Nine Years Old & Our Youngest Donor Yet!

photo collageWe are just inches into this new calendar year and I am happy to report that it has been busy at the office lately. We receive many of our contributions in the last few weeks of the year and I want to take a moment to say thank you for the outpouring of support throughout 2011! Every dollar to Firelight is further leveraged by the tireless efforts of our grantees, their staff, and the thousands of volunteers they work with to improve children’s lives. Add to this an extremely passionate and determined Firelight board, staff, and growing team of local volunteers, and the true value of your support reveals itself.

Your strong engagement drives our mission, and it is incredibly powerful to be on the receiving end of your generosity. A few days ago one particular gift reminded me of this.

Last week we received a gift from our youngest donor yet. Nine-year old Isabella made a gift to Firelight. Nine years old! Instead of spending $50 of her savings, she decided to give it to a cause she cares about. When I called Isabella’s mom to thank the family, she told me: “It was a surprise when Isabella came to me after reading your year-end mailer. But she asked me where her piggy bank was, and explained that she was determined to give $50 dollars to Firelight. She even filled out all of the paperwork. I was so proud!”

Raising support for Africa can seem daunting. The ‘cause’ is logistically far removed from most of our daily lives. Yet Isabella, at nine, believes her gift is making a difference. And it is. Isabella’s $50 will make a tremendous impact on another child, and her generosity is simply inspiring. I can’t wait to personally deliver the small ‘thank you poster’ we all signed for her. Stay tuned for a blog post on Isabella’s philanthropy too.

2011 was packed with change and renewed energy at Firelight. In large part we have our supporters to thank for that.

A couple highlights include…

- Our Facebook campaign took us to over 2,000 ‘likes’. If you haven't already, please ‘like’ us, and invite your friends to do so as well

-  We are now also on Twitter at!/FirelightFnd

- A team of over 20 volunteers helped us with a range of projects, from fundraising to grantmaking.

- Our staff was invited to speak at well over 70 events, from people's homes, to universities, to workplaces, and international conferences. Read about Peter's presentation at the Rockefeller Foundation for a good example.

Your engagement continues to grow, and it brings so much hope for 2012. Thank you for being a part of the Firelight community. We hope to hear from you even more this year!