Goal: $15,000 by December 2015
Q&A with Jamie
What inspired you to start your own fundraising campaign? Is there anyone you would like to dedicate it to, or any special event that motivated you?
The work Voss Foundation has done since I joined VOSS Water in 2009 has always resonated with me. I can’t watch any footage with a dry eye as the work of Voss Foundation breathes new life into these African communities. The gratitude and hope that these communities gain once a well project has been completed represents the joint venture of the human spirit at its finest. We get so caught up in the small things in our daily lives, that we often times forget what is truly meaningful on a larger scale.
I wanted to begin my own fundraising campaign for Voss Foundation and do my part to help a Sub-Saharan African community of people who were not born into a life of simple luxuries such as access to clean drinking water. I have been inspired by a life of good fortune with every opportunity to reach for the stars. My parents have taught me the value of hard work and living life with an open mind and generous heart. It is my time to take on a larger project with a big impact on a global scale. Voss Foundation is changing lives and I wanted to combine my own personal network of dynamic, smart, kind, talented, supportive and generous individuals who will join forces with me to build “Jamie’s Sunshine Well.” Helping those less fortunate in other parts of the world greatly improves our future both in the short term and the long term. A little goes a long way.
I would like to dedicate my Voss Foundation Well Campaign “Jamie’s Sunshine Well” to my grandmother Phyllis Meek or to those who knew her best “Raisy,” for her love of the sun like a raisin. She was the most generous and humble person I have ever met in my lifetime with her huge heart, her ability to listen tirelessly and her time. Raisy, a former pink lady and mother of four, would never forget you if lucky enough to cross her path. She had a second refrigerator stocked full, and I mean FULL of chocolate bunnies and Girl Scout cookies in every size and flavor she had bought from every knock at her door. If you were selling something she wanted to know how many more boxes you needed to win that special prize and would buy ten more just to make sure your efforts were rewarded. She had a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She was a bright light and a force of nature, who recognized and appreciated her ability to give monetarily, however her biggest gifts were free. If she were alive today, this would be a fundraising effort she would be proud of.
Water is the foundation of all living things. It’s a luxury we have access to in our daily lives that allows us to focus on moving forward. Without this resource available to me as a young child, I would never have been educated on reading, writing or mathematics. The scarcity of clean drinking water in African communities will prevent any forward progress. Through projects like Voss Foundation, African communities are able to progress, grow and change. Providing “water” to these communities allows for education, good health and the opportunity for talented minds to emerge and contribute to society and create positive changes on a global scale. As a farmer’s daughter our livelihood was greatly affected by the weather and the amount of water available. The value of water is not of tangible currency. Water is a building block to sustain life on our planet.
What do you feel is the most important message to share with others about the need for access to clean water in Sub-Saharan Africa?
On the grand scale the amount of funds needed to complete a well project in Sub Saharan Africa are so small compared to the impact a completed project has on these African communities. To be able to positively impact the quality of lives for women and young girls so they too can focus on getting an education and learning new skill necessary to make a difference is something that we should all want. People don’t realize how much time is spent fetching water, not to mention sourcing out clean water to fuel daily life. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunities I have had in my life thus far and a solid, secure and healthy platform to grow as a women. We take for granted the luxuries available to us in our daily lives that make it possible to reach for the stars. To equate the dollar amount of $15,000 to a well project that will forever change the course of an entire community of people both young and old is truly something most of us can’t calculate.
How and when did you first learn of the Voss Foundation?
Since my start with VOSS Water in late 2009 as the Brand Manager in Northern California, I was deeply touched and inspired by the work Voss Foundation has been able to do. Kara Gerson (Executive Director of Voss Foundation) has led a true grass roots effort that has been able to change lives and add growth and prosperity to these communities they would not be able to do otherwise. I have participated in San Francisco’s Women Helping Women Fundraising Luncheon over the past three years and have been inspired by the philanthropy of such an amazing, accomplished group of women that have attended. Several of my VOSS team members here in the US have also completed their own successful well projects to date. What they have been able to achieve by their contributions from their personal networks is incredible and I knew this was a project I wanted to be part of.
What do you hope to accomplish through this campaign?
I hope to raise $15,000 by the end of 2015 to build “Jamie’s Sunshine Well,” in honor of my grandmother and hope to travel to Africa to meet the community of people that are greatly impacted by Voss Foundation and positive contributions my personal network has made. I feel fortunate to have the ability and platform to make positive changes to help others flourish. No more talking about it! I am 100% dedicated to making a difference. Let’s do this!