Donny's fan Get Together in Las Vegas, he held a contest with his fans, or Donny.commers (DDC) as we are called :)
After a brief interview with Donny's assistant, his job was to picked 10 fans that he thought had the best ideas for a project to Make A Difference (M.A.D.) in the world or their community. My friend Aracely was chosen with her MAD project and I want to help her reach her goal. Her project is to help build schools for girls in Sudan. The high school in which her daughter attends is a partner school with the organization that helps build schools and dorms for these girls, as many have to sleep on dirt floors. She is raising money by "selling" matching friendship bracelets. With only a $10 donation the donor receives a handmade friendship bracelet, made by Aracely's daughter Lindsey and her friends, and a girl in Sudan will receive a matching bracelet to yours with the name of "her" person.You don't have to be a Donny fan to help out, heck, you don't even have to like him! ;)
I have my bracelet and it is very special to me. If you would like to donate, please just message me here on fb or my email address is: BEastwood@aol.com or you may contact Aracely Pesek at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Her website is: http://www.madforsouthernsudan.com/index.html or hit the "like" and "share" button here on her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=149376488427726
Tell her I sent cha!
Here is part of her e-mail to me:
I'm contacting you for HELP with my MAD project. I've become even more devoted to this cause than I thought imaginable. Perhaps later in life after the kids were grown or I was retired, yes, I pictured myself doing something like this. But not now, not this involved. I LOVE it, don't get me wrong. And I will continue this even after Donny's involvement is over. For the next 5 or 6 months though, I will need help from my friends. This may come across as a bit desperate. Well, that's 'cause it is.
As you know, I am helping to build and supply a girls school in a remote village in southern Sudan. No matter the outcome from this week's elections there, the school will remain a priority among the villagers. I've had a few different fundraisers and they've been very successful, especially within my community. Those local events are the types of fundraisers I will continue to bring to this organization after Donny's MAD program is passed on to the next group. What I would like now is to get Donny's fans to show their support for my MAD program. Donny is taking time from his busy schedule to answer our emails and posted our updates on his homepage last month. He wrote me last week about how glad he is with what Lindsey and I are doing and that his team will be posting some updates again soon. He loves the MAD girls' enthusiasm and dedication to our causes. And he really is excited about his MAD program. It wasn't just all talk on his part. He really is committed to this.
I want to be able to show him via photos and/or video that his fans are supporting his MAD. And that's why I'm coming to you. Wherever you are located - the US, the UK, or Australia- you can help! My initial idea to get his fans involved was with the bracelet project. That is still my hope. Of all the fundraisers I hold, it's the bracelets that interest Donny the most. He's still excited about the raffles I've had and is always willing to sign stuff for me to donate. And he thinks it's cool how my community has supported all my local events. But his reaction when I talk about the bracelets is noticeably greater. On the update he posted on his homepage, he included all the info I emailed him about the bracelets, but he edited lots of the other events. I'm curious to see what he includes in the next update and which photos he chooses to upload.
A way that you can help with the bracelets is by trying to get your friends or family to make a donation and receive a bracelet. I can send you a dozen bracelets (or how ever many you'd like) and once you collect the donations, you can send the money to me via check or paypal. But before you distribute those bracelets to the donors, I would ask that you take a photo of yourself with all the bracelets or a photo of you and the donors with their bracelets. With the photos, I will send Donny the details of who you are, where you live, and what you did to help.
Or how about a group of Donny fans getting together for a fun meal and each taking 2 or 3 bracelets to sell to their friends or family. I think that a group photo or video of several of his fans would make him really happy to have started this MAD thing. His vision for MAD was to see his fans all coming together to make a difference. Us 10 who were chosen were just the ones who were assigned to accomplish this AND at the same time support a cause and make a difference.
For those of you who have made a donation and received a bracelet, THANK YOU!! I would love a photo of you wearing your bracelet!! Just make sure we can see your face and the bracelet. I can email you a photo release form which I will need signed and returned before I can submit the photo to Donny. I will be sending him a slideshow with donors and their bracelets.
On my website's donate page http://www.madforsouthernsudan.com/Donation.html ; I have $10 as the minimum donation to get a bracelet. Students, scouts, and any other youth group member can get a bracelet with a $5 donation. If you make a $15 donation, I can send you 2 bracelets as long as it's indicated in the message to me. All bracelets are custom made in any colors you want and in any of the patterns pictured on the website. Favorite colors, sports team colors, school colors- you choose!
My goal for the bracelet project was to "sell" 650 sets of the bracelets. That's 1,300 bracelets since the donor keeps one and the matching bracelet goes to one of the girls at the school. I haven't taken an accurate count of the bracelet pairs for a few weeks now, but I know it's somewhere in the low 200's. That's far from the goal which I was hoping would have been met by mid February. The director for the charity we are partnering with is going to visit the school in February and I was hoping she would be able to take all 650 bracelets to the girls. It doesn't look promising at this point. We will still try to reach our goal by next month - as impossible as it may seem. I don't want to only send bracelets to half of the girls, though. So if we don't get all 650 sold, we will have to wait for someone else from here to visit the school and make the delivery for us at a later date. It may be a visit from one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" or a teacher from one of our local schools. But having the director of Project Education Sudan be the one to take the bracelets to the girls will be the most beneficial, as she will be able to document it with plenty of photos and videos to share with Donny.
If you're on facebook, please join my page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=149376488427726 . Or if you do see one of my posts on my personal facebook page, please consider hitting the "share" button so all of your facebook friends will see my post too.
Wow, sorry this is so long. I hope you understand why I'm asking this of you. It's not for me. It's for Donny and the Donny.com community. His words to us were that he wants the DDC community to be known to the world as a caring and giving community. But most importantly, please keep in mind who you will ultimately be helping here. It's not me, it's not Donny, it's not DDC. It's young girls ages 6 to 16 who have NOTHING! Except for a dream to have a better future - and the only way they can reach that is to get an education. South Sudan has the lowest percentage of educated girls in the WORLD. Lower even than Afghanistan during the Taliban rule. 23 years of being attacked by the Islamic northern Sudanese resulting in over 2.5 million citizens killed and all their infrastructure destroyed just because of their Christian or indigenous beliefs. The war ended in 2005 and since then the people have slowly begun to rebuild. But unlike so many other countries who have received worldwide support for similar atrocities (which were not even as devastating), South Sudan has gotten little help. Until recently. Maybe it was all the attention Darfur received - they are in western Sudan. Maybe it's George Clooney's campaigns to bring awareness. Maybe it's because of the elections going on right now to decide whether South Sudan will become a country separate from Sudan. Whatever the reason for South Sudan to finally being recognized, the fact remains that they need help. And my MAD specifically targets and helps just one school. We will actually see just where our funds will be used. We will see the girl's smiles and know we are helping to keep their dream alive. Please feel free to ask me any questions about the situation in southern Sudan or the school and I will try to answer as best as I can.
Thank you for taking the time to read this long email. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I send you a heartfelt THANKS for your friendship and support!
Love and hugs, always