Tag Archives: social good

Go Inspire Go Wants to Hook Up YOUR Thanksgiving Hero

Portrait of a family saying grace before eating dinnerBravery and courage come from not dwelling on what there is to fear.

Had I known what I know today or had a glimpse into how my life has unfolded, I would have been scared of change — afraid to step up to my calling.

My dream was to be a TV reporter in a large market, report/host a show on PBS (that’s what sparked my imagination and how I learned to speak English) and the end goal… to teach at the university level.

Little did I know, my goals would be fast-tracked and met before age 30. After eight years of reporting the news, I gave it all up and through a series of “mistakes” led me to a unique career path.

When I started Go Inspire Go five years ago, I was disillusioned by my TV news reporting job and took a huge leap of faith and quit what I thought was my dream job. I wanted to use my power of storytelling and connecting people to inspire others to discover and use their power to help others.

I am humbled that one by one, an amazing global team of more than 80 volunteers has joined our movement… and the impact has rippled out from the U.S. and beyond the pond.

This past summer, Go Inspire Go successfully launched its 50/50 campaign to profile 50 everyday heroes in 50 states and we are scouring America to uncover a real life hero in your state.

We’re inviting you to join us on this next leg of our journey, to uncover 50 inspiring heroes in 50 states.

Along the way, we found The Pollination Project on Twitter. We just knew we had to cross-pollinate the amazing energy – so we joined forces to kick off our 50/50 journey to hook up a deserving everyday street-corner style hero with a supersized grant and shower him/her with lots of social media love. #WonderTwinOrgsActivate

We plan to unveil the first hero this Thanksgiving holiday so we need your help!

That’s what the true spirit of Thanksgiving is all about. We are looking for an everyday hero (or group of heroes) whose social change work is rooted in gratitude, generosity and love.

We’re excited to announce that our friends at The Pollination Project have stepped up and will give a $1,000 grant to our first Hero. The Pollination Project has had a banner first year of funding a grant each day to individual social change-makers.

Will that hero be YOU? Will it be someone you know? HELP! Here’s what we’re looking for … apply now… time is running out.

Are you our Thanksgiving Hero?

50/50 Hero perks:
• A $1,000 grant from The Pollination Project to use for your social change project
• A local and national media push to promote your grant
• A three to five minute video that highlights the person or organization and their project.
This video can be used for future grant applications or promotion on your
website for crowdfunding campaigns and other creative uses
• Widespread video distribution via The Pollination Project and Go Inspire Go’s blogs and
social media platforms
• Home page placement on The Pollination Project’s and Go Inspire Go’s websites.

We look forward to meeting you and/or your hero, sharing your story and inspiring other heroes to use their power to uplift you and your cause. We are grateful for you! #ThankYou

Take action:
1. Learn more & Apply here
2. Share your story
3. Get your friends and supporters involved: Email, tweet, Facebook away. Remember to use #SeedTheChange and #gig5050

Follow us on: Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Giving the Gift of Hygiene to Those in Extreme Poverty

Do you ever wonder what happens to your partially used soap bars after leaving your hotel?

I’ve always thought it was such a waste that I only use half the bar or mini-bottle of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I take them home, then they sit in a zip-lock bag and get old. I always feel guilty for throwing them out.

So when I heard about 17-year-old Raghav Rajvanshy’s nonprofit organization, Rcoz, I had to share. His mission: to collect and re-purpose partially bars of soap from hotels and send them to underprivileged communities who do not have access to basic hygiene and sanitation.

Photos: Shekhar Rajvanshy

When Raghav was 14-years-old, he traveled to India and stayed at a hotel across from the slums. It didn’t make sense that the people living in extreme poverty, didn’t have access to basic hygiene and sanitation while many hotel guests were throwing away bottles of partially used soap.

His heart sank when he saw the poor people using ash and sand to wash their hands.

His research revealed the dirty truth. Thousands of hotels throw away millions of pounds of soap daily. Most of the bottles of partially used soap end up in land fills, further contaminating the ground water.

Check out Raghav’s GIG Spark (Lesson on Compassion) submission.

* Special thanks to GIG Volunteer Akina Chargalauf who was so inspired by Rcoz’s mission, she shot and edited this on her iPhone.

Gigster: Raghav Rajvanshy
Where: Fremont, Calif.
Spark: Don’t be wasteful. Be thoughtful and environmentally aware. Join forces with Rcoz to give the gift of hygiene.

His goal is to inspire you to join forces with Rcoz and do
a small act — what you can do — to help him provide basic hygiene and
sanitation to those in need; to promote social and environmentally
responsible practices in the hospitality industry while involving youth
and community to help him educate people through his educational
campaign to prevent the spread of infection and diseases.

Action always starts with awareness. Like many of us, Raghav witnessed waste, people in need and during a trip to Yosemite National Park, he realized the nature’s natural gifts. It made sense for him to do his part to clean up communities in need and the environment. What can YOU do? It all starts with one small act. Go Raghav Go!

How the GIG Spark experience inspired Raghav:

“The GIG Spark experience really had a deep impact on me. I wasn’t aware that there are so many other people trying and succeeding in making a difference in the world through simple ideas. One of the things about the GIG videos that surprised me is the variety of issues they cover, trying to solve everything from global warming to world hunger. All of these people truly inspire me every day and motivate me to work harder and harder towards my own goal of promoting global hygiene and improving the environment. I see GIG Spark as a great virtual community of youngsters who can learn and take inspiration from each other to help shape the future of our world in a very positive way.”

Holiday Help Needed!

Take action:

1. This holiday, Rcoz will collect and distribute care packages to the homeless in San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley. They’re collecting unused travel-sized toiletries, tooth and toothpaste from your dentist. NOTE: Deadline for this holiday distribution is 12/12/12. Other donations are accepted all-year long.

2. Donate/contribute what you can: Rcoz needs funding and volunteers to:
-Establish relationships with the hospitality industry
-Collect, rebatch and deliver soap

For more information on how you can take action e-mail: info@rcoz.org

3. Spread the word: Share this video! We hope this video inspires you to be thoughtful this holiday season and use your power to help others.

About GIG Spark:

GIG Spark was developed to create compassion through the exercise of brainstorming, problem solving and experiencing the joy of using your power to help others.

About Go Inspire Go (GIG):
GIG is about inspiring small actions that ripple out to meaningful changes. As we’ve experienced, the ripples continue to billow out, one story, one person, one act at a time.

FEELING INSPIRED? Make your own GIG SPARK and share with us. We may share it with the world.

As part of GIG’s mission to inspire our viewers to discover their power, we developed GIG Spark: A Lesson on Compassion. The goal is to spark action in everyone that witnesses your good deed. We want you to identify a problem in your community and be the change by capturing your action in a short 1-1:30 minute video. Use your passion and creativity to produce a GIG Spark and inspire viewers with your story!

What can YOU do?

Follow us on: Twitter & Facebook

Use Your Voice to Uplift Others, Guaranteed Smile

Warning: this will make you smile! Thank you to 14-year-old Mini Rasekhy from Singapore for sending us this GIG Spark when she was in San Francisco this summer.

Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that bring you joy. Mini wanted to use her voice to make others feel better — and ultimately smile. Many people tell me they want to do something to make someone’s life better, but don’t know how — well take it from Mini, who loves to sing. She took to the streets of San Francisco with her Mom (thanks for capturing this on video, Mrs. Rasekhy) to bring music to your ears, a smile to your face and joy to your heart. You can see how authentically the reactions were. I especially love the surprise from the gentleman at the end of the video:

Gigster: Mini Rasekhy, 14
Where: San Francisco
Spark: Sing to Each Other (Use your voice or power to brighten someone’s day)

GIG Spark was created to create compassion through the exercise of brainstorming, problem solving, witnessing and experiencing the joy of using your power to help others. Mini sent us this testimony about what the experience meant to her:

“Making my GIG Spark video helped me realize that there are always people who aren’t having the best days, and just a nice little gesture can turn their day around and lift their mood. Of course going out to film was a bit awkward at first because I was singing to people I didn’t even know, but I kept in mind that what I was doing for them was a good thing. Everyone’s positive reactions gave me the courage to go out and sing more! As I said in my video, I think singing to someone can make their day. I know for a fact that it’s made my life amazing.”

Mini is using her power to make someone else’s life better. 

The empowerment continued last Friday in San Rafael, California. I was invited to present GIG Spark, Lesson on Compassion (with my good friend and Wonder Mom, Kala Shah) to 500 students at Sun Valley Elementary School. (Of course our cameras were rolling during this presentation. Please follow our blog and stay tuned for this video.)

I was honored and excited to inspire these children to “discover their power and use it to help others” as a part of a “Community Heroes” assembly. How cool is that?! They were captivated for the whole 30 minutes. I wonder what impact and ripples this presentation will make on these kids — and likewise how the ripples, like Mini will be changed by her GIG Spark.

I showed this video as an example of how easy it is to use your natural abilities to give back. The kids laughed and smiled when the man started to sing back to Mini. Talk about paying it forward and rippling out her original intention to use her voice to make someone’s day brighter.

Don’t have the gift of song? Not to fret. Think about what you’re naturally good at and what you enjoy doing — and think about how to use it to be of service to others. And pull out your video camera or cell phone to capture a GIG Spark for the world to see.

We hope this video inspires you to use your voice to help others in the next 24


1. Think about how you can use your voice for good. You don’t literally have to sing to each other; you can use your voice and platform to rally for something you believe in.

2. Rally for music education. Music education is important, but music is being cut out of programs across the US. VH1 Save the Music is just one program that “helps develop long-term, sustainable instrumental music programs that provide children with equal access to music education regardless of their financial situation.” Contact this foundation to see how you can help.

3. Throw a benefit concert. After watching a GIG video about Rev. Lemaire Alerte, who wanted to build a high school in Grande Saline, Haiti, band students at Willow Glen banded together and orchestrated a winter benefit concert to send kids to his school. My students activated their storytelling, shooting and editing skills to create this PSA. This ultimately sent 32 kids to school in Haiti. Again, you don’t have to sing or if you’re musically off-key (like me), think about how you can use your voice for good.  And take action!


About Go Inspire Go (GIG):

GIG is about inspiring small actions that ripple out to meaningful changes. As we’ve experienced, the ripples continue to billow out, one story, one person, one act at a time.

Feeling inspired? Make your own GIG SPARK and share with us. We may share it with the world.

As part of GIG’s mission to inspire our viewers to discover their power, we developed GIG Spark: A Lesson on Compassion. The goal is to spark action in everyone that witnesses your good deed. We want you to identify a problem in your community and be the change by capturing your action in a short 1-1:30 minute video. Use your passion and creativity to produce a GIG Spark and inspire viewers with your story! What can YOU do?

* Follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram

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