I don't know about you. But I've never had to leave my apartment and walk five miles to fetch water. I simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean.
Yet there are 800 million people on the planet who don't have clean water. That's a big problem … the world's largest health problem, actually. But it's a problem with a solution. And charity: water is our best hope.
Now, here's my "feel great" offer … Go here and donate: http://my.charitywater.org/lazerowbirthday I did. And it feels GREAT, I assure you. And the more you give, the greater you will feel. I did some research and a $3900 donation is 100 times greater than a $39 donation.
I know … you're probably thinking, "Hey. I don't care about your birthday. I wasn't going to get you a present anyway!"
I totally understand. But don't let that stop you from feeling great.
I'm asking for $39, $390 or $3900 from everyone I know -- and every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund clean water projects in developing nations.
Even better, charity: water will show us exactly which projects we funded once they've been fully completed. That means we'll be able to see the communities we've helped, and feel great doing it!
My goal is to raise over $30,000 by my birthday on Tuesday (April 23). And everyone who donates $1000 or more will get an invite to a very special event Kass and I are throwing in September at our place that you don't want to miss.
Today we launch our 2013 Cycle for Survival campaign. This is Kass and my most cherished cause. The founder Jen Goodman Linn, who passed away last July, was our inspiration in business and life.
To honor Jen, we're excited to announce this year that Kass and I will match all your donations (up to $100,000). You can donate by going here: http://bit.ly/SupportMikeandKass
This video will give you a great overview of the event.
Cycle for Survival funds primary research to fight "rare" cancers, like the sarcoma Jen had. The term "rare," however, is a misnomer. These cancers account for about 50% of all diagnoses -- and include leukemia, melanoma, pancreatic, brain, and all pediatric cancers -- but only receive a small percentage of research dollars. Many believe that the cure for these cancers will eradicate all cancers.
The scalability and accountability of Cycle for Survival's model attracted Kass and me immediately. Cycle is growing like a tech startup. In addition to doubling the money raised each year, cyclers have increased from a few hundred teams to about 10,000 cyclers worldwide. In total, we have raised nearly $18.4M (100% of all money raised goes to the research). And in just a few short years, Cycle has collapsed the time it takes to get trial treatments from research lab to patients down to 18 months from 5 years. This keeps the most talented researchers in the lab rather than out spinning their wheels (excuse the pun) fundraising.
Finding a cure for cancer is just the type of big, bold and seemingly unattainable goal that fires Kass and me up. We've seen firsthand that what seems impossible today will be taken for granted at some point in the future. The fact this disease hits so close to home will keep us engaged. In addition to losing Jen earlier this year, Kass and I lost our nephew to a nasty brain tumor a few years ago and several friends are currently in the middle of their own battles.
Jen is and will forever be one of Kass and my true inspirations - not for how she died, but how she lived in the face of death. She lived without fear and accomplished more in the 7 years she had cancer than most do in a lifetime. We remain solidly connected to her forever through her spirit and tenacity, which lives on through Cycle for Survival. I hope you will join us in donating and/or getting involved this year.
To read more and donate today, please click here: http://bit.ly/SupportMikeandKass
You can also read more about Jen here: http://www.lazerow.com/2011/07/remembering-jen-linn-without-fear-anything-is-possible.html
Don't be shy about giving. I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday season. Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can do anything for you.
I just listened to Friday night's Phish show. Wow!
If you're a fan already, you'll hear how special it is. If you've never gotten into Phish, I recommend you download the show. It's the perfect Phish show for you -- no 25-minute ambient-noise filled jams. Favorites from old and new - Bouncing Round the Room, Run Like an Antelope, Suzy Greenberg and Runaway Jim. And some awesome covers, including Psycho Killer by Talking Heads, Hold Your Head Up by Argent and Crackin' Rose by Neil Diamond.
And for those of you who love the Rolling Stones but don't love Phish, this may change your mind.
Sunday Kass and I signed a deal to sell Buddy Media to salesforce.com.
After we signed, I sat down and recorded a personal video. It's raw and emotional and captured the feelings I had after signing. I thought about not sharing it as it is so personal. But that wouldn't be very social-media like of me. I figure I've been sharing what I've been eating, doing, seeing and more for hte better part of 5 years. So why stop now?
UPDATE: This video has caught on beyond my wildest expectations. I posted it to Facebook. I didn't tweet it as I didn't really want to share it widely. What I thought would be a nice way to share with friends and family the news turned into a wildfire.
As of this morning (Tues, 9 AM ET), the video has more than 35,000 views on Youtube and even more on Facebook, where it has 400 Likes, 300 shares, 100 comments and still traveling.
The most rewarding part of the video has been the reaction. I've received a ton of great comments, from friends and strangers. (98% positive on Youtube, which never happens as the comments are trolling spam crackheads, like you, probably)
My favorites are from survivors with their own stories. People driven by fear and paralyzed by fear that now see hope.
Like Michael Shaffer, who wrote on Facebook, "Thanks! My son was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia and at the age of two has gone through 2 of what should be 3 open heart surgeries. I hope that my wife and I instill in him a passion to live life to the fullest and that he follows his heart as you have done."
I received a very kind note from John Greene. He wrote (and I hope he's OK with me sharing), "Mike, you don't know me (yet) but we share a common bond. We both got a second chance at life our lives were both profoundly changed by Marc Benioff ... Welcome to the team and look forward to meeting at SFDC HQ!"
John, an engineer for Salesforce, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Marc Benioff learned of his story and tweeted out one night, "Salesforce employee John Greene has AM L and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Are you a match?" By morning, 350 employees had signed up w/ the registry and the company covered insurance costs.
And the craziest part of the story to me? John is a huge Phish fan and also has pictures of his kids watching Phish on his Facebook Page! So when John reached out to me yesterday, I immediately felt connected to not only John, but the entire company that supported John, Salesforce.
Many of my closest friends at Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google reached out. Facebook chief ad exec Carolyn Everson's comment was extra special as she knew Jen Linn well and is part of the community working to fund cancer research.
"Thank you for sharing and I do believe [Jen and Ben] see you in this amazing moment in time."
One commenter on Youtube replied, "Thank you soo much for making this life changing video,fear holds me back every day.it has stop me from having relationships,it has even stoped me from eating and even to go outside.so from watching this video i will not let it hold me back again.and i will become the director i want to be!!:)"
Here is a video response that blew Kass and me away late last night as we sat in bed talking about the day and looking through comments.
[UPDATE: JONAH JUST DONATED $3800. I HAVE EDITED THIS POST TO REFLECT THIS. SO IF YOU WANT TO BE LIKE JONAH, YOU NEED TO GIVE $3800+]
Tomorrow I turn 38. I'm not writing to remind you (though that would be a novel move). I'm writing to tell you that I'm donating my day to charity: water, which was started by my good friend Scott Harrison to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
Another "friend," Jonah Peretti, pointed out to me last week that he wasn't planning on buying me a birthday present in the first place … so the fact that I was donating my birthday didn't really impact him.But he was so moved by charity: water that he did something I did not see coming.
Well, Jonah is no longer my friend (for now, though he can redeem himself).
Jonah started Huffington Post, which he sold to AOL for a bucket of cash. And his new company, BuzzFeed.com, is on top of the world, changing journalism one cat picture at a time. So you'd think HHe could afford a $38 donation, so he decided to give $3800 out of the goodness of his Mother Theresa-like heart. unlike mMy other friend Reece Pacheco, who is a poor startup CEO looking for his first exit. Reece donated $38 Friday, and is still my friend.
So the question I ask you is this ... Do you want to be my Jonah or my Reece? Your decision.
I'm asking for $38 or $380 or $3800 from everyone I know. If all 1100 of you donate the minimum amount (my birthday age, $38), we'll raise $42K! And every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund clean water projects in developing nations.
My goal is to raise over $5000 by 11:59 PM tomorrow. So we only have about 32 hours. Yes, that means I need you to do it right now at this site
In order to make your small donation go further, I will be matching every dollar up to my goal. This will double your donation, double your impact and double the number of people who you provide free water. (I'm only matching the first $5000 ... so get your donation in ASAP to get the match.)
Thanks in advance for your donation and joining this exciting movement.
P.S.S. I spoke to Scott. He confirmed that charity: water will show us exactly which projects we funded once they've been fully completed (which takes about 18 months). That means we'll be able to see the communities we've helped!