Because I haven’t talked much about my work it might be possible to read this blog and convince yourself that I’m in Jamaica having a holiday. The fun and the sun and the surf are lovely, but they are not why I am here. In fact, I am helping an amazing voluntary sector leading agency expand their abilities in communications & marketing. I do some work with the United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) but most of my work is with their sister organization the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS).

Together these amazing organizations mobilize funds (the UWJ) and volunteers for agencies all across Jamaica. CVSS also advocates for the non-profit sector at large, they provide capacity building training for sector staff and volunteers, they run the National Volunteer Centre and volunteer registry, and they organize signature events that transform lives.

Cuso International has sent me, as they have sent many volunteers before me, to create international development on the micro level – one volunteer at one agency in one city at a time Cuso is strengthening livelihoods, health, justice, economies and opportunity around the world. One of the commitments I made in coming here was to repay Cuso’s major investment in me with a minor reinvestment in them. They trained me, paid for my travel, provide my housing, and pay me a living-wage based stipend appropriate to the country I am in. I committed to raising less than one month of what they’re investing in me to ensures another volunteer like me can help another agency like the CVSS.

I could tell you about the young children I sat with at a day of care for homeless people and show you their sweet faces. I could tell you about the inspirational volunteer leaders we feted at the recent volunteer awards ceremony. I could tell you about youth-lead volunteer projects that would make you smile through your tears. These are things I’ve witnessed and worked with in just one agency, in just one location, in just three months.

I can also tell you that between now and December 31, 2014 a generous Canadian has committed to matching all donations made to Cuso. I know that by this point in December you have already been hit up by every charity that ever got your name on a list. This is not a charity asking, it’s just me – one volunteer – telling you that in working with Cuso I’ve witnessed more difference-making in 3 months than I ever imagined was possible. If you can, please help support the work of Cuso all around the world. And remember, every bit helps – twice as much now as it normally would.

Click the logo to go directly to my fundraising page. And from myself, from the Cuso volunteers before me, and those yet to come, thank you for believing that change can happen one volunteer at a time.

Cuso Logo


PS – I forgot to say a HUGE HUGE thank you to the friends & family members who have already given to my dream. The love is as valuable to me as the donation is to Cuso. Maybe moreso. XO