'She's The First:' From Simple Fundraisers To Life Changing Education
This post is part of our month-long series featuring Greatest Women of the Day, in recognition of Women's History Month.
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Ramping up their efforts with a campaign donating a dollar for every 'Like,' on Facebook, they raised enough to sponsor two girls in Guatemala.
With a benefit concert, She's the First raised $6,000, enough to put three girls in Tanzania through two years of secondary school.
With ideas as simple as bake sales and poker nights, last year, She's the First raised $13,500 and sponsored 37 girls in developing countries.
"We can bring together groups of people who individually, can only give small donations, and together, pool the money to sponsor a girl," said Tammy Tibbetts, founder of She's the First.
And people are realizing they can be humanitarians, she added. "When they see they can raise $900 from cupcakes, people discover these big muscles that they never knew they had," said Tammy, 25. "It sparks a realization that with our everyday actions, we can make a life-changing difference."
She's the First was launched in late 2009 by a group of recent college grads and students who wanted to use social media to highlight the fact that 70 percent of the children without access to education are girls (scroll down for the campaign video). It was also an opportunity to do something about it, in the simplest ways possible.
"It could just be a Saturday night, invite your friends over for a spaghetti dinner, ask everyone for a suggested donation of $10 or $15, which would be a lot less than if you went out for dinner and drinks and tipped the waiter," said Tammy.
The fundraisers pick one of the partner organizations vetted and chosen by She's the First to donate the proceeds to. The causes range from a children's home in Nepal, where $300 will pay for a child student to go to elementary school for a year; to the Kibera School for Girls, a groundbreaking school inside Africa's largest slum, where $480 will put a young, HIV positive girl through school for a year.
Last year, She's the First held 'Girls Who Rock,' a benefit concert featuring musicians Kat DeLuna, Shontelle, and Cara Salimando, raising the $6,000 scholarship that will help three teenage girls graduate from secondary school in Tanzania in East Africa.
"They're part of the five percent of girls in their country who have the privilege of going to secondary school," said Tammy. "I'm struck by how driven they are to pursue career paths that would have been unheard of just a generation earlier."