Over ten years ago, Tom Hanks fan Kevin Turk invited a small group of friends to his house for a Hanks movie marathon. Through word of mouth, the event grew each year – Kevin said the social networking site Facebook was the key to this year’s success.
Inspired by Tom Hank’s commitment to good causes, Kevin decided to make the day a charity event. This year hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the 11h Annual Tom Hanks Day and raised more than $6,000 for Lifeline Energy. The events, now in nine locations, raised funds for our solar and wind-up radios and MP3 players by selling souvenir t-shirts and food and by getting prizes donated for a raffle.
Rotarian Ian Ramsay tirelessly talks his way around Rotary clubs in the UK raising thousands of pounds to send radios to Zambia. Sharing his knowledge and love of Africa, Ian inspires his audiences with stories of how the radios have changed lives. Some of the people who hear Ian speak become separate fundraisers for Lifeline Energy, organising their own events and introducing more people to the power of radio in Africa.
Jeremy Gordon was saddened to read about African children studying at night by weak candle flames. Hearing about the impact renewable lighting could have, Jeremy set out to make a difference. During Hanukah, the ‘Festival of Light’, he sold glow necklaces and bracelets and expanded his project to local events, ending with his town’s 4th of July celebration. Jeremy raised more than $400 for lighting in Africa.
Colin and Vanessa Smith invited their friends for a special ‘Pimms & Puds’ garden party and raised over £815 for Lifeline Energy. Vanessa served the classic British summer drink Pimms alongside a selection of desserts or ‘puddings’. Each guest completed a Gift Aid declaration allowing us to claim an extra 28% of their donation making the total over £1000. In one afternoon Colin and Vanessa did something that could change the lives of hundreds of children through distance education.
Our vital partner in the Coffee Lifeline project, Peter Kettler, teamed up with George Krug, owner of Ancora Coffee Roasters to present informal Coffee Lifeline talks in a number of Ancora’s coffeehouses in the US. The company donated $1 for every pound sold of speciality coffee from Rwanda’s Southern highlands to the farmer-focused Coffee Lifeline project.
Ancora created a poster to promote the events in their coffeehouses and also invited their network of wholesale customers. Getting a story in the local newspaper was also excellent publicity. One evening 75 people squeezed into an Ancora coffeehouse to hear Peter tell the story of Coffee Lifeline. To date Ancora has donated almost $5,000 and continues to support coffee farmers in Rwanda.