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Help Vivienne Harr Move from a Lemonade Stand to Crowdfunding to Free Child Slaves

5 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

As a newly formed “social purpose company,” Make a Stand, Inc. SPC (formerly Make a Stand Lemon-aid) has just launched a campaign to raise $200,000 through Fundly, a leading crowdfunding site for social causes. This start-up funding will help “bottle” the fair-trade and certified organic “lemon-aid” later this spring. Eventual net profits from the lemon-aid will go to organizations committed to ending child slavery.

We give people lemon-aid, they give what’s in their hearts, and we give child slaves freedom.

“We give people lemon-aid, they give what’s in their hearts, and we give child slaves freedom.”

Vivienne Harr, 9, the founder and inspiration for Make a Stand, notes that: “I count every penny because every penny counts. You never know which penny will free a child and change the world!” For her, any contribution, large or small, allows anyone to be part of this historic movement to end child slavery in our lifetime.

“This is the beautiful, democratic essence of crowdfunding: it gives life to companies by the people, for the people,” said Eric Harr, CEO of Make a Stand, Inc. “People from San Francisco to Singapore have contributed to this historic Make a Stand movement because it represents hope — hope that there is good in our world—and that we can be an active and important part of that good.”

Vivienne’s recent awards and accolades also continue to help build the movement’s momentum. Today she attends the East Bay Women’s conference, and yesterday she was the first child to ever receive the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County’s “Making a Difference Award.” Last month she was a featured speaker at the conference Wisdom 2.0. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has also awarded her a Certificate of Honor for her work to end child slavery. Additionally, Make a Stand Lemon-aid was just named Fundly’s Most Inspirational Campaign of 2012.

Make a Stand started more then 10 months ago, when Vivienne saw a photo in Lisa Kristine’s book “Slavery” of two Nepalese boys, roughly her age, carrying giant slate rocks with straps across their heads. Knowing this was wrong, she was inspired to do something to help. As she says: “Compassion is not compassion without action.” For more than 250 days in a row she’s been “making a stand” at her lemon-aid stand, rain or shine, where she asks people to “pay what’s in their heart.”

Although Vivienne exceeded her initial fundraising goal of $150,000 in 2012, she won’t stop until her mission is accomplished and child slavery is ended in her lifetime – one bottle at a time. When her parents said: “Honey, you reached your goal. You’re done,” Vivienne said: “Is child slavery done? Then, I’m not done.”


FarmShorts Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Provide Crowdfunding Videos for Sustainable Farmers

5 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Not surprising to FarmShorts Founder Kala Philo, it took less than a week for Dodge Ram Truck’s “So God Made a Farmer” ad to reach 10 million online views. The Superbowl airing of the commercial provided the initial exposure, but it was the gripping content — the powerful visuals and the farmers’ resonating role in all our lives — that got everyone buzzing.

FarmShorts Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Produce Crowdfunding Videos for Sustainable Farmers

FarmShorts Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Produce Crowdfunding Videos for Sustainable Farmers

Philo, a professional video producer, understands more than most the impact video can have in promoting local, sustainable farm and food businesses, each with a story to tell. But evocative, high-quality, video-based storytelling is expensive, and typically prohibitive to cash-, technology- and time-starved farmers.

So Philo launched, a collaborative video project and tech-savvy marketing initiative.

FarmShorts pools time, resources and expertise to provide gorgeous web video and distributable content about, and for, sustainable farms and food producers. Through crowdfunding, sponsorship and community support, FarmShorts aims to offset what would be thousands of dollars in marketing costs for an individual farm.

“Very few sustainable farms and food producers — less than 1% — market with video, even though quality web shorts are a viral medium with long shelf lives offering exponential return,” says Philo. “With FarmShorts, they now have a way to share their stories.”

Besides addressing video needs and extending promotional reach via online and mobile channels, FarmShorts is leveraging the marketing muscle of the community, enlisting all stakeholders — local farms, food producers, artists, supporters and a multitude of sustainability advocates — to co-promote these initiatives through virtual, social and real-world networks. Such social capital is prized currency for independent farmers who must stay focused on tending land and beast.

“On any given day, farmers with limited resources are pulled in a hundred different directions. It’s difficult to prioritize marketing and technology investments,” says Paula Manalo Gaska, who co-owns Redwood Valley, Calif-based Mendocino Organics with her husband, Adam Gaska.

“Programs like FarmShorts help farmers promote themselves beyond their base and to an increasingly tech-savvy audience.”

FarmShorts is planning region-specific video productions throughout California, for which local crowdfunding campaigns will be activated. The FarmShorts North Bay campaign, targeting farmers north of San Francisco, is now live at IndieGoGo and features the following initial participant farmers:

  • Mendocino Organics
  • Tara Firma Farms
  • Canvas Ranch
  • Wild Boar Farms
  • Full Table Farm
  • Victorian Farmstead
  • Felton Acres
  • Full House Farm
  • Stewart Ranch
  • Cow Track Ranch / The Bunk House

Ability Jobs Plus Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign to Help Disabled Americans in Arizona

5 Mar

By Robert Hoskins

Ability Jobs Plus, a job site for people with disabilities is looking to raise $15,000 to relaunch their website through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Ability Jobs Plus plans to offer premium memberships for potential employers as well as people looking to take full advantage of the new website as it launches.

Ability+ Jobs Launches Arizona Crowdfunding Campaign

Ability+ Jobs Launches Arizona Crowdfunding Campaign

“Disabled Americans are capable of doing a variety of jobs,” says Ability Jobs Plus CEO Richard Hill. “I want to give them a chance to find the employment like all other Americans, which is where Ability Jobs Plus comes in.”

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