Protecting The People of The Yucatan

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Can you imagine working tirelessly from dawn until dusk, but at the end of the day, not even bringing home minimum wage?  And can you imagine how horrible it would be if minimum wage was $4.65 a day?  Well that is the life of many families, seemingly forgotten in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.  As the world has evolved and “progressed”, the descendants of the Maya have been left behind, many not even making $1 per day.

These poor families are stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty, where they sometimes don’t even have enough money for food, let alone a proper education for their children.

But something can be done, and you can help.  Our latest infographic highlights the great work that Proyecto Itzaes has been doing in this region since 1995.  Started by Stanford Educator, Cindy Wilber, this organization has impacted thousands of lives by providing children with books so they can learn to read, computers so parents can progress their careers, and direct aid for communities in desperate need of help.

If you have ever traveled to the Yucatán, you know the extreme disparity between rich and poor.  If you were wondering what you could do to help out, here’s your chance:

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Click here to learn more about Proyecto Itzaes and support their work today. Please help us spread the word by posting this update on facebook, twitter, pinterest and everywhere else!

Cambodia’s Real Secret

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Imagine yourself on vacation in South East Asia, something millions of people do every year.  Perhaps the ancient Angkor ruins of Cambodia have captured your imagination and you now find yourself in a land with a rich history spanning over 1,000 years.

But, unfortunately, this beautiful country also has a terrible dark side that some people don’t want to believe.  As you see the sights and follow along your guided tour, just out of sight, injustice in it’s greatest form takes root here.

And while poverty and subsistence living is a major problem in and of itself, in Cambodia, there is no safety net for the fragile women and children who made this mistake of being born poor.  There are no “public libraries” where they can learn about their options for a better life.  Instead, they are preyed upon by some of the worst people in the world, flocking to this country to force them into sex slavery.

Yes, while you’re on your imaginary tour, in reality, thousands of women and children in Cambodia are being held as slaves.  There are ways to escape this life, but they are simply unaware of their options.  So what can be done?

HELP THEM LEARN.

Give them the resources they need to understand what their options are.  Give them the knowledge and education they need to obtain a proper job and realize they can say no and resist the predators.

You can do this today.  GetSet-Go is an innovative organization, dedicated to providing tools and training for the most vulnerable women and children in the heart of Cambodia.  They already operate one successful free, 24-hour library.  And with your help, they can take this model across the country.  Click here to learn more and support the women and children around the world who need your help the most.

karmastore.org/i/getsetgo

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Top photo courtesy of Stuck In Customs

Second photo courtesy of mkleinmanns:

2012 Year In Review

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The word on the street is that everyone is very excited for 2013.  We are, and we hope you are too!  To kick off the year, I want to start by looking back.  Oh, and hello – I’m Matt Monday, the founder of Karma Store.

We’ve been so busy that it’s hard to find time to get to the blog, as I’m sure you’ve felt yourself from time to time.  But here we are, January 14th, 2013 and you can expect us to keep you up to date with exciting news from great nonprofits, important research, reports, and insight from top influencers and publications, as well as trends we see in other industries that have an impact on the nonprofit space.  For now, let’s take a look at 2012:

  • We started the year off by testing a new idea: “Can we help nonprofits better explain what they do and why it’s important?” The answer was a resounding yes, and this was the genesis of what we now call our Impact Pages.
  • To ensure that we could build a business with this idea, we had to charge for the first Pages we created, which we did successfully.  But to open the door to even more organizations, we decided to give them the option to create their own Impact Pages on Karma Store.
  • We had great traffic to our brand new website (over 3,000 unique visitors in just six months) as well as fantastic engagement with the Marketing Material we created on behalf of our customers.  For example, the Facebook post we made for Animals Asia received over 1,000 shares in just one week!
  • We grew our team, bringing on four great engineers to build the new Karma Store platform.  With their help, we ensured that Karma Store is built for the future, with everything ready for smartphones, tablets, and desktops computers.  They also built our new Camera App (more on this soon).
  • Vinod Kamath takes the “handyman of the year” award.  Originally joining as a marketing intern in late 2011, he has been responsible for a wide range of successes in 2012, including:
    • A new outreach program, bringing significant traffic to karmastore.org.
    • Crafting many of the Impact Pages live on Karma Store today.
    • Taking on a project management role as our engineering team grew rapidly.
  • Our social media accounts have gathered the attention of some amazing people, including:
    • @SFZoo, @NonProfitOrgs, @NPQuarterly, @dom, @SOS_Children, @NetImpact, @Jay_Nath, @HootSuite, and many more!
  • Collaborating with amazing people is truly the best part about what we do.  The groups on Karma Store work hard everywhere from San Francisco, to India, to China.  We love our customers and can’t wait to bring on more!

2012 was a great year for us at Karma Store.  As you may know, creating a company from scratch isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and none of this would have been possible without the support from you, our great friends and family.  Thank you for believing in us.  As great as 2012 was, we are more excited than ever for what this year brings.

We do need your help though.  So, to start this year out, what’s the one problem or issue in this world that matters most to you?