Sunday, November 13, 2016

Volunteering made easy

One thing I've found while putting together this website is that it's sometimes difficult to know where to start with volunteering.

The websites of many national charities and organizations prominently feature links to allow people to easily donate their money. That's understandable. But Jamie and I don't have a lot of extra money to give to charity. If you do, that's great. But the Go High Project is focused on volunteerism and the idea that EVERYBODY can help make the world a better place - regardless of financial status.

So we've tried to aggregate links directly to websites' volunteer pages. On the right-hand column of this website, see the WAYS TO VOLUNTEER section. You'll find those links here, to terrific nationwide organizations like the United Way and the American Red Cross. You'll also find several "Local" links. These are local to Jamie and I - which is the Kansas City area. If you're not from KC, just stick to the national links.

(FYI - if you are interested in donating money, there are thousands of organizations that need your help. Here's a good place to start.)

One more thing: Volunteering doesn't have to fit into a tidy little box. You can make volunteering your own. One thing I'll emphasize in a later post is that you don't even have to leave your house to volunteer! For example, one of my pet projects is to help veterans write and update their resumes. This is something I can do from home. Find our own way to use your talents from the comfort of your living room to make the world a better place!

- Matt Kelsey

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The day after

On election night, my husband and I watched anxiously into the wee hours as the results came in. It’s no secret that we were rooting for Hilary. When it became clear that the outcome would not be what we had hoped, we went to sleep, I think hoping that when we awoke something miraculous would have happened.

We woke up November 9th disappointed and struggling to imagine what our country would be like come January 20th, 2017. Understandably, Matt decided he'd had enough politics for one day and didn’t want to watch Secretary Clinton’s concession speech. I, on the other hand, needed some guidance on how to handle all of this. With all of the #notmypresident and other divided sentiments on social media, it was clear we all needed some encouragement.

She reminded us, “Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.” President Obama put it so well in his speech saying, “...everybody is sad when their side loses an election, but the day after we have to remember that we're actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We're not Democrats first. We're not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We're patriots first.”

But the guidance I really needed came when I heard these words of Secretary Clinton’s, “Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet. And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams...So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.”

At lunch with my husband later that day we made a commitment to do our part. We set a goal of one hour a week of either volunteerism or activism in our community - 52 hours each by the end of 2017. We would be honored, and encouraged in our efforts if even one of you decides to join us.

This blog will be dedicated to sharing our experiences and highlighting causes that need your help. We hope you’ll check in regularly.

- Jamie Kelsey

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mission statement - a letter from Jamie and Matt

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president. We were proud supporters of Hillary Clinton, and like much of America, we were devastated. The morning after the election, we sadly scrolled through our newsfeeds and commiserated with our friends about the future of our democracy.

But then something interesting happened. Over lunch, we decided we were done feeling sorry for ourselves and our nation. Tweets and Facebook posts with complaints, bickering, or even messages of love can only do so much. To create a world we're proud to live in, ACTION is required.

Inspired by the words of Clinton and Michelle Obama - "When they go low, we go high" - we came up with the idea for the Go High Project.

But this project is not a political statement. It is a quest to do our part in making the world a better place - and, if possible, inspire others, from all political backgrounds and walks of life, to do the same.

The goal of the project is simple. We are each making a pledge to volunteer an average of one hour of our time each week (fifty-two hours per year) to a worthy cause.

And we invite you to do the same! To make your world better - to GO HIGH - you don't need to give money. All you need to give is your time and your talents. Pledge to donate one hour of every week to a worthy cause. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Teach a class at a local non-profit. Work for a local political campaign that supports your values. Or find your own, personal way to use your unique talents in the world around you.

- Jamie and Matt Kelsey
November 9, 2016