Mid-July, JOEE launched our first public fundraiser with the help of another NPO that does great work with orphanages around the world, including many here in Japan: YouMeWe NPO, headed up by Michael Clemons. We had been volunteering at the same children’s home in Ota-ku for several months before Michael and I finally managed to meet. He ran a class with the older children on Mondays for computer skills, and I met with the younger children on Thursdays and Fridays for JOEE language lessons. He had been wondering where the younger kids had been learning those new words in English. Our work had been mutually supportive.
We discovered that we had many goals in common and that our two nonprofits could help each other as we developed programs for the youth in institutionalized care. YouMeWe helped to connect JOEE with the GlobalGiving program just in time to be launched with their matching donations program.
On Wednesday, July 15 at 10 pm Japan Time (9 am Eastern Time in the US), the Global Giving Bonus Day began. Donations of $100 up to $1,000 were matched with percentage funds that went from 15% up to 50% for the highest level of gifts (from $750 to $1,000). The fund drive began with the blessing of one $36 donation and then it took off! Donations of all amounts are adding up. It looks like we might reach our goal of raising $5,000 in donations by the end of the month.
The generosity and support of our friends and donors took us completely by surprise. We are so grateful and blessed by the outpouring of gifts and words of encouragement. My friend in California, Barbara, for whom my beloved puppet “Baaabara” is affectionately named, wrote this message that accompanied her gift: “What a wonderful way to reach disadvantaged young people and help them achieve life long skills that will impact their future in a positive way.” Another friend from here in Japan, Sarah, wrote: “I wish to support JOEE and Ruth Gilmore Ingulsrud in the establishment of this non-profit organization to work with Japanese children who are living in group homes. Ruth is a dedicated educator whose energy and experience in teaching many subjects have helped children thrive and reach for the stars. Ruth’s style of teaching touches the hearts of both children and adults.”
By the end of July, JOEE will have taught 120 lessons in six different facilities. With your generous outpouring of gifts, we hope to be able to bring JOEE lessons to many more children’s homes. Here is a link to the ongoing fundraiser sponsored by YouMeWe and GlobalGiving:
Thank you for helping us bring a little JOEE to the world.