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We’re coming up on the time of year where we give thanks for what we have and we are asked by so many sources to give where help in this world is needed and I thought I make mention of an organization that I am working with called JumpStart International . Let me start by telling you who they are by quoting from their home page:

JumpStart International, a humanitarian organization with NGO (non-governmental organization) status, offers immediate engineering response in areas of conflict and disaster by providing quick, visible signs of progress through active projects of employment and reconstruction. JumpStart believes that people do not want a “hand-out” but rather a “hand-up” so they may begin their own recovery toward redevelopment and sustainable economic stability.

Whether it is necessitated by war, natural disaster, or other crises, rebuilding on the JumpStart model accomplishes much more than one may immediately realize. Given its engineer-based, results-oriented focus, JumpStart offers tangible solutions to tangible problems. But in the process, it can’t help but offer intangible benefits as well – reducing tensions, fostering peace and facilitating cultural understanding.

I’d like to encourage you to take a few minutes and read a great article from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alumni Magazine called reBuilding Hope which describes how RPI graduate and successful IT entrepreneur (one of the founders of MapInfo) Sean O’Sullivan identified an opportunity to help get Iraqis back on their feet and then created JumpStart to do just that. In short what JumpStart does is go to places in the world hit by conflict or disaster and put the people there back to work rebuilding their homes their schools and in that process rebuilding their lives.

Since the organization has been endowed with a grant to cover their operating and administration costs 100% of any donations you or anyone makes go directly towards the projects and therefore eventually into the hands of the local people building those projects as wages for the work they do. Visiting the Jumpstart Photo Gallery you can begin to get an idea of the kinds of projects they put local people to work on rebuilding their communities.

I like to encourage all my friends to give what they can as a tax deductible donation and invite your friends and acquaintances to give what they can too. As I already mentioned 100% of any donations you or anyone makes go directly towards the projects they do and not applied to the overhead of running such an organization.

What am I doing for Jumpstart? I’m customizing the production/project management software I’ve written (360Diffference) to work for their operation and I’m working with them on the fundraising end to see what I can do to help them approach some high end donors especially from my area.

Every little bit counts and makes a difference and ultimately builds a safer more secure world.

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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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