Wednesday, June 22, 2011

T-Shirt Design Proofs

At the beginning of the week, I submitted my designs to Has Marketing for an Adopt a Village in Laos T-shirt. After a couple of days of tweaking, I finalized the designs and emailed them this morning before heading out to work. Late this afternoon I received a proof, which shows how the designs will look on the shirt itself. The actual colour for the shirt will be forest green.

The front of the shirt sports the organization name, its focus, and the web site. The O's in Adopt a Village in Laos have been transformed into baci strings, which are an integral element of hill tribe culture and basically represent good fortune. The back of the shirt is adorned with Lao script and the translation, which appears directly below it, expresses what this organization represents.

Tomorrow morning I will venture to Has Marketing to finalize the order by putting down a fifty percent deposit. For this initial order, which will take about a week, I am only producing 20 shirts to see what the response will be from people first. Three of the shirts will be written off for me and the organization founders, Steve Rutledge and Mike Yap. The remaining 17 shirts will be available for sale starting July 10, with the proceeds going back to the organization to fund its various projects.

Saturday Visit to Port Hope

This coming Saturday my friend Andrew will be driving me to Port Hope for a meeting with the president of Adopt a Village in Laos, Steve Rutledge. A number of important items will be on the table for discussion that day all of which are listed below. Hopefully, we will be able to attend to all of them.
  1. The presentations.
  2. A real web site.
  3. Facebook.
  4. Twitter.
  5. My trip to Laos.
  6. Advisory committee.
  7. Marketing ideas.
If time allows, I am hoping to take Andrew on a little tour of Port Hope.

To finish off the day, all of us will be dining at the exquisite Buluai A Taste of Thai restaurant, which is owned by Sammy Minc, who grew up in a small village on the Laos/Thailand border. Afterwards, Steve will take Andrew and myself to see The 39 Steps, which is playing at the Capitol Theatre - just steps away from the restaurant.

Two Big Donations

A few months ago a long time friend had pledged that he and a mutual friend of ours would donate to Adopt a Village in Laos.  Last night that promise turned into a reality when my friend and I finally got together and he handed me two cheques in an ornate envelope. Expecting a donation for one or possibly two water filters, I was floored when I gazed at the dollar amount on each cheque - $500 each! After I composed myself, I asked him how he wanted these monies donated. He replied that I could allocate these contributions as I wished.

Shortly after our meeting, I emailed Steve Rutledge, who within a couple of hours replied. He was absolutely ecstatic. The first two words of his email basically summed up his reaction thusly, "Holy crap!"

This morning I decided how I would allocate these contributions.  A portion of these proceeds would toward 10 water filters and the remainder would go toward a school project.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Making Connections: Going Green

Last night I did another presentation of 'To Laos with Love: Presentation Series' on the patio of Java Jive, where I am conducting these events twice a month throughout the summer. In attendance that evening was a local political figure, Ellen Michelson, who had run as a Green Party candidate in our last federal election.

After the presentation, we chatted for a little while about how we can increase public awareness of Adopt a Village in Laos in Toronto, with particular emphasis on the water filters campaign for 2011-2012. She offered me some excellent options for venues where Adopt a Village in Laos could maximize its public exposure and hopefully increase water filter donations.

This morning I went on Facebook and personally thanked her for attending my presentation. I also asked her if she could email me her ideas. Within a couple of hours, I received an email with those very details.

One of the biggest and potentially greatest opportunities for exposure is on Sunday, July 3 when Toronto celebrates its annual Gay Pride Day. Like many other organizations that day, the Green Party will have a booth set up on the street. I have an open invitation from Ellen to share this booth with Green Party representatives, where I will be able to interact with and educate the public about Adopt a Village in Laos and distribute the water filter brochures.

In mid-July, the Green Party will have a table set up at a community event called Sunday in the Park. Granted, this will be a smaller event, but it will still give Adopt a Village in Laos a public presence.

On Saturday, September 10, the Green Party will be participating in an annual street event, called The Cabbagetown Parade & Festival. Just as at Pride, I have an invitation to share their booth to raise awareness for Adopt a Village in Laos.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chapters Indigo Venue Secured

Yesterday I received word from Steve Rutledge that the venue at Chapters Indigo (Bay and Bloor) has been officially secured for Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 7 pm for an Adopt a Village in Laos presentation. Within moments of reading his email, I posted this good news to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as posting an event listing to SNAP DOWNTOWN TORONTO's online calendar.

Now Steve, Mike and myself will all have to get together soon to discuss how we will orchestrate this special presentation.