Friday, January 7, 2011

Making a difference... one kibble bit at a time.

In my last post, I wrote about facing fear and how the timing is never perfect for going after what you really want in life. As I was writing this blog, I stumbled across a really incredible website and the inspirational 14-year-old (Mimi Ausland) behind it all. Mimi's story proves that all of us - no matter where we are in life - have the capacity to start something that matters.

When Mimi was 11, she discovered - a website that donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme for every trivia question that you answer. Mimi liked the site so much that we showed her family, and soon all of them were glued to the screen answering question after question.

Growing up in Bend, Oregon, Mimi has always shared her life with animals. In addition to caring for the family golden retriever (Aspen), cat (Dorothy), hamster (Sunny) and horse, Mimi started volunteering at the local Humane Society when she was 7. Mimi knew that she wanted to help out in a bigger way... but it wasn't until she discovered that Mimi had her epiphany: If FreeRice is such a success, why not create a similar website that gives free kibble to homeless dogs and cats for every trivia question that users answer? And with that, was born.

Fast forward three years later, and has helped to provide nearly 4.5 million nutritious meals to dogs and cats and the site is the largest contributor of food to 13 animal shelters across the country. This past summer, Mimi was the catalyst for 320,000 people sending letters to President Obama in support of naming April 30th "National Adopt a Shelter Day." Mimi has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, named a "Hero Among Us" by People Magazine, and voted "Kid of the Year" by the ASPCA. Simply amazing.

Thank you Mimi for being such an inspiration... and for showing us that you're never too young to accomplish something great.

PS - Back home in Arlington, my parents have two golden retrievers (Noah and Sadie), four cats (Polka, Mr. Dot, Cupid and Shilo) and an opossum named Winnie (which Sadie rescued from our pool skimmer last April). According to my mom, all the animals get along great :)


Joylyn said...

Leave it to You to further inspire my day like that... it must be said, "I absolutely love your mom's household!!"

one love - Joylyn

Irene Salomo said...

Thanks for your inspiring ideas :)
I'm wondering whether your shoes are available in Indonesia? Since I live in Indonesia now and really interested with your ideas. We have so many needy people here and it would be great if we can participate with your One for One program.

Jordan said...

Dear Mr. Mycoskie,

My name is Jordan Bishop, and I am a senior at the Asheville School, a small private boarding school in western North Carolina. A couple of years ago I attended Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, and I saw you speak to the student body about TOMS (which is an amazing company, by the way, and I absolutely love my own pair that I bought after hearing you speak). Anyway, I am the Secretary/Treasurer of my school's environmental club, and we host a World Awareness Day every year. While typically its theme is centered around environmental issues, I noticed that the poverty around the world is also something the student body needs to be aware of. World poverty is also a global issue, is it not? As humans, we are a part of the world and what we do to help people in need is as much a step in the right direction as recycling, if not much more. I frankly admit that the students here, myself included, are very sheltered, and we do not appreciate all the luxuries we have, like shoes, as much as we should.

My school would be interested in having you come speak to our student body. Unfortunately, the only method of contacting you was through commenting on your blog post, and for that I hope you will excuse me. My email address is I would be so grateful if you emailed me as to whether or not you would be interested in talking to my classmates. If you are interested in doing so, I would be honored to help arrange it, as would the faculty members involved in organizing World Awareness Day.

Again, I really admire the company that you have established. There really aren't enough charitable organizations out there, so your contributions are undoubtedly very appreciated.

Sincerely, Jordan Bishop

Ludie Mae said...

Wow - I love reading about people who are making a difference. Even though it kind of makes me feel as though I have wasted most of my own life! It is just incredible what has been accomplished by Mimi in her short life.
I have been following another site for several years now - TheAnimalRescue Just by having people go to their site and click each day, they have given away millions of bowls of food for shelter animals. Again, probably something that started with a simple idea....
Great post - will have to make sure I visit
Have a great day!
Arlington, TX

the27project said...

This is exactly what I needed to read today. I'm in my 7th month of an 11 month mission trip to poverty-stricken countries called the World Race. It's good to be reminded that one person really can make a difference. Keep changing the world :)