Another Unusual $100,000 Birthday Present (Plus: Free Round-Trip Anywhere in the World)

Soon 35-years young… and still not acting my age. (Photo: Sir Garrett Camp)

35! I’ll turn a glorious 35 this week.

It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too. In this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.

But back to that strange birthday gift…

Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for. Not so. I love handwritten letters, homemade brownies, and–most of all–when people do something nice.

You, dear readers, have a record of being nice and making it count. In fact, you’ve changed thousands of lives with small acts of kindness!

For my b-day in 2010, you all raised more than $100,000 for high-need public school classrooms in the US. Then, last year, you helped build libraries overseas (See the construction progress on Cambodia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka here, as well as the completed schools in Vietnam.)

In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to help poor youth in developing nations finish school. This breaks the cycle of poverty and creates problem solvers in places with problems that affect communities, entire countries, and the world at large.

And there are a few fun twists…

First, think for education. Unlike last year, we’re actually giving loans. By using loans, only the most hard-working and ambitious students participate., the organization I’m partnering with, currently has an astounding 99.8% repayment rate! That means you should actually make your money back, and you’re giving a hand up instead of a hand out.

If you prefer to “donate,” you can opt to have the funds automatically reinvested in Vittana, which is what I do.

Here’s how it works:

1. Join my 35th birthday challenge by clicking here. It’s worth clicking through just to check out the site.

2. To get your engines started, I’ve put in $10,000 of my own money, primarily into women studying to be programmers and teachers. Under “Find a student,” you’ll see “Students we’re helping.” That’s the gang.

3. If the spirit moves you, please make a $35 loan (or whatever you can: $1, $35, $1,000, etc.) to the student of your choosing. Click on “Find a student” to search outside my group. Even a $1 can make a big difference to these students!

4. Over the next several months, your (and my) students will finish school. They’ll then find jobs and begin repaying their loans.

Vittana’s impact is incredible, and your good karma compounds over time. Take a girl like Ana Lizbeth for instance — with a $713 Vittana Loan, she became an IT administrator and doubled her income. I’m so excited about Vittana that I just recently became an advisor, joining supporters like Google, Tim O’Reilly, and Mitch Kapor, among others. It’s really awesome.

So, to get this party started in force…

Sweetening the Pot…

– If you all help raise $50,000, I will personally foot the bill for another $50,000. This means that if you get the total to $60,000 (as I put in $10K already), I will pay the remaining $40,000 to get us to $100,000. The deadline for this is 11:59pm PST on Friday, July 27th.

I’m giving away a free round-trip ticket anywhere in the world that Star Alliance flies, which is just about everywhere. There is no expiration date on the trip, so no rush on deciding where or when to go.

Now, here’s how to get it:

– Spread the word however you can. Send people to this post or to my Vittana donation page.

– Leave a comment below telling me what you did (Facebook, Twitter, blog post, e-mail blast, e-mail signature, encouraged employees/friends to do the same, company donation matching, etc.). Measurement of any type gets huge bonus points. This comment must be put up no later than 11:59pm PST on Friday, July 27th, 2012.

– Lastly, answer one question at the very top of your comment: “What does education mean to you?”

I’ll pick the top five promoters, and you’ll all vote on the winner of the round-trip.


But the best reason of all…

Beyond the bribes, you’ll feel awesome about yourself for doing real good for people who have so little. People who, without education, might not have a future at all.

Trust me. It feels great.

Will you pause for a moment and step up, even if for $1? It would mean the world to me. I’ll share updates as I get them.

Again, here is where to go to loan/donate $35, $1, $1,000, or whatever you can.

Thank you for reading this post. You are all rock stars, and I continue to write on this blog purely because of you.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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281 Replies to “Another Unusual $100,000 Birthday Present (Plus: Free Round-Trip Anywhere in the World)”

  1. Really cool. I donated of course.

    “Your loan will create $4,488 in impact in just one year. Over his lifetime, your loan will create over $210,936 for Hector Rolando and his family.”

    Damn. That is an excellent way to frame the value of the transaction. I really dig this site. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Tim.

    Oh yeah, and I’m 99.8% your picture is from Burning Man!

    Happy Birthday 🙂

  2. This is too cool!

    Do you guys know why Paraguay and Philippines are the 2 countries with the most students? Just curious..

    To me, education means having access to (good) information and having (good) people around, who BELIEVE in you, encourage you to follow your passions at any cost, and who support you no matter what you choose for your life.

    But above all, freedom precedes education. My parents who grew up in the former Soviet Union were so well learned as to be ludicrous by today’s standards (in the US, anyway), but they weren’t educated about fundamental things like individual freedom and responsibility, free markets.

    What good is it to be a doctor and have the standard of living of a peasant? Oh snap…it would seem I’ve just completed a bona fide rant. Haha! Ah, well, happiest of birthdays to you, Tim, and good vibes to tall!

  3. As far as what education means to me, if I may, I will offer two quotes, both from the great Ken Robinson:

    “The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”

    ? Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

    “Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.”

    ? Ken Robinson

    Thanks so much the little kick in the ass this afternoon, Tim. I dig what you’re doing. I donated some dough, spread the word to my 1,000 or so folks in my networks (a paltry amount compared to yours, of course :)).


  4. I just realized that today is my favorite teacher from High School’s birthday. He stayed around during spring break my Senior Year in HS to teach me Calculus- I was in the standard calc class and he believed that I had the ability to score well on the AP Calc AB test with a little extra coaching. So, every day in between my lacrosse two-a-days I would meet with the angelic Mr. Flint for 2 hours to accelerate my studies. His kindness saved me $3300 because I received 3 college credits for passing the AP exam. So, for his birthday, I made a $25 loan to a teacher in Indonesia.

    There is nothing more valuable than a great teacher and Mr. Flint taught me that!

  5. “What does education mean to you?”

    Dear Tim,

    Education is what separates humanity from brutes. Education is what governments should consider their TOP priority. Education is the best investment you can make and the only thing that cannot be taken away from you. It enables people to become more, do more, and accomplish more.

    I am an English teacher in Lisbon, Portugal, and many of my students want to learn English because it will help them be more attractive in the global job market, and because it is now the de facto universal language. I can see how education impacts people because I’m an educator. I love it when a light erupts in a student’s eyes that kindles understanding and inner growth.

    Learning a new language (as you well know) unlocks a whole new part of the world for you. I want to give that to my students. Education is the key.

    So, what did I do for your challenge?

    I donated $10 each to two Chemistry students, Daissi María Candia Figueredo and Rafaella Barbudez Cámara, both from Paraguay. I chose the chemistry students because maybe one day they will create a medicine that will help save lives.

    As for promotion, I liked this post on Facebook, reTweeted it, and posted the link on my blog, Expat in Lisbon.

    Thanks Tim, for giving up a birthday present for yourself and instead helping to raise money for education.


    Justin Wu

  6. Education to me means having mentors, building contacts and lifelong friendships. It’s also good for building a workforce. But personally I learned more from life experience, traveling, and working than I did from school.

    But I donated to a girl from Paraguay this year because of your birthday. You changed my life a few years ago and I’ll never forget it Tim.

    Still living the dream.


  7. Happy Birthday Tim. Thank you for improving my life over the past few years.

    Education comes from the Latin word “Educo” meaning to grow from within. I think that education is an experience of matching the right circumstances with passion to learn, which helps a person to grow form within. Education does not come from universities or colleges. Education comes from the desire to learn and find the circumstances that will help you prosper.

    I made a donation to someone who wants to be a teacher in Paraguay. Out of all the students I saw on the website, I liked this student’s purpose the most “My dream is to be able to teach and, through this line of work, be useful to society.”

    I retweeted your post, shared it on Google+, and emailed it to my friends.

  8. Hey Tim!

    Love this shit! Happy Birthday and thanks for doing so much! You are an inspiration.

    So here is the scoop:

    We donated 70 bucks under your team. Then posted about you with a link to your team on Vittana to our sites FB page. There we have 6500+ fans.

    But I wanted to take it a step further so we promoted the post (super effective if you have yet to try it) for the highest dollar amount possible. This will pay dividends to your cause as nearly 100% of our FB fans will now see the post and and many will participate in one way or another. I will follow up with a the results here when the promotion is over in 3 days.

    Love you man and all that you do!

    1. Alright, the numbers are in:

      Full Reach: 13,026

      Hoping this drove a ton of donations under your team name from our huge Vegan community.

      Lets reach the goal! Looks like you are less then $8k away!

  9. Happy Birthday!

    Let this be the best one yet. I gave $42 but don’t want to participate in the retweeting and facebooking and promoting.

    Love your idea though!

  10. I’m getting an “long running script error” at Vittana’s website when I try to donate. Can someone decipher what this means and what I can do to fix it?

  11. Thank you all SO much for the loans, donations, awesome comments, and incredibly inspiring spirit!

    Pura vida 🙂


    1. “What does education mean to you?”, you ask?

      It is the difference between where I am now and where I know I can go in the future.

      Even at the age of 42, I’m still learning every day. I still read upwards of 200 articles a day in order to become better at everything I do, and as a result leave a bigger impact on the world – not just for me but for as many people as I can positively affect.

      Your latest initiative lit a fire under me. As well as loaning via Vittana (I chose a prospective teacher, so that the impact of my loan might be even greater), I’ve done what I can to spread the word:

      Tweeted several times via @TheRealSJR – my analytics tells me I reached more than 62,600 people via my tweets and retweets.

      Sent details of what you’re doing to my extensive networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, and to specific groups, like UsGuys. In total, around 15k additional direct connections, and I know some of those people have shared the news too.

      We also set up a group and promoted the initiative in various forums, such as the Fitbit group I belong to. Just another 700 members or so, but it all counts.

      That’s all the measurable stuff. I’ve told everyone I can about it and hope they follow the instructions, and I put the widget on my charity fitness website – – to drive extra clicks to Vittana.

      Between us all, we can make a real positive difference across the world…

  12. I loaned $31 to Miguel Angel Torrez in Bolivia who is studying economics and eventually wants to start his own business.

    Education (not schooling) = Empowerment. I am a college student myself. I am schooled in alot of subjects. Like most students, I cram like crazy usually the night before the test. Pass my test, then a month later forget it all. Most students are schooled in college but not enough are empowered to DO. We live in the Information Age. There is plenty out there for people to self educate adn to learn facts about anything but in order for someone to act on what they have learned they need to be empowered.

    I spent 2 years in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico living in rural areas with the Mayan people, sleeping in hammocks and learning spanish/mayan. I was able to donate my time to help people financially, school them with facts, or do chores for them. but the best thing i ever did was learn to empower people, to believe in them so much that they would believe in themselves and make changes in their lives (ie quit alcohol, stop beating wives or children, read with their families, open a business…ect)

    Tim I think you are an awesome educator because you empower people to do act. “If one does not act on what is being taught then they are not learning. Therefore the teacher is not actually teaching” — Aristotle. Instead of just teaching people facts we should focus on helping them implement those principles in their lives. If you just teach someone a fact they can throw it on their resume. If you empower them to act they can make a change in the world.

    Tim you have empowered me to believe in myself so much i am on my second startup while in college, and I continue to work for the lifestyle I have always dreamed of. In my life I hope I can empower half the people that you have!

    Thanks for everything man!


  13. Hi Tim – and happy birthday!

    Just donated enough to get one student from the Philippines up to fully founded. Thanks for telling everyone about this great initiative!

    I also see it as a small way of giving thanks for the inspiration I have found in the 4-hour work week and your other projects. Keep it up – can’t wait for the 4-hour Chef 😉


    Shared with 4500+ Twitter followers and 600+ FB followers.

  14. Happy Birthday Tim!

    Gave $50 to someone who was yet to receive one!! Gotta start somewhere.

    Education means EVERYTHING to me. On a Trip to Tanzania last month (gave up my 30th to go volunteer) I was chatting with a 22yr old local who was volunteering at the community centre while trying to finish primary school. I worked out that over my 30yr life I have been in formal education for over 24 years of it! Up until this conversation I had always taken that for granted! But now I realize the value of my education and the responsibility to use it for a purpose greater than myself.

    I’ve posted this, shared this and emailed this everywhere I can think of… Including a blog on my own companies website… Im a university lecturer so im also planning to work it in to some of my lectures this week!!!

  15. Education is an opportunity to elevate perspective – to make better decisions and more valuable contributions in this short life time.

    What you’re doing is fantastic – love the model.

  16. Happy Birthday!

    This is an amazing cause!

    My mother was just out of high school when I came into her world, and I remember how important to her it was that she did not waste her talents. She and my father worked hard for her to finished he B.A. in English and eventually her M.A. She eventually end up teaching my high school English class. Raising three children and taking courses was difficult on my parents. My dad’s idea of dinner consisted of ground beef with a can of mushroom soup and a side of fries (which I think he still considers to be a vegetable). Sometimes we would pack up our toys and coloring books and sit in the lobby while my mom finished he classes. I don’t know how they did it, but both my parents have their degrees, my sister and I are both finished with post-graduate work. And now I have a great appreciation for the work that goes into furthering education and its importance in the world.

  17. Education is giving a person the tools they need to problem solve, to make life not just better or easier, but to advance on their particular life path.

    Shared your post on my Facebook page …

    4600+ peeps, most in the culinary and wine fields. And people who produce good food and wine do love to nurture!

    Thanks for sharing another GREAT birthday gift!

  18. Hey Tim

    Happy birthday! I wanted to thank you for offering up this challenge. I am a newly single mother with very little resources who despite having financial comforts at different points in my life find myself today 12 days before my next child support payment with $1.23 in my checking account. $1 of which just went to Senja in hopes that she can find her feet and run forward into her destiny. It truly IS the random acts of kindness that keep us all looking toward the future with hope in our eyes and love in our hearts.



  19. Tim, this is a great idea. My buddy put me onto it and I have just sent a loan to a student in Ghana.

    Keep fighting the good fight.


  20. To me education is the most important factor in Human progress. It is the means by which every human individual can become informed and gain the ability to think critically. It is what will lead us to evolve both socially and technologically toward the best future we can dream of.

    what I did (so far)

    Tweeted 25 of the top Twitter users in the world this link asking for a re-tweet

    “Author Tim Ferris Is having a birthday challenge to raise money for 3rd world education! Spread the word!

    shared on my FB with 542 friends

    and I’m about to go to work (I work in a restaurant) where I can tell at least 50 people, some of whom already know who you are!

    when I get back from work I’ll continue tweeting people with large fan bases in the hopes that the message will get through and that we can far exceed your goal!

    much love, Jordan

  21. What a beautiful idea Tim!!

    I have just spread the news with twitter/ facebook/ stumble it and email and I hope with everybody’s support we will achieve the target.

    From me I have loaned just 40 $ as I am a very poor designer and in Japan we have a lot of trouble right now(!!!) But I hope that my student of Paraguay, Lidys Aniela Campos, will become soon a good layer and help her community!!! Lidys Ganbatte!!!!

    Well, Education really makes the difference for everythings.

    I really mean it, it’s not just for your challenge.

    My father growned up during the second war in a small village of Tuscany in a very poor family and even if he really wanted go school to learn, every time his father finished to sold his school-books for food, so he could’nt finish school and started working instead as icecream-seller for an american base near Pisa (Camp Darby). An official noted his strenght and capacity so he offered a full employement position if he would be able to took the diploma and notary specialization on evening school in very short time and, yes he did it, and he did it very well that when he retired at 65 years he was chief department manager, beloved from anybody around !!

    Yes, my father showned me with his life that education is extremely important and that gives you a big chance to fullfill your dreams.

    Thanks to him I have growned up with the same temper and even if we weren’t enough rich to let me study to Venice University the fields I was found about it (japanese studies) I managed by myself, I took a very difficult scholarship from Mombusho, I studied hard, and graduated successfully.

    Now I am living in Japan (This was my target from when I was a child) still keep studying and doing what was my other big dream (graphic design)

    and trying always to improve myself, also thanks to your book 🙂

    (I’m also taking english lessons becouse I am always speaking only in japanese or italian that’s why my poor english! Sorry!!)

    Anyway, Education is the key to make people feels better, to make their living better and ultimately making the all world better.

    This are not just good words, this are facts.

    Happy Birthday Tim, a big Hug and please contact me if you step by near Tokyo!

    Isabella Testai (I becomed 35 on 12th of June! cheers!)

  22. I love this! It’s so important to show people that we care what happens to them and that we believe in their efforts to get educated. So often I think we forget how blessed we are, and I love that everyone who is funded is working toward being better in their field, and not expecting a hand out! What a brilliant idea!

  23. Education is not a period of time that you are sitting in a classroom. Education is a lifestyle. Education is simply having someone to teach you things that will benefit you and help you navigate through this often times, cruel and unforgiving world.

    Every tike deserves that. When even ONE CHILD doesn’t get that education, we are ALL to blame.

    Because I BELIEVE in what TimTim stands for as a person, here is what I did:

    I e-mailed this link to every news station in my area (Panhandle of Florida) and sent out e-mails to the local News Papers, encouraging them to write about something that actually MATTERS-Tim Ferriss’ movement of spreading knowledge and education across the world.



    I went and volunteered at an elementary school to help struggling students learn how to read and how to do basic math. Upon doing this, I realized the true meaning of education and how important it is for everyone to have that helping hand. At one point a little girl asked: “Why are you here?” I answered simply. “Tim Ferriss.”

    IF I were to win this trip, I wouldn’t want to go to Paris or Switzerland. I would challenge Tim Ferriss to accompany me to a struggling country to tour and help volunteer at local schools and continue his movement of education for all.

    If you win and I don’t, I encourage you to do the same.

    Here’s to the mind of a child,

    Gavin Doran

  24. Tim,

    Just like the past couple years, this is such a great idea. It’s the type of giving that creates focused, real change. Today is actually my 35th birthday and although your check will be a little bigger, I’m happy to experience the feeling that comes with doing something nice for someone else on my birthday. Happy b-day and please keep up all of the great work,


  25. Education means great teachers, access to resources, a gathering of minds and challenging yourself.

    I posted your Vittana link on my Facebook status, going out to 320 friends, and I made a loan of $50 to Astri Nuraeni of Indonesia.

    Can you tell me how students can get nominated for a Vittana loan? I support a rural school in Cambodia and know of some outstanding students who would be eligible.

    Wishing you a karmic birthday!

  26. Awesome Idea Tim!

    Done so far:

    Facebook Wall Post: 141 Friends

    Tweeted: 220 Followers

    Plan to:

    Tell everyone!!!

  27. I am a student and know the difference an education makes. I grew up very poor and have had to struggle growing up to make the bare essentials. I was fortunate living in Canada where we have access to student loans and I know students in many other countries don’t have the luxuries we have. I know I couldn’t contribute a lot but I think giving up a cup of coffee for a while is well worth it.

    I chose Blanca Analia Gimenez as I am finishing my Economics Degree and I hope that she receives as high of quality education as I am fortunate to have received.

    Happy birthday Tim and I think the world needs more people like you.

    Shared on Facebook

    Twitter @Gekkebus

    Spread the word around the University

  28. To me education means options, and I hope that is what it will mean for Cherry in the Philippines. 🙂 I’m so happy to give back to a place and a people that gave warmth to me when I visited.

    Happy Birthday Tim! Alles Gute und Liebe zum Geburtstag.

    I have posts set up for the week to hit Twitter, Facebook and my Page – I’ll update metrics.



  29. Tim and everyone,

    Nice to know what Kittana is doing. Did you know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been doing this since 2001 with what they call “The Perpetual Education Fund”? Check it out at:

    It is always great to help people secure an education and better future for themselves, their families, and is actually something that will affect generations.

    I have done it on my own, as well as through the Perpetual Education Fund.

    Great thing Tim. Thought you might want to know of other groups doing it too.

  30. I realized what education means, when i was arguing with some of my friends, which were refugees of the war in the Balkan area. They live here (Switzerland) now, have their university degrees and tried to start some business with their folks down in Kosovo. They couldn’t start any business, cause of the older generation, which always prevent the youngsters by realizing their dreams. This generation is bad educated and not open minded for any change! The only way to break this circle is a good education for the next generation and then is it possible, that something like the Arabic spring happens. It’s the same with the female circumcision in Africa, those people don’t know how cruel they are, cause they are victims of archaic cultural knowledge. There is only one path to solve all this problems in the world and this is the path of the education.

    My thumb rises for Vittana!

    Thank u Tim for bringing this up! And I wish u all the best for your b-day

    greeting from Switzerland


  31. “What does education mean to you?”

    Education is giving someone the toolkit so they can shape their own future and fulfil their destiny. Education means empowering, it means action, and it means improvement.

    Education is how we, as a society, can really move forward.

    Loaned, happy birthday Tim!

    Shared on Facebook and Twitter, and emailed closest group of friends – will keep on pestering in person, this is an awesome initiative.

  32. All answers to your education question can be boiled down to one answer: empowerment.

    Thanks for inviting everyone to share in your birthday gift. I’m happy to be a part of it and I hope I can help rally people to do the same.

    Quick question: Can the winner of the ticket give it away to someone else if they should so choose?

    1. Forgot to add how I spread the word:

      Posted link on FB status (632 friends), 1 share (364 friends)

      Posted on personal travel blog with own content about MFI’s (17 followers), and published new post to FB

      Verbally shared the idea with 8 friends in Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand, current location

      Not much but I’m not a pro blogger; I just keep my friends and family updated. I know that it’s inspired friends and family to make donations to Vittana, so that’s cool enough for me.

  33. Hi Tim! Happy Birthday!!

    I retweeted, blogged, and FBed your amazing education program. Kudos to you.

    What does education mean to me? It’s a chance for someone to expand beyond what they thought were their boundaries. It’s a chance to now help others who are coming up in society behind them. It’s chance to now better the education system and the world…to use the tools that they were so generously given.


  34. Education is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself and that also benefits the world many times over. Without an education I shudder to think what my life would be or have been like.

    I’ve invited my friends via private email, plus the members of my Rotary club in Little River, SC, plus my co-workers. Facebook and Twitter are next.

  35. Education for me is a big part of self love. To love yourself and understanding that there is so much in the world to know, to explore, to challenge. To educate oneself is to provide a means of improvement or change or confidence. Life is so much richer when you take the initiative to learn. Learning permeates through all of life, from the personal to the professional. I see it as a springboard to greater and better things. Education can teach the world humility.

    Thank you for bringing Vittana to my attention. Again, I am thankful and humbled by my own circumstances and want to be a part of the positive change you are bringing across the globe. And happy 35th birthday Tim 🙂

    To spread the word I…

    Retweeted the RSS feed sent to me via email

    Posted on FB after I had made my donation to Regin Duldulao

    Tweeted again, after visiting the feed via blogsite

    mass emailed my colleagues in Riverside County Environmental Health, where I had just quit my job yesterday as I was so inspired by 4 Hour Work Week 😉

    Sent to my parents via email and FB

    Thanks again.

    Big hug,


  36. Education means opening doors to the future of your choosing. Personally, I have benefitted tremendously from my college education – not only in the confidence, but the relationships and sense of accomplishment. I am happy to contribute to another student; and hope they reap some of the same benefits I have.

    To spread the word I have liked to FB to 300+ friends and sent the link to my closest girlfriends via e-mail.

    Thanks Tim for the opportunity to help in a way I would not have thougth of.

  37. Education is the process of learning about things not readily experienced. If I would’ve known that bullies were committing tortious acts upon me in middle school, who knows how that might’ve changed my life? Also, it’s an excuse for me to owe $70,000+ to a bank!

    Happy birthday, and thanks for the generous offer. I’m not trying to win – I’m happy in Miami – but I thought you might like to know that I posted a note on Facebook (1100+ “friends”), and I made a loan to help someone in Bolivia. Good luck with your challenge, and thanks for the wonderful blog and books.

  38. education cures!

    thank you for introducing me to both websites, kiva and vittana, I was thinking about a similar idea the other day and didn’t know they existed. now that i know, i am happy to participate.

    there is so much talent around the world, which sadly doesn’t get recognized. i hope we are all able to spread the word and connect support on the one side and talent and motivation on the other.

    again, education cures!

    even turning 35..congratz!

  39. What does education mean to me?

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to go to Stanford, and now I’m a rising senior studying design, psychology, and computer science.

    Over the past 3 years, I’ve realized that education for me isn’t about personal gain, but it’s about learning the skills to give back more than I’ve taken away from the world. To leave the world a better place since having me.

    How did I get the word out?

    1) I posted it to Facebook (400 friends), and Twitter @amartinsu13 (500 followers)

    2) My friend saw my post and offered to post it to his friends on Facebook (1600 friends)

    3) is a growing email list of 20,807 people (and counting!). Each day, 1 person is randomly chosen and allowed to post a 250 word email to the list. By pure fate, the day before Tim posted this blog post, I received an email saying I was chosen and that I had 48 hours to write an email! Today (Thursday) it was posted to all 20,000 followers.

    – I’ve already gotten tons of emails from followers of the list supporting, including an incoming Stanford freshman who said seeing it just made her even more excited for school in the fall 🙂

    Here’s the email I sent to the Listserve:

    SUBJECT LINE: How would you help aspiring teachers in the developing world?


    Tim Ferriss (of 4 Hour Work Week fame) is turning 35. His birthday wish is to raise $50,000 from the followers of his blog to help fund aspiring teachers. If we are able to raise $50,000, he will match that with another $50,000 donation! As of this writing, we have raised $27,181.

    To raise the money, he is using a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Vittana. Donations to Vittana students are 100% tax deductible.

    To donate:

    1) Google “Vittana” and click on the first link

    2) Choose “Lending Teams” at the top

    3) Scroll down and choose “35th Birthday Challenge for Tim Ferriss!”

    4) Choose “Join Team” in the right column

    5) Connect with Facebook

    5) Find a student, and donate!

    I highly encourage you to consider making a difference in someone else’s life today!

    Thanks for your time,

    Andrew Martin

    Stanford, CA

    Who did I help?

    Pretty Hope Martin! I couldn’t pass up a girl studying to become a computer programmer (I’m studying CS at Stanford), with my last name, AND from the Philippines (I’m half Filipino). I also picked her out because she was stuck on the last page of students from the Philippines, and didn’t have any donations yet. I checked again today, and she’s now been fully funded!

    Happy Birthday Tim!

    1. Andrew, the best comment I’ve read so far!! I could tell it was from the heart and I’d nominate you (if I had any part in it) for top 5 promoter!

  40. Tim,

    First off Happy Birthday man, enjoy a great year!! A great call to action hear, I truly try to make a difference every day and you are one of my top motivations for it.

    I donated $25.00 (donation not loan) to Cherry Domingo because I enjoyed her story the most.

    I tweeted your post out to 1,175 followers on twitter and wrote a blog today entited “What are you doing today?” praising you and others for random acts of kindness. You can find the full post at

    But here is a snippet in quotes shouting you out with a link to your site.




    Engage strangers.

    Send a friend a card.

    High five a co worker.

    Think about what Tim Ferris is doing”

    Your name was hyperlinked to this post. I shared that on facebook with 900 friends, 1,175 twitter, and 379 LInkedIn connections. That’s all the friends I have in the cyber world I think!!

    As for education…

    Education to me is a means to be able to have a fair shot at doing whatever you want in life. In America 95% of us are giving that opportunity and some squander it away. In other countries not everyone is given the fair opportunity to make something out of their life, and it all starts with education.

    Education is world equality, a means to life, a means to opportunity, a means to achieving greatness while on Earth.

    Thank you! CARPE DIEM ALL!

    Mike Rudd

  41. Once again, Tim you inspire and uplift people by your actions and your generosity.

    Happy Birthday and may this continue way over a 100.

    Education is the key to keep an open mind. It helps to grow as a person and to share to allow the world to grow. education is the seed planted in a soul that grows only when watered.

    have an awesome day and always feel better.


  42. Tim,

    it’s one of the best ideas thet impress me and my friends.

    I share yours idea with my facebook friends, google+ circles, e-mail to all friends in my contact lists, friends too…

    Now i’m reading storie of students and plan to donate some money.

    Education for me was a big chance to change my life and life of my family and it’s the same now. We are able to travel all around the world and find out new opportunities every day!

    I really hope these people to whom we help we’ll use the chance as much as possible!

  43. Happy Birthday to you Tim, big time …. I share the same birthdate too, although, a few years ‘more’ ‘young’;) …

    I got your book ‘fourhourweek’ a week ago, and it’s transformational .. big time!!…

    As a b’day gift, am supporting two young women and have added the vittana weblink to my email signature to spread the word.

    What does Education mean? I think, well …. it opens the doorway of our mind, to follow the pathway of our heart to etch our contribution to the world.

  44. What does education mean to me? Well, I have homeschooled my children since their birth (they are now teens dual-enrolled in Community College for their high school years)… I guess you could say it means everything to me, my life….our life for the past 16 years has been dedicated to educating my children in ways that think outside the box and prepare them for LIFE not for next week’s quiz. It is NOT a 7am to 2pm classroom, our entire lifestyle is dedicated to learning….our vacations are learning experiences, our everyday life focuses on learning something new, listening to interesting people, learning a new skill or just reading about something we didn’t know before. Many people who worry about whether homeschooling is a good idea focus on “socialization”…..but my kids have been learning and practicing socializing skills with people of all ages their entire life, not just the 30 same aged classmates from K through 12.

    Anyway… is utmost in my book. I work closely with the homeschool community and publish a weekly newsletter for them, with a headcount of 2,487 families. This week’s issue has a write up about your blog and your lifestyle. May you continue to be an inspiration to those around you!

  45. I chose to support Ernest Youngmann from Ghana. Education is what allowed another young Ghanian named Joe Danso to escape poverty and move to the States as an 18 year old. Who would have thought that same young man would one day start a successful business in Christian Retail and that I would have the privilege of working as his partner for the last 5 years. This donation is for Joe, in hopes that his spirit, courage, and enthusiasm will embody itself in Ernest as well. God Bless you Tim for spreading this initiative and happy birthday!

  46. Today is also MY Birthday Tim! Happy Birthday to us! I hope you have a GREAT Birthday (first time in a while I remember getting “Friday” as a gift! :o)

    Simon from Cincinnati, OH

    1. BTW Tim – I just got you and I a gift – a $50 loan and an $8 donation to Vitanna! It DOES feel good to GIVE on your Birthday!

  47. Done. No blog, No zillion followers. Just a healthy respect for the life changing power of education and for those who are working so hard to get an education in conditions I can only imagine.

    Happy Birthday!

  48. Education: To me it distills down to Self-empowerment.

    Donated. Donated again. Looks like a cool site Tim.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!

  49. Education means opportunity. It opens doors–not only to careers, but to further knowledge and wisdom.

    What a great organization and a great birthday idea! I have made a microloan and shared the link to this article publicly on Facebook.

    You continue to inspire me, Tim.

    Morgan MacDonald


    Seattle, WA

  50. Tim,

    Been following you for a minute (since 4HWW) and you have been very inspirational to me.

    Life is an adventure, and folks like you with a free mind and willingness to educate others are a blessing.

    I want to wish you a very happy birthday, and say how much I appreciate your posts. My birthday is tomorrow and will be exploring Colorado somewhere (TBD when I wake up in the morning)

    Keep the posts coming!

  51. Awesome idea!

    I’m fortunate enough to be born in a country where everything is possible. I don’t need the ticket, thanks to your teaching my business is doing good, but I always need a way to remind myself that not all of us are so fortunate.

    Thank you,


  52. Happy birthday Tim!

    I think education is the single best and most effective way to make this world a better place.

    Education greatly increases tolerance and decreases poverty. Education helps to take luck out of the equation. It is the multiplier for our talents.

    As a college student from Germany, education gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts with people from all over the world, even if they don’t speak my native language.

    I think education is the most obvious answer to almost all problems our world is facing today and it can provide a path to a better future. As good as globalization and automatization in every industry is, they also can cause job problems. Education is the only way to solve these.

    By solving the education problem we can fight poverty and deficiency at the cause instead of trying to defeat the symptoms.

    We all should never cease to educate ourselves since the world is changing more rapidly than ever, and such arise new problems, but hopefully also more ways and opportunities to tackle these problems.

    This whole project is beyond awesome, and I will do my best to contribute and make education available for more people.

    Here is what I did so far:

    – Made a blogpost on my tumblr blog ( with 2000+ followers on tumblr.

    – Posted the link on the Facebook page of said tumblr blog (6100 fans).

    – Posted the link on two of my other Facebook fanpages with 19,200 and 7700 fans.

    – Created a pin on the pinterest account for (361 followers) that promotes the site.

    – Lastly I also shared it on my personal Twitter and Facebook account.

    I used bitly to shorten the majority of the links, and the stats can be found here:

    I made a 35$ loan to Deidamia Martinez from Paraguay. She wants to be a teacher, and I figured that if she gets her loan she can not only escape from poverty, but also pass on education to other people.

    Best wishes und liebe Grüße,


  53. Education means choices which in turns means freedom.

    I have two daughters and I can promise you that one of my number one priorities is to give them the best education I can-both in traditional “book sense” and “common sense.”

    Great job Tim!

    Not only did I make the donation, but I also shared it on Twitter (@lvgranger) which is linked to my facebook and sent an email out to select friends along with a text message….

    Hope we kick ass and give people endless opportunities in life!

  54. Dear Tim, I donated $35. It’s all I can spare at the moment. I am sharing this on facebook and twitter, not to win a trip around the world but to highlight the fact that many of the women are getting almost no funding. The women are usually far more repressed in these countries than men. They need our help so this is a call out to anyone who has a mother (all of you) to focus on the students getting less funding. I’m also asking my social networks to do the same. I truly wish I could give each one of them their funding.

    Tim, I would also ask that whoever wins should have a stop on their trip to visit the person they helped fund and see what a difference Vittana is making in these communities.

    You are a great person for doing this. I hope the $60k mark gets reached!

  55. Education gives people the ultimate tool to realize their dreams, passions, and interests. It is the gateway to a world in which you are the architect. It gives you that power! You can design and subsequently built your life as you wish because you have the knowledge and skills that make you valuable beyond your ability to perform manual labor. It simply gives one creditability, propelling one’s thoughts and ideas into the minds of others.

    I am an upcoming college freshman who immigrated to the States 13 years ago. In my native country of Chile, financial aid can only be sought through heavy interest loans. I am grateful for the opportunities this country has given me and lucky to be able to continue my education (winning scholarships was my only way to finance my education). I only feel right in reciprocating the gesture. Since I only have a Facebook, I shared your donation page with my friends. I also shared it on the page and group page of the non-profit organization (U R Awesome Inc, a random acts of kindness organization) I am now interning for as well as on my college “Class of 2016” group page. My loan went to Nadia Fabiola Fariña Silvero. I believe we share the common goal of one day running a business. Her work ethic also mirrors mine.

    1. I forgot to write my measurements.

      FB friends: 287

      Non-profit group page: 591

      Non-profit page: 918 (likes)

      “Class of 2016) college group page: 3,504

  56. Hi Tim,

    I wanted to say happy 35th birthday. Not acting our age is definitely everyone must NOT do as long as they are delivering value to people and the world, and you definitely are.

    Reading and hearing the audio version of the 4 hour work week many times (20 times and counting) over has changed my outlook in life completely and i am still figuring out how to create a great income stream form a muse. i am finding the marketing part a bit daunting to be honest and have failed partly because of it. I think I am getting closer and I currently working on 2 software projects (focusing on my strengths) to which i know the market exists but want to create a new product category.

    I am of the year 77 too and seeing someone my age being successful and making a difference an honor and a great source of inspiration. I visit your blog often and learn a lot especially from other’s people case studies.

    I wanted to send you a birthday card but could not find your mailing address anywhere 🙂 I’ll be honored to send you one if i did.

    Happy birthday


  57. Greetings from Manila! Chanced upon this blogpost, and it got me really excited to share the news about your birthday project in facebook. Microfinance in education is a great idea! It’s worthwhile investing on this project!

    Education liberates us in so many ways, and the first step to liberation is the desire to learn, regardless of whether finances are available or not. Time and again the Universe affirms that it will send all the help we need whenever we strongly desire something for ourselves that will contribute to common good.

    You and those who are part of this endeavor are blessed indeed!

  58. Just joining the party, starting today with the slow-carb and a donation!

    For me Education is: among others, knowing there’s a sweet spot at one o’clock!

    Stay young, stay foolish!

    Happy Birthday!

  59. Education is a light where before there was only darkness. I have seen the dawning of understanding in a child’s eyes and was blessed to be a part of that moment. Thank you for the opportunity to give today. Happy Birthday – thank you for all you do for others. Namaste. Shared on Twitter & Linkedin.

  60. Hey Tim,

    I donated some money to Vittana, and saw a box you could tick for a tax credit. If you “loan” enough and get a big tax credit are you actually making money since you get more back on your tax return? Just a thought.


  61. Happy birthday Tim! I made my donation and I thank you for this project. It is truly remarkable how instead of a $5 starbucks coffee – we can make an impact. Not to say $50 or more..

    I see formal education as a starting point. Jim Rohn says it will make you a living (which is more than most people from the third world could ask for), but self-education will make you a fortune.

    Now, most of these people do not have all the books, libraries and other resources readily available like we do, which is why I think a project that will create an online library where they could read as many books for free as we could get in – would be invaluable!

    Thank you again for organizing this project! I have shared it with my facebook team, my blog and my email list!



  62. Education isn’t just a requirement for a better job; it’s a fundamental tool for defining your path in life.

    I loaned money to 3 students and posted the information on Facebook (432 friends). Next week I’ll forward to coworkers and see if we can build some momentum in the corporate space.


    Amount: $100

    Date: July 22, 2012

    Student: Daissi María Candia Figueredo in Paraguay

    Amount: $100

    Date: July 22, 2012

    Student: Reyna Isabel Barahona in Honduras

    Amount: $100

    Date: July 22, 2012

    Student: Laura Maribel Vargas Colman in Paraguay

    Happy Birthday Tim! Your lifestyle design and evolving social awareness campaigns are truly inspirational!

  63. Hi Tim,

    Happy birthday!

    I’m South Korean attracted by your book and I found this website. Now I know that you’re doing great things to make the world better. I’m spreading this website as much as I can. I shared in my personal FB (544 friends), other pages I like (about 10,000 members), in Weibo (Chinese FB), and I’ll email this to my friends’ list. No matter I can get the tickets or not, this still makes me happier. Thank you!

  64. What education means to me: Education is key to a successful life. Whether you’re studying at a school, home schooled, or are learning via self-study. No matter which avenue is taken, and in most cases multiple avenues are taken, a person must educate themselves to become what they want to me. Which, of course, will change throughout time and education. I know my life plans and views after totally shifted views for the better after reading the 4HWW. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” ~George Washington Carver, American Scientist.

    Mr. Ferris I am spreading the word of our loan/donation team via Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon and I am posting this at different times throughout the days to ensure my followers see this post and that I am serious about this!

    I made a lovely $35 contribution to our effort.

    I am unsure of where I’ll like to take my trip to, somewhere far from Afghanistan hahaha because after this army deployment I need a break lol 🙂

  65. To me education provides the foundation for individuals to chase their dreams.

    I have just completed my loan/donation to M.Yogi Maulana of Indonesia who has an interest in Business Administration like myself. I have recently completed a business degree from a Canadian University and had the opportunity to complete my final semester on exchange in Thailand. Living in a country like Thailand and visiting surrounding countries has really opened my eyes to the value of education that is really taken for granted in the Western world.

    To spread the word I have shared the link to 1000+ friends on facebook and posted on several educational based groups. As I am currently travelling throughout South East Asia and have been moving from hostel to hostel I have had the chance to speak with tons of different individuals from around the world. I have made an effort to bring up the Vittana Program when ever possible and have gotten some very positive responses. These backpackers and travellers tend to be grateful for the opportunities they have are often willing to try and make a difference.

    Additionally, I have posted about Vittana in many of the hostels I have stayed in throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. One example would be posting on the Lub D Hostel Facebook pages which is the default home page for all computers accessing the internet. Additionally the Hostel has over 4500 followers and even “liked” my post about the initiative. I will continue to promote Vittana beyond the deadline as I continue through Burma, Malaysia and finally Indonesia – where my loan will actually be utilized.

    I also believe there is tremendous potential for the international exchange program at the University I attended in Thailand to get involved and I personally reached out to the international program director. Nothing may surface by the July 27th deadline, however, to me providing students the opportunity to gain an education shouldn’t have a time limit. Ideally, this could work towards a partnership in Thailand which I believe does not yet exist and become an ongoing source of student loans and donations from visiting international students who are realizing how lucky they really are to not only have the opportunity to gain an education but also study abroad.



  66. Happy Birthday Tim and blessings to you and everyone participating in it.

    Sorry for the long paragraph, but I get inspired.

    Education is not just all the information and data you get from books and classes. Is all the experiences as a whole that really make a print somewhere in your personality and the way you think. It´s something you can hide or fake, it shows without making conscience of it. It starts from your family since you are born, the first strokes in a white canvas. No matter how old you are you always carry all those prints in your self, collecting them from different sources, since everything and everyone teaches you something. So it is the map that shows where you have been and where you aspire to go. Is the remedy of fear to the continuous change and the tool to understand your inner guidance.

    I made my loan, great feeling. Share it through facebook and twitter, not many followers and friends but convince my boss to make a bigger doantion.

  67. Education was for me the gate for a better life and the key to dream bigger. Simply put – I know – but I mean every word of it.

    Apart from facebook, I took the time to personally share it with my friends and acquaintances over social gatherings. Human interaction is a very powerful tool.

    nevertheless – Happy Birthday, Tim! you are truly an inspiration..


  68. Just a quick follow-up: How do we ensure the students we provide loans to on Vittana aren’t getting charged an interest rate above 20%. While 10-15% is pretty standard, according to the Vittana Q&A page, they do mention some loans go up to 25%. I don’t know how often this is the case, but at that interest rate it almost seems counter-productive to the student.

    Do you know whether we can find out the interest rate our student is paying?

  69. Happy Birthday Tim!

    Education to me is the tool to empower our youth to be future leaders of our world.

    I shared this with 402 of my Facebook friends, and have also been personally mentioning this post as well as Kiva to friends and family.

  70. Hello! 404 LINK ALERT

    To: TIM – Happy Birthday Cool Man-


    To: ANY thoughtful reader(s) who can help with an ANSWER

    regarding the age requirement for participation…PLEASE 🙂 ???

    Auntie Holly here, that would be, me feels like an idot.

    Yes, and thanks, but to save anyone the thought of going to the trouble of helping me with a presumed typo, in this case, I know how I spelled that. That word { Idot } is a ‘hybrid’ replacement of the obvious, coined and used by a great guy in Switzerland. He prefers it over the correct spelling, pronunciation, and general tone and sound of negative reinforcement. English is not his first language of the several he speaks and writes, so for a while, I too thought it was a charming, albeit small error. It isn’t.

    I like it better too- but anyway-

    And Much More Importantly:



    *Active since they could talk and walk.

    Sure, I am very proud of who they are, and I am their Aunt and all. But they really are some great examples as people go-

    -and I still think this contest would be an awesome way for them to inspire more of their peers, other kids, more kids, to get involved, and learn some valuable things in this process.

    Much to their credit, and to their parents, my sibs, they have been spreading awareness, and actively participating in countless great causes and fundraising since, on average, the age of 4 YEARS old.

    From both sides of the continent, and lots in Washington,D.C.

    Now, age’s 13- 17 yrs of age, they continue to impress me with how much they care, how much they care about, and what they do about all of the things their big hearts care about AND GET INVOLVED WITH, on a regular basis.

    From local to Global.

    Their stories would warm your hearts too. Anyhow, aside from my own interest, and spreading the word on this years really great and innovative contest,

    Auntie here, who lives over the pond now, and wishes to stay involved in their interests and lives, thought…


    What a super idea for the ‘kids’ to get involved with!”

    I also thought the micro-loan twist would be actively educational for them, and their friends with like interests and minds.

    Their reach with the organizations they are involved with, and their collective, crazy but true, thousands of ” facebook friends ” alone stood to make some promising impact.

    SO- I thought… this was just a win win win all around.

    I really didn’t want for, say, my sister, for example to come back with:

    “Nice idea, Hol, and they did really liked Tim’s TED Talk you added, along with the other anecdotes you shared about Mr. Ferris’s lateral thinking and life, and book, etc…..

    but after getting them all stoked and fired up to go-

    I CHECKED the fine print… and they need to be 18 to participate according to the Vittana site………”

    This hasn’t happened……..YET.

    YES- I did think about this- and I am a fine print checker, however, I ran into “the 404″ message- which by the way is coming up tonight Too- last night, and as well, I was getting a

    ” cannot find blah blah page…message on Vittana’s link. Tonight- I got through on Vittana’s link.


    Well, sure, I absolutely should have taken further measures, but it was very late here, and I had some email’s to write, some Ferris facts to double check- and a TED talk to re-visit, essentially all I included in my email’s to sibs, and kids, all told in 3 other time zones from my own.

    By the time I had finished, I was feeling really good about how good I knew they would feel getting involved in this great project. I imagined them getting excited about it. I was tired. It was crazy late.

    I made another run at due diligence, sigh… and I ran into the same, with another link(s) check – when I had finished. I was falling asleep. Excuses, even though true.

    So- I took my chances, and hit SEND(s)- not thinking enough- and worse, I REALLY should, and do know better-

    about the loan twist, and the probable considerations this could entail, regarding age.

    Instead, I thought the idea of KIDS helping other KIDS made for too good an idea to rule them out.

    I know- they can still get involved, and their parents can send a donation- or loan.

    But ….after how I explained it all, and rallied interests, It more than feels like I really have been an Idot Auntie.



    BEFORE I FOLLOW UP WITH THE just less fun- since it has already been introduced, and all….


    WHICH I will have to do, and pretty soon. Of course the contest ends Friday night.

    TIM- or any of you fine peeps out there-????

    Have you got any caveats or such up your sleeves, or in mind – or fine print I missed since I got this headache- really- upon realizing my guffaw?

    I hope someone has a great idea around this- or some other advice before I start writing- or keeping still crazier hours to call, which would be better- aside from the 3 aforementioned, and significantly different time zones from here in Europe, involved, being in the States, and China.

    I expect I will be finding some way to try to make my inadvertent great idea for them not feel a bit like a bait and switch. Or, as much.

    They are great kids, and do these great things they do, not for reward or prizes.

    Not beyond doing the good things they do for the reasons that already inspire them.

    BUT- THEY ARE KIDS- with their own wishes hopes and dreams, and like of course, they too like to win things, or try to, too.

    Just more fortunate than the ones we have all been inspired to help.

    SO- If anyone has any information I missed since I hit this qualifier small print- and needing to be 18 yrs of age to ‘use the site’-

    and if this does disqualify them from the contest as well, which I am guessing it does- well-

    My late night guessing hasn’t been been reliable at all, as it relates here- so if anyone has some better news to share before I go forth feeling a bit like – I do- I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

    I am sure they will come to the same conclusion I have come to know them for, and want to do what they can to get involved and spread the word- assuming they haven’t already started.

    Still, If there is some way they still have ‘a chance to win’ I would really love to be able to tell them this-

    and they can tell there friends,

    and so on…and so on…

    And so it goes- !

    Cheers to all of you – I have read many of your posts, and will read them all –

    You are a great group of people.

    I am glad to have met you all in this way! Thanks to Tim as well, and again.


    and …THANKS! { for your time too- if you made it through this late night post}

    Best Wishes,


  71. I posted to my Facebook page – 145 friends. Not as good of numbers as other folks. Sorry about that but hope it helps the cause. Education to me means the opportunity to pursue ones passion and hopefully be able to do some good with that opportunity. Thanks for helping providing this opportunity to so many!

  72. Education is a tool for broadening one’s mind, a pathway to good jobs, and a reliable road to financial well-being. Nothing’s a guarantee, but receiving a good education sets you up for success. Simply put, education is formalized learning and a vehicle for transferring knowledge to subsequent generations. It’s why I have a good job and am in the position to help others. Whether you read books and teach yourself or go to a top tier university, never stop educating yourself and others.

    First off, thanks for creating this challenge, Tim. I’ve taken it to heart and am pumped about sharing it with others. Below is a brief overview of what Ive done to promote your “35th Give-Back Birthday”. For more in depth information, check out my blog.

    *Donated $1,035 across 5 kids (3 are now fully funded)

    *Wrote a comprehensive blog post on you, your birthday challenge, what I’ve done, and what others can do

    *Redirected my blog to a static page with a custom made Tim Ferriss/Vittana image that leads to my post

    *Ordered a custom magnetic bumper sticker for my car to raise awareness about this project throughout the next few weeks

    *Changed my Facebook cover photo and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, and various message boards (detailed measurements inside my blog post)

    *Contacted several very influential bloggers about promoting this challenge

    *Created and passed out fliers to tell others about this opportunity at my office (my wife’s office too)

    *Set up table outside grocery store, passed out fliers, and asked for donations

    I’ll be updating my blog post as my efforts continue. Happy birthday, Tim!

  73. Happy Birthday Tim!

    Hi Tim

    I am 33yr old from India, I read your book followed by your blog and i am so much touched and compounded with confidence that i have taken a decision to shift from Corporate to a NGO, which i doubt if not impressed with your thoughts (book). Though i had a goal to become a GM of a company but didn’t gave any deadline to myself. when I got an offer to join a NGO as a GM, who are working for child, women welfare and improving health and sanitation condition in the slums of kolkata, India, i afraid to take the offer though i was attached to this organisation as a volunteer for quite a few month. At the first instance, i never gather my strength to accept the proposal for India Operations due to simple fact that the existing corporate salary package and growth is unimaginable compared to NGO thus goal got subsided by the money primarily due to two reasons as i thought raising a fund for NGOs is a difficult task and i am not fit for that kind of work and the second one is monetary growth was less then what corporate offers.

    But after reading your book i assume nothing is impossible unless it was put with good intention and with right strategy and to my second concern i only remember one line from your blog – “good karma compounds overtime”. Thanks for bringing in such a change in me, I will be joining the organisation from coming September.



  74. Altruism is but a statement to this unselfish move, Mr. Tim. You made my heart do a dramatic leap as I became to excited to learn that there are actually some persons out there (like you! ) who has this pure heart to really make a difference in this complex world.

    A lot of people have yet to realize that education is of prime importance to the young generation and we, who has the opportunity to learn what’s underlying in this poverty-stricken world will undoubtedly extend an effort.

    This blog could be a tool for the realization of these dreams. keep up the good job!

  75. Hi Tim. Could you please share some ideas how to rent a flat for a month or even more while being abroad? I just want to stay somewhere and don’t want to lose a fartune. Many thanks in advance.

  76. The comment rules say, “Please do not put your URL in the comment text”. Is it OK to link to our blog to show what we’ve done? I noticed several others doing this, but wasn’t sure.

  77. LEGO !!!! – Education to me is like Lego– Many colours,sizes and combinations etc.– where i stop building is up to me !!!- Everyone benefits from Lego…..

    Gloria -I congratulate you on “fighting for your goals..”

    Qty Item Options Price

    1 Gloria Elizabeth Vera Gaete $35.00 USD

    1 Donation to the Vittana Foundation $5.00 USD

    Amount $40.00 USD

    ”Thinking out of the box”

    My Facebook ,and Ellen DeGeneres’s site will see this link

  78. William Butler Yeats put it best “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

    Loaned $50 to Miguel Angel Torrez (he got my donation because he wants to start his own business as well)

    Re-donated proceeds

    Tweeted 2x to 5590 followers.

    Tagline used:

    “Loan $20 bucks to budding entrepreneurs in developing nations! (Plus: Free Round-Trip Anywhere in the World)”

    Total clicks (monitored with Hootsuite)

    9 clicks

    Posted to 667 Facebook Friends (did not track)

  79. Happy B-day Tim!

    For me living in Sweden where all education is free, all the way up to university level, I used to take education for granted. The schools I have attended have given me a very happy and fulfilling life. By numerous travels, mostly in Asia, I have realised that the situation is quite different in other parts of the world and when I saw this post I didn’t hesitate to enter Vittana and issue a loan to a girl in the Philippines.

    I have for a long time been a huge supporter of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen bank, also a microfinance organization focusing on getting poor people (mostly women) getting started with their own business. Getting businesses started is a really good thing and have changed the lives of many but when I come to think about it education might be even a more powerful weapon against poverty. I might be a real frog-leap for economic development.

    I posted on Facebook where my 430 friends can see it. I will update with a progess tomorrow too.

    Great initiative Tim!



  80. Tim,

    Thanks for doing such great work to help other. I help fund Emelia Basoah Yamoah( and it felt great. Education is what drives our world and the world around us. It enlightens us and prepares us for making a difference in the world and at the end of our days on earth the difference that we make is what’s important. Without an education, academic or otherwise, we cannot leave a legacy.

    I helped your cause by sharing links on facebook and twitter.

  81. True education means learning – either the correct way or use their example as a warning of what not to do. I forwarded your post to my coworkers, family, friends and Facebook friends (about 50 people total). I hope the bribe helped some of them donate too. I gave to Carla Jhovana. I hope it helps!

  82. Education, to me, is mastering the skill of learning. I taught myself graphic design (using a Mac, starting in 1986) and successfully operated a profitable graphic design business for 20 years before I got a formal education in it. I’ve since re-invented my business to include web design, SEO, marketing, and teaching.

    I attend classes online — at least 20 hours a month.

    The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. (The older you get, Tim, the more you’ll feel this, too!)

    I chose to complete someone’s need rather than spread out my funds over several individuals (I did the same thing last year with the educational grants, which my husband–a school teacher–loved.)

    I shared the link to your Vittana page with my 400+ friends and relatives on facebook, my 200+ LinkedIn connections (and potentially the 100k people they know). Tweeted too, but I’m not active on that platform. My blogs are kept strictly business in their respective venues, so I’ll stick with social media.

  83. To me, education is an opportunity to change your life and by doing so gain the wisdom and means to help others.

    My gift is in honor of my son Caden’s first birthday. May he grow up to be a man of empathy and action!

    (Happy birthday to you too, Tim!)

    I was happy to share this blog post through facebook with my 498 friends. I hope many people are helped!

  84. As a parent myself, education, I think is the most precious gift I can give my children. The good thing about it is that no one can ever steal from you besides the fact that there is an intellectual property rights law and that its something you can look upon in the future and say “If I did not listen to my parents before about going to school, I wouldn’t have achieved this and that.” I salute you for your actions and since its my birthday today I would like to share this post to everyone out there who also think the way as I do.

  85. Happy Birthday Tim!

    It’s good that you are able to share your blessings to the needy. I think that the best treasure a man can hold on to until his death is education. It cannot be stolen or taken away from you and with something as light as this, you can even keep it in your brain. Haha I hope that God blesses you with more birthdays and that you would still continue to share your blessings. If I had a dollar now, I would’ve given it to you so that I can help in my own little way.

    Good luck Tim! With your generosity, each child you have helped will always remember you in a box forever buried in their hearts, it’s the greatest gift you can receive in exchange for what you have done for them. Be strong!

  86. Hi Tim,

    Education to me is about being inspired, fascinated and curious. It is satiating a thirst for knowledge. It is asking more questions than you can answer. The quintessential student of life is the one who uses all measures within their reach to find the answers to their questions. Enquiring minds change the world!

    I have shared your page with my 93 twitter followers, which will also appear on my website via a twitter feed. I am having issues with FB so I could not share there. 🙁

    Thanks for reading Tim. Happy birthday brother 🙂

  87. Education means understanding and freedom from fear – whether that’s understanding another’s opinion, how the human body works, what another culture values and why, or what makes the world turn. In the end, education makes us peaceful because it increases understanding and limits fear.

    First of all I made a loan to Huda Bawanehh under Tim’s Team page.

    I posted the story to my TheGoodMuse Facebook page (almost 4,000 followers).

    I wrote an article for and made Vittana my 74th Volunteer Activity.

    I posted updates about Huda’s loan to both of my twitter accounts (over 11,000 followers each):




    I posted the story to my personal facebook page (+600) and to my Linkedin (+500) (Raegan Payne) account.

    I wrote a different version of the same article above and sent it to my editors at and The story will probably post in the next few days.

    Good Luck!

  88. Education means taking your talents, interests, and hobbies and creating a living. It may not pay a lot, although sometimes it does, and you may have to work a lot, although maybe you don’t, but it should give you fulfillment while allowing you to create the lifestyle that YOU want. That last part is the most important. It should be what you want and not others.

  89. Happy Birthday Tim!

    One quick question, why do 99% of the students on the vittana site look so miserable?

    Is this a strategy?

    Do people give more money to frowning kids?