But Thanksgiving is about more than hand-turkeys, history, and Indian talking sticks. It's a time to reflect and give thanks for our good fortune. And here at The Generation Project, we have a lot to be thankful for:
1. First, we're thankful for all the wonderful donors who have designed and funded gifts for low-income students based on their personal passions and priorities. It is so inspiring to see new and unique gifts entered into our system, and we've been blown away by the wide variety of great ideas--from school murals to baseball teams to college scholarships to urban gardens to crafts projects--that our donors have already sponsored for low-income students.
2. Second--and relatedly--we're thankful for all the incredible educators out there. The educators we have in our system are tireless workers who are doing everything possible to help their students succeed. They use donors' gifts to go above and beyond--to take kids on a field trip they might not otherwise have been able to afford, to help a low-income high school student obtain money for college, to start a sports team or debate club at their school. Whenever we receive pictures of their students enjoying donors' gifts, we are touched and inspired by educators' dedication.
3. We are thankful for everyone who has supported us over the past year. During the past year and a half, our supporters have helped us win not one, but two major funding contests, and are in the process of helping us win a third. Whether we asked for votes, support, or advice, our core network has been an integral part of our success so far.
4. We are thankful for our amazing college interns, who help us with every aspect of of our organization and believe so passionately in our work.
5. We are thankful for our web designers, who have worked with us in creating our core product: an online social network that connects donors with educators. We've got more exciting changes in the works, too.
6. We are thankful for Rugby Ralph Lauren, who awarded us a $25,000 grant, sponsored our nationwide launch tour, and has ardently promoted our cause at every step of the way. As we learned during our launch tour, their employees are pretty awesome too.
7. We are thankful for Chaula Gupta and the Teach For America Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI). Chaula has believed in us from the start, and SEI has been invaluable in pointing us towards partnerships, start-up funds, and mentors.
8. We are thankful for all of our corporate partners, who help us expand our reach in an effort to spread the word about our mission and expand opportunities for even more students living in poverty.
9. We are thankful for our board of directors under whose guidance and support we launched this summer. Your sincere belief in our cause, thoughtful decision-making, and sage advice are the backbone of The Generation Project and we look forward to working closely with you as our operations expand over the next few months.
Warmest wishes for Happy Thanksgiving,
Eli Savit and Jessica Rauch
Founders, The Generation Project
1. For all you middle school teachers out there, the link is to my lesson plan. Not my greatest, but feel free to use it--and contact me if you want more.