|Robert Guthrie, Scotland|
"We mustn't get complacent," Robert advises us, "but this could be the start of something gigantic!"
Robert is one of about 200 Youth Journalism International students around the globe and he's doing a great job of representing us in Scotland. His enthusiasm is contagious.
He was one of five YJI students from outside the United States who took part in our reception at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn. on Saturday, April 2.
Sadly, Robert couldn't join us in person, but he was there via the magic of Skype, chatting with some of our young guests.
For readers who might not know about our GlobalGiving campaign, it's our first major online fundraiser. YJI has been accepted by the prestigious charity website, GlobalGiving.org, as a participant in its April Open Challenge.
That means we must raise a minimum of $4,000 by April 30 from a minimum of 50 people. Donations can be made electronically or by check, but they must be made through GlobalGiving in order to count for the challenge.
If we succeed, we will earn a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website, which should help with longterm sustainability for YJI.
We're encouraged and excited at the response we're getting from donors so far. We've heard from students and parents, of course, but also from many of YJI's loyal alumni who want to see us secure a solid future for the organization that made a difference in their lives. We started this in 1994, after all, and hundreds of young people have reaped the benefits.
Alumni who have contributed to this campaign stretch all the way back to 1994. They helped us build YJI and deserve a lot of credit for what it has become and we're grateful for their dedication.
Beyond our YJI circle, we're honored to accept donations from readers and supporters we haven't yet met. Now, we call them our friends.
Won't you join us if you can? Click on the GlobalGiving badge at the top right and it will take you to our YJI GlobalGiving page. There, you can find particulars about YJI and its plans and even more photos of our wonderful students. You can also see how we're doing in the challenge. There's no charge to look.
If you can't afford to make a donation, there are other ways to help. "Share" our GlobalGiving page with your Facebook friends. If we get enough Facebook "shares," (this is different than the "likes,") we'll get a $300 bonus from GlobalGiving when the challenge is over. We could definitely use that $300, so start sharing!
Please tell friends, neighbors and family members about YJI, too. If you are on Twitter, you can "retweet" our messages to further spread the word. Getting the word out is what it's all about.
Thanks to everyone for whatever you can do to help YJI.