One of the key areas of study in this class is how you harness your social network and your personal contacts to support a cause. We try to teach the students in this class about the true power of social media – how a “re-tweet” or a Facebook status update or a blog post by the right person can expose your charitable cause to thousands.
We got a great practical example for the USF Honors students enrolled in this course when a very popular military blog “War On Terror News” decided to profile the work we do in this class.
In a blog post titled “How Your #2 Pencil Can Save Afghanistan” the editor at “War On Terror News” writes:
“Afghanistan is one of the most illiterate places on earth. Illiteracy makes training Afghan Soldiers more difficult. It takes longer as traditional means of teaching basic subjects like Human Rights can’t be spelled out. It means that an Afghan must rely on word of mouth for the news, and more often than not a local mullah interprets it as he sees fit. A typical Afghan cannot pick up a newspaper and decide if the words written are slanted, propaganda, or the facts.
One of the most important developments in the last ten years in Afghanistan is that millions of kids, including girls, now have an opportunity to learn to read.
And when an American Soldier hands these kids the tools to learn, the kids are ecstatic. Afghan kids will brave the cold, under a tree, to have the chance to learn. When the kids are happy, their parents are happy. When their parents are happy, when they know that American Soldiers care, they are more likely to tell the good guys where the bad guys are, where the IEDs are, where the Taliban are, that would kill them for daring to learn to read, are hiding.”
My husband and I teach this class together and we don’t know the folks at “War On Terror News.” However, early during Rex’s deployment to Afghanistan, this site linked to Rex blog “Afghanistan – My Last Tour.” And we saw how much traffic their site sent to Rex’s blog. It was an honor to be included in their blogroll. And it is an amazing honor to have our “School Supplies for Afghan Children” project and the USF Honors College course selected for such high praise by an influential and widely read military blog.
This blog post by “War On Terror News” (or @WOTN on Twitter) has already brought in $100 for our shipping fund. That’s enough money to ship 7 boxes full of school supplies to Afghanistan. The goal of the USF Honors students is to send 120 boxes to Afghanistan in April and they need to raise $1,554 for the shipping expenses. Thank you, “War On Terror News” for helping the students get their first $100 through social media.
If you would like to sponsor the shipping of a box at $12.95, please make your check out to “Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation” and earmark your tax-deductible gift to our project by writing in the memo area “Afghan schools.”
Then mail your check to:
Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 2877
Tampa, Florida 33601-2877