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. ***************************************************************************************************

    Education = A Chance ,, ”A chance to create and build for something special”


    Facebook- & The ELLEN DE GENERES SHOW. Page

    There was a prob with my 1st donation so here is #2Reyna Isabel Barahona in Honduras.. *** I feel even BETTER 2nd time around.. Just turned 35 myself and reading your (4hr wrk week) I am soon to be successful Entrepreneur.. Look forward to meeting you Tim. !!

  2. To me education means increased understanding and thus a decrease in fear.

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

    I wrote an article about Vittana for my blog TheGoodMuse and made you guys my 74th Volunteer Activity.

    I posted the Vittana story and Huda to my TheGoodMuse facebook page which has almost 4000 followers

    I posted updates about Huda’s loan to both my professional and personal twitter accounts, which each have over 11,000 followers.

    I posted the story to my personal facebook page (650+) and to my Linkedin (500+) account.

    I edited the above story and sent it to my editors at Celsias who will hopefully post it on both the US and New Zealand versions of the site in a few days.

  3. Freedom is what education means. Education provides both the means and examples to enable us to freely choose the way we want to lead our lives. It gives us options, and lets us pick according to our own determinations of importance.

    Unlike many of the other posters I have no ‘followers’ or facebook page; no electronic forum to re-post this call. I do riposte however, by sharing this opportunity to leverage our philanthropy with well over a long tonne worth of ballet dancers (and on average, they don’t weigh much). While this demographic is not known for an excess of disposable income, they do know what a big difference a little bit can make.


    I was going to put my answer to the question ‘what education means’ in the ‘Name’ field for the comment, so it would appear at the “very top”, but the comment rules are explicit that nothing but a personal name is desired– maybe I should have gone ahead, and begged for forgiveness later? Guess I’m still working on it…

  4. Education, to me, means ultimate freedom. I fully believe the more we know about everything, the more we see that this is a truly abundant universe. We still have yet to discover many wonderful things, I know that. It starts with education!

    I tweeted your blog post and liked it on Facebook, as well as gave a donation! I won’t tell you how much I gave on here since the actual number isn’t what’s truly important, but it is the impact it will make on the life of someone in another country with the click of a button. It is the feeling it gave me when I gave that money and saw the person’s face in the picture who I was helping. THANK YOU for giving us an avenue to help people, it feels wonderful to be able to do so.

  5. I couldn’t help but comment on this interesting read! It’s interesting and inspiring to know that there are still people in this world as kind-hearted as you are, Tim. Although I don’t have the financial capacity to help you out with the fundraising stuff, let me repost this article so you can find more sponsors to help the kids out! We all know how much of a treasure education is, so please continue striving for this ambition of yours!

    Also, Happy Birthday!

  6. Education is a basic right. For me education is NOT an investment in people, trying to get the most out of everyone. But rather a human right that everyone should be blessed enough to enjoy. Education opens all the doors, shows a person all the possibilities life can offer.

    I plan to do several presentations at schools to spread the word not only to collect as many donations as possible but to teach the students their social responsibility and to make them realize how lucky they are to be able to enjoy having an education.

  7. Inspiring initiative Tim! As some other posters already mentioned: of course I donated. Great to see the impact a relatively small amount of money to western standards can have on someone living in Bolivia.

    Education for me is similar to reading books. You don’t get to live just your life, but you get to live the life of so many others as you learn and gain new perspectives from their decisions and experiences. Think I picked that up in one of your book recommendations 🙂

    Shared on facebook and sitting here with a smile on my face knowing that I hopefully made a big difference to someone’s life and that I was able to support your initiative!

    Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag 😉

  8. Education transforms unseen faith into active hope giving people more abilities to love.


    W/c goes on to my FB Profile with oh 5000+ people in it.

    But I activated tracking, so we’ll see how many people clicked on the link to your vittana page.

    jomar, the tim ferriss of the Philippines.

    OH! Anybody want template text from my blog:

    Subject: Donate or loan to send kid to school at 98% repayment rate (they actually pay you back!)


    Tim Ferriss, the dude who wrote the FOUR HOUR WORKWEEK has a birthday coming up. And here’s how he celebrates:

    He wants people to donate OR loan money to kids around the world via — so that they can go finish school.

    Let’s celebrate with him by helping kids! Even your $1 can be used. And funny that — if you opt for LOAN –the kids will pay you back at 98% repayment rate, too. The company Google, Tim O’Reilly, and Mitch Kapor and Tim are supporters of Vittana in doing this.

    Please spread the word as deadline is July 27 Pacific time to raise $ 50,000. You may also read Tim’s Blogpost :

    to find out how you can win a ROUND THE WORLD TRIP just by doing this.

    As you know, Tim Ferriss has been in the forefront of international Virtual Assisted Businesses and Long Term World Travel mindset. Many people like to live like he does – including me -and when he does things like this Birthday Gift Giving to kids, it’s awesome.

    Just go here:

  9. Ok I was and still am nervous while im funding this girl from paraguay…specially when i pressed “fully fund!”

    I already blogged about it and I placed a tracker on the post so we can get real stats + off it went to my fb account (5000+ people there).

    and anybody wanting to use an intro text into their blog can use this:


    Donate or loan to send kid to school at 98% repayment rate (they actually pay you back!)


    Tim Ferriss, the dude who wrote the FOUR HOUR WORKWEEK has a birthday coming up. And here’s how he celebrates:

    He wants people to donate OR loan money to kids around the world via — so that they can go finish school.

    Let’s celebrate with him by helping kids! Even your $1 can be used. And funny that — if you opt for LOAN –the kids will pay you back at 98% repayment rate, too.

    The company Google, Tim O’Reilly, and Mitch Kapor and Tim are supporters of Vittana in doing this.

    Please spread the word as deadline is July 27 Pacific time to raise $ 50,000. You may also read Tim’s Blogpost

    to find out how you can win a ROUND THE WORLD TRIP just by doing this.

    As you know, Tim Ferriss has been in the forefront of international Virtual Assisted Businesses and Permanent/Long Term World Travel. Many people like to live like he does – including me -and when he does things like this Birthday Gift Giving to kids, it’s awesome.

    Just click (link)

  10. Personally, Education is my means of leaving the poverty I grew up in.

    Now Self – Education, thanks to books and internet, is a means from leaving the old mindsets of employment I was trapped in and now living in a freedom filled life. 🙂

  11. Tim,

    Education means independence to me because it allows me the ability to create and provide for myself. Equally, but even more importantly, education provides personal comfort that unlike money or material things education is something that can never be taken from you.

    Further Tim, I have spread the word by posting it on my works internal internet site. So anytime anyone from work logs in this would be the first comment they would see. “I would like to grow charitable donations to organizations like Vittana that have exponential effect on the dollars donated (link included)” There are 6,850 employees. To quantify, say 5% donated that would be 342 people and their average donation was $5 that would be $1,710. Then the kicker the company will match all donations for a total of $3,420.

    Anyways it is awesome to donate and an awesome cause!


    Chris for OZ

  12. There should be more initiatives like this one. Education is an always will be our greatest heritage. We need to keep it in the forefront of our children who are so easily distracted today with all the change they grow in.

    Thank you this initiative is not going unnoticed

  13. Education to me means an opportunity. Educations empowers a person to improve their life, to think critically, and to make their own choices.

    In my own life, education has allowed me the freedom to explore my interests and find my passion. I’m finishing my master’s degree now before I go to the real world to work and contribute in a meaningful way (I’ll be doing systems engineering to improve aviation cockpits).

    Happy Birthday!

    I happily donated. Cool idea.

    I spread the word by sending a tweet to my 286 followers (probably 80% friends) and posting on my timeline for my 1,447 facebook friends. I used a google link pointing to this page to measure click through at least to this site. Surprisingly low (to me at least) at only 15 clicks. I also emailed my office (15 people).

    Google link stats image:

  14. Your book, The 4-hour Work week is changing my life.

    I am a teacher in South Africa and would like to know if you are able to assist us with our Prom (ball). Our learners are less fortunate and any help will be appreciated.


    MJ Koopman

  15. Education is the next step to a better future. But what I learned that is education isn’t what you learn in school, I mean that’s part of it but not the whole package. Education is something gained from experiance it’s gained from putting yourself into other peoples shoes, that’s where the real knowledge is gained. You can’t educate in a school setting and get everything you need to know.

  16. Education is exploration. You explore not only new endeavors, but more importantly, yourself. The more seasoned your perspective becomes to be able to understand, expand on, or develop new findings.

    The reason we seek education is the same for why we meet new people or travel. Everything around us has the potential to teach us something, and our willingness to explore is what allows us to grow. We all need that strength ~ willingness to try, to fail, and to mentally or physically go somewhere we haven’t been. Education builds this open-mindset. Some people carry this mentality independently, but there is certainly a booster in a positive community that fosters success. Mix in support and passion for what you do, and suddenly the education becomes one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

    How many of us are truly educated? So many of us get caught in our own bubbles whether that be location, group of friends, or fields of interest. We may be a “master” in our field, but wouldn’t we be wiser and a unique asset if we also introduced skills and perspectives others around us have not had? It’s always a good time to explore.

    I contributed by donating to a few students and shared what you’re doing via blog. I’m not going to be able to impress you with numbers (I’m not connected to as many people or have as much money as some of the previous donors). Just know that I support what you’re doing, and believe that everyone deserves a shot to further explore what this world has to offer.

    Happy 35th Birthday, Tim!

  17. Hi Tim,

    Education to me is an opportunity to ignite a passion for learning, for self-improvement and achieving goals. We need more people who are focused on that, for sure.

    just wanted to say this is a fantastic idea, and I love the idea of a hand UP, not a hand-out.

    Count me in – tweeted to my 2,634 followers (@finbarrsmith if you want to check), and shared to my facebook homies.

    I don’t have time to travel, though (too busy being the best michael buble tribute on the black haha), so please don’t count me in the contest.

    Cheers and Keep rocking man!

  18. hey Tim- education to me means expanded potential, greater possibilities, and a happier world with more peace!

    I’ve spread the word on your uber-cool 35bday giveback fun… and here’s a googledoc spreadsheet showing what I did:

    rock on! -kevin!

  19. Defining Education, in many ways, is like defining love or art or any other ubiquitous necessity of life; what it’s defined as is largely dependent on the individual’s view of the world. But (also like love and art) it is universal, and has a specific intent, which I believe is: to obtain the tools you need to succeed in the world you live In. Whatever that world looks like, and whatever dreams it is composed of. Additionally, Education means having the confidence to use those tools. And, lastly, using those tools to benefit the world in a way that is meaningful to you.

    I posted your Vitanna donation page on my facebook wall (777 friends).

    I also made a $35 donation to Michelle Floritza Valle Cruz, and the funds will be reinvested to Vitanna.

    Happy Birthday, Tim!

  20. Education is a lifetime of potential.

    I blurted out via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and encouraged friends to signup and make a contribution.

  21. Dear Tim!

    such a great idea to support ! It is so easy to spend 25$ or 35$ …

    This is real entrepreneurial thinking … to bring the best thoughts in the world !

    Best wishes


  22. Education means to me a key to snap the binds of futility and powerlessness. It is a jug on a slab hold in the climb of life. A rocket pack when you are falling. I am not a formally educated man. I am a road scholar. What I have learned, I have done so by grit and determination. The power I have in my brain is the full realization of who I am and who have become. To aid someone else in that journey would be a true joy. I have been the climber. It is my turn to be the chirpa.


    I am forever a huge fan. Having lunch with you is on my bucket list. So, we will definitely meet one day.

    Until then, I am a professional actor and performance poet. I have spread this via word of mouth. I have spoken about it at a Las Vegas arts festival called “First Friday”. I wrote and performed a spoken word piece about education and offered your link after. (I will gladly send you a video if you wish.) I am an actor on the Las Vegas strip and have spoken about education and this organization in our meet and greets afterwards. I am also working on a theater related “muse” with friends and am intent on including a permanent link when we go live. And also the regular avenues of Social Networks.

    Thank you for your hard work and generous heart!!

    Sean Critchfield

  23. What does education mean to me? It means not being a cog in a machine. It means not being a passive receptacle of the world around me, but being a critical thinker. It means having the opportunity to do better.

    Wrote an article on this cause and shared it with my Facebook friends.

    I told readers that if they win, they should forgo the ticket and instead ask you to relieve on student of the full amount of his/her student loan debt.

  24. Having the opportunity to learn sth. new everyday is what makes me feel alive.

    My grandfather never had the chance to go to school because our country was suffering a war at the time and his greatest wish was that at least his children could be educated. Now my mother is a teacher and her wish is that I can learn more than she had the chance to.

    I know that she would love Vittana’s website, but I realised she won’t be able to read it because there is no Spanish version available yet.

    So my birthday present for you Tim, has been entering Vittana’s community and offering myself to translate the contents of the website to Spanish, so they can be accesible to the 400 millions of Spanish speakers in the world.

    Besides that, I have also talked about the project with my friends and family, shared it on my 2 fb accounts, sent it by email, join Vittana’s community in fb, posted some messages there and make a small contribution to 8 students with great life projects.

    I intend to donate $1 extra everyday as a reminder of what is trully important in life.

      1. Alicia,

        this is a wonderful idea and I will send a similar email to Kushal, for french translation

        Take Care


      2. Thank you for supporting my idea Patricia! I imagine making the website accesible for French speakers will be also very helpful.



  25. What does education mean to me? Education is single greatest gift someone can give. It removes fear. Empowers people. The knowledge gained by education can’t be taken away, and can always be freely shared.

    Happy Birthday, Tim! I have spread the word as far as I can and hope it is enough. I posted your wish on Google plus, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,, My Blogger, My WordPress, Xanga, and my personal blog. I am off to email blast my friends and family to give them the extra push.



  26. What does education mean to me? Education is single greatest gift someone can give. It removes fear. Empowers people. The knowledge gained by education can’t be taken away, and can always be freely shared.

    Happy Birthday, Tim! I have spread the word as far as I can and hope it is enough. I posted your wish on Google plus, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,, My Blogger, My WordPress, Xanga, and my personal blog. I am off to email blast my friends and family to give them the extra push.



  27. “Education to me is all about developing skills and gaining knowledge I’m interested in that will follow me where ever I go and do. That is why I’m doing a triple degree in fields that don’t have much incommon. ”

    I started a facebook event and invited friends ( ).

    * Its in swedish since im from sweden.

    * I did it with a libertarian theme by pointing out that you can help others help themselves

    * I talked about one student from Bolivia that wants to study law since a big precentage of my friends and contacts are law students or lawyers.

    I hope we all reach the goal!

  28. Hi Tim,

    To me, education is about creating self-sufficiency and giving people tangible skills that they can use to get and maintain a job. In my experiences traveling in developing countries, there are so many people who yearn for just that shot, which we tend to take for granted here in the U.S.

    Your post transported me back to time I spent in Ghana and made me think of some friends I made there, who were street vendors. All they wanted was to have the chance to hold a stable full-time job; I tried to help a few of them find that training, but resources were so scare. I think that’s why your contest really struck a chord with me.

    Anyway, I wrote a blog post about those experiences in the context of your contest and also tweeted, posted it on Facebook and send it to friends via email. Thanks so much for what you’re doing.


  29. Education is a means to escape limitations you may be in, and with Vittana, it benefits the students and their community. Thanks from an email from Vittana, I’ve donated $32 to one of the students on your page. You’re going a great thing to celebrate your 35th birthday. Happy Birthday Tim!

  30. Education is the first step on the path of self-reliance and personal freedom.

    Just contributed toward a microloan for Alejandra Denis Gutierrez Alvarado to study accounting.

    Also posted your invitation to contribute on my fb page.

    Thank you for your generosity and dedication to improving our planet.

    Many wishes for a glorious year ahead!

  31. I just made my first microloan through Vittana fater reading your blog.

    Posted this on my FB page and encouraged my friend to get their feet wet with microlending too.

    Education is of paramount importance . Human life and its quality is an extremely wide multi demensional spectrum, and without sustained education we cannot navigate to the summit of this spectrum. It’s the best tool to elevate our conscience and mind closer to its potential.

    happy birthday Tim!

  32. Mr. Ferris,

    Thank you so much for offering this contest in support of underprivileged children and education. Also, thank you for inspiring my poem. To help us reach our goal I posted your blog on all my social networks for over 950 people to see. I also included a post on my own blog Thank you again for your inspiration and generosity.

    An Education

    A sunrise taught me to start anew

    A father taught me to provide

    A mother taught me that too

    A multi-millionaire taught me to invest

    A poor man taught me to take nothing for granted

    A preacher taught me confess

    An atheist taught me to question everything

    An elderly man taught me to work hard

    An elderly woman taught me to be forgiving

    A child taught me to imagine

    A grownup taught me that life gets difficult

    A dog taught me to be a faithful companion

    A cat taught me to be independent

    A sister taught me to give a hug

    A brother taught me to take a hit

    A professor taught me to think critically

    A student taught me to study and play hard

    A wise man taught me to learn perpetually

    A guru taught me a better way my time to spend

    A mentor taught me to learn something from everyone and everything

    A sunset taught me to let things come to an end

  33. My brother and I set up a table at our place of worship today at the Islamic House Of Wisdom. It is actually the second largest of its kind in the U.S. We picked 10 students who we felt the most inspired by and posted their pictures and stories around the edges of the table. I printed out Vittana’s mission statement and other information to pass out to the visitors and members after the lecture. I brought two laptops with me in case people were ready to donate on the spot!

    I spoke with the congregation leader, who happens to be family, and he agreed to include your link and a small description to the 14,000+ people subscribed to their weekly emailing list. Furthermore, I posted the link on my fb and sent out a description of what I was taking part of to my contact list and included your link! I had my immediate family do the same. I just recently found out about this and I wish I could have done more.

    Lastly, happy birthday Tim! Your book and especially your goal setting style has changed the way I approach creating my own goals. It’s made a permanent impact on my thinking. Thank you. Btw if you ever want to learn Persian, I’m your guy.

    What does education mean to you?

    Education is a verb that translates into value. It is a mental exercise of increasing one’s capacity and worth to bring more to the family, the enterprise or the nation. And the students we have the privilege of helping are a breathing representation of this process called education.

  34. To me: Education helps people to reach their full potential, which in turn helps our world to reach its full potential

    Congrats on doing this good deed, and thanks for turning me on to – this seems like a great charity and I was glad to donate.

    Unrelated to the competition, I have a question for you: My main interest is supporting education both in the US and around the world, and I am always looking for organizations, like Vitanna, which try to make a wide, lasting impact. You also promoted Room to Read a couple years ago, and I have since become a supporter and have enjoyed watching it flourish. Currently, I am particularly interested in the potential for technology to change the face of and improve education in the coming years, but I need help identifying the organizations that will be driving forces behind these changes. Seeing that you have an interest in improving education, and that you are deeply engaged in the world of technology, do you happen to have any recommendations for organizations that you think will have a positive impact in this area in the future and which need support?

    Ps – I have really gotten a lot out of your blog and books. They have helped me channel my attention and energy in productive directions, turned me on to a lot of new things, and been fun to read. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  35. Education = helps women cause, fights poverty, improves living conditions (habitation, healthier surroundings, etc.), and there are better chances that the children of people having access to education will also get the same.

    My websites not beeing ready I couldn’t share there, but did share with friends (online and irl)

    I’m happy as I just got a mail from Vittana informing me that the student I chose to help is fully funded. She will be able to attend the finance school. I gave 35$ for her, and 5$ donation to Vittana. I’ll be able to give more in a few weeks to another student.

    At the time of writing, the deadline for your birthday challenge is in 5 hours, and the goal is only 1000$ away. Fingers crossed.

    I just read Alicia’s comment (a few comments above) and this is such a great idea I will propose the same to Vittana for french translation if it’s not already done by someone else.

    I wish you a happy birthday ! Take Care



    (PS I love the interview you gave to Olivier Roland, the french blogger)

    1. oh, and something else, on my next birthday (february) I will do the same action as this one, mentioning you Tim

      let’s se if a “total unknown” person’s birthday can raise a little (or big 🙂 amount, or maybe I will get known until that day 😉 lol

  36. Education took me out of my tiny world and opened my awareness to everything that is beyond it. And then education gave me to the tools to get back inside. It reconfigured all of my settings and now I see the inevitable interdependence of everything.

    Thanks for articulating this project and opening all of us up to this amazing opportunity. I told my friends, fans and followers about this. I don’t have many, but they are magnificent people and I know it doesn’t take much more than the sum of those things.

    1. I should have mentioned that because I’ve already been so blessed to have a quite travel-happy life, I would make the award part of a contest I’d create in lieu of a product launch for my NGO this October.

  37. Posted on

    facebook (459 friends)

    G+ (5,567)

    & did the $35 for your birthday but really like the idea and will do more later.

    I grew up in a community full of educators: my mother taught special education, my dad was a school counselor and child psychologist, and the majority of my uncles and aunts were also teachers, principals and coaches in their areas (even the mothers of my both of my closest childhood friends worked for the school system). Growing up in that sort of environment, it’s easy to understand why I believe in the importance of schools and formal education. However, what may not be so apparent is that to me education is a lot more than a synonym for “school.”

    I grew up knowing that every moment was a learning experience and that education is not only built in-between school walls. I don’t mean to say that formal education isn’t useful. In fact, I’m a college graduate and those credentials have served me well. But I will say that I learned the majority of the skills I use on a daily basis working in the IT industry as a teen trying to play computer games with my friends. I believe that learning is the most critical component of life. From the moment you’re born until you die, learning is how you find your way in the world. And without the drive to explore computers and the opportunity to do so, I may never have been able to earn a living in technology.

    For me, an education is the collective sum of all experience and information a person amasses throughout his or her life. An education creates choices. I have lived a full life knowing a person can learn to do almost anything given the right information and enough practice. It’s only the subjects of study and the amount of information to which people have access that separates each person’s ability to accomplish great things. That belief has been the dominant thread in my life. It’s the reason I found the 4HWW and why I’m confident in my ability to build the life of my dreams. It’s amazing that provides a platform that allows people to fuel their creative drive and gain access to the information they need to realize their dreams also.

  38. What education means to me: A quote I really like- “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” Anthony J. D’Angelo. So education to me is a “passion for learning”. I try to live by that standard as I go through school. If you love learning, you will always create room to grow and learn. We all have it inside of us. We are all capable of this. We can all work on our level of passion, and I want everyone to get the opportunity to find their love of learning. We need the resources, however. That is what makes this website so amazing! Giving people the resources they need to grow and expand their opportunities is exactly what we need.

    Hi! My name is Emma. I am a 15 year old girl who isn’t usually worried about anything but me and my perfectly average life. I got an email from my mom with a link to your blog post. My mom is a HUGE fan of these charity and education bloggish things and is constantly emailing me about them. I always check them out of courtesy, but I don’t usually donate or give a second thought about them. However, I got extremely motivated about this one in particular for some reason. I really wanted to contribute and get these students some help! I don’t really do that much social media (yes, what kind of teenager am I??), so posting about it won’t have much of an impact. Of course I posted on my Facebook and all, but it’s not enough. I really love this idea, so I donated $350.00 (in honor of your 35 years) with money from babysitting this summer. I donated to 5 different people, it will never be enough, but it is all I have. Thank you so much! Oh, and Happy Birthday 😉

  39. I’m late to the giveaway, but thought it was awesome anyway. I donated $100 to a young lady wanting to go into IT. I figure if I get paid to educate privileged kids overseas, I can push to karma points higher to help out someone not privileged somewhere else.

    Happy late birthday.

  40. Happy Birthday Tim =)

    To me education is like discovering new things

    P.S I’m reading the 4 hour work week,now I’m calculating the TMI and TDI =)

  41. Update!

    The article I sent to, international global warming blog, on Vittana and the environmental benefits of loans to students just went live.

    Here’s the end of the address, hopefully it won’t come off like spam:

    and Vittana is also now listed as a featured Celsias organization…

    Hope this helps,

  42. It’s late but still wanted to share a great quote (belated HBD btw :)) :

    ‘It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor… that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.’ –

    Nelson Mandela

  43. Even after this is closed, I still found Vittana a useful way to make a contribution. Thanks for the introduction Tim.

  44. I love your website you have a huge heart and your a blessing to the world praying for you and your business endeavor’s