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November 2020 Organizational Update

As we close on the month of being together and thankful, we reflect on how far VIA has come since the beginning of this year. Despite everything unforeseen and lost in this year, we feel gratitude for the opportunity to serve and help. Voluntaryism In Action has indeed grown continuously, but we know this was a scary time for the individual and the success of any organizations, including non-profits. Our team, our engagement, and our community have grown, and for that we thank you.

We know times are tough for you and we thank you for the ongoing reminder that voluntaryists not only reach out with a helping hand when they have abundance, they also reach out when they have losses. Supporters of the state fully expect people to act selfishly in times of recession and panic, but voluntaryism proves them wrong.

Here’s what we’ve done this month with your support:

  • With the food drive, we helped over 30 families and delivered food to pantries in the Detroit and California Bay Area, offering around $2500, purchasing over 1500 pounds of food so far. Check out our official progress here.
  • We launched our annual toy drive with an initial goal of $5000. You can donate on our Facebook page.
  • Amanda Garvin joined our team to help with social media content.

Our family at the VIA Team wish our community happy holidays and thank you deeply for your continued love and support. May you have the joy of giving and receiving this season through continued voluntaryism.

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September-October 2020 Organizational Update

Voluntaryism in Action continues to grow! This autumn saw us adding more team members to our ranks: Steve Williams–our new multimedia expert, and Amanda Strong—our new administrative assistant.  Steve will be helping us produce more educational and informational content to reach more people with the message of voluntaryism, and Amanda will help our overall efficiency.

Our summertime campaigns were big successes! Below is a brief summary of them and some other things we’re currently working on.

  • With the over $5,000 raised from our homeschooling and distance-learning education campaign, we directly supplied 69 students in the United States to help them get the most out of their education in difficult circumstances.
  • We also sent cryptocurrency to Kids Compassion Charity in Freetown, Sierra Leone to pay for school supplies for rural needy children.
  • Our essay contest for a higher education grant is set to close on October 31 with the winner to be announced in the coming weeks.
  • We raised over $10,000 for our “Free our Children” campaign to fight child sex trafficking which we granted to organizations who are specially equipped and trained to rescue victims and provide necessary aftercare: Operation Underground Railroad and The Demand Project.
  • An important milestone we hit this fall was being awarded our first grant! The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) granted VIA $4,500 to directly assist homeschooling families with educational expenses.  We will be rolling out this program in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
  • VIA just launched our second annual holiday food drive, and we’ve already surpassed our goal from last year! We will be using these funds to help feed needy families and supply food banks during their busiest season. 
  • VIA’s podcast, “A Voluntary View,” is now available on multiple platforms, including Spotify, RadioPublic, and Google Podcasts.

Our donors are what make all of these projects possible, and we can’t thank you enough for your support!  Great things are in our future, and we’re excited for you to be a part of this with us. 

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July 2020 Organizational Update

We went into the second half of the year with a bang with ongoing COVID-19 relief projects as well as more opportunity for personal outreach. Entering the new month, for the first time, VIA is managing dual active fundraisers. Here’s our progress from the past month:

●      Your donations to our relief project to assist small businesses affected by the riots helped: Emily’s Eatery, Midori’s Floating World Café, Coco & Family Beauty Supply, Lake Street Stop n’ Shop, and Top Cut Comics. Read more about it here: https://viaction.org/wire/updates/rebuilding-small-businesses

●      Launched the fundraiser for COVID Relief for Low Income Students, assisting families who are continuing education from home or distance learning. To support the cause, donate here: https://viaction.org/educate

●      In VIA Community, we began releasing homeschooling tips to assist families who are either seasoned homeschoolers or new and forced into it because of school closures. If you’re not yet a part of the VIA family, find our Facebook group: VIA Community

●      Assistant Director Justin Glassman and Content Creator Sam Wade assisted a local ‘Strengthen Your Community’ event, giving hygiene kits and snacks to the homeless in Macon, GA, funded by your donations to our fundraiser: Self-Sufficiency Resources for the Needy.

●      Launched nationwide volunteer program to send care packages to the homeless across America, again utilizing remaining funds from Self-Sufficiency Resources for the Homeless as well as accepting ongoing funds at viaction.org/ to continue to support the project. Donations can be made here: https://viaction.org/causes/community-development

●      In response to the spotlight on human trafficking, we commenced a second fundraiser, Free Our Children: Fight Child Sex Trafficking. If you’d like to support through VIA, donate here: https://viaction.org/freeourchildren

●      We jumpstarted our podcast A Voluntary View With VIA on YouTube and LBRY.tv

●      We are working with a volunteer grantwriting  consultant to start our grantwriting process.

●      We invested more capital in our IT department to become more efficient.

As we look to the future, our team hopes to continue to stand for our mission as we respond to government’s failure to act in crisis and certainty with a voluntary helping hand. To our continued donors and supporters, thank you for making this all possible.

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Innovation Meets Charity: VIA Teams Up With Sierra Leone-Based Charity Using Bitcoin

Voluntaryism in Action (VIA) is now set to work with a charity team based in Sierra Leone, Toni Lane Compassion Charity. The organization was formerly known as Kids Compassion Charity, but was renamed in memoriam of Toni Lane Casserly, the fairly well-known cryptocurrency enthusiast and blockchain pioneer, advocate for Self-Sovereign Identity, and co-founder of the organization. Sierra Leone is a small country in Africa which, not unlike much of the continent, has been devastated by decades of corruption, civil war, disease, and famine.

VIA is partnering with the local charity team and co-founder Mustapha Cole in utilizing cryptocurrency to maneuver around the bureaucratic restrictions of international funding and sending direct supplies. The team in Sierra Leone receives the funds in just minutes and are able to convert it to their local currency, saving time in and money compared to cumbersome and expensive international transaction costs.

Thanks to our supporters, VIA has donated a few thousand dollars so far, but the fundraiser for donors who want to continue to support Toni Lane Compassion Charity is here: (https://www.viaction.org/causes/Sierra-leone-aid). VIA funds have fed over 35 children and their families, supplying them with hundreds of kilos of rice, vegetables, and cooking supplies. Additionally, donations will be utilized to enable self-sufficiency in Sierra Leone, including a community farm and a school where students can learn about technology and coding.

We will continue working with Toni Lane Compassion Charity, and supporting their drive to raise the children of Sierra Leone out of the ashes of poverty and hunger and into prosperity. Those who are inspired by the work of Mustapha, Toni, and their team and would like to be supporters are able to donate one time at the link above, or become monthly supporters of VIA. Monthly supporters can cancel or edit their monthly giving at any time.

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May 2020 Organizational Update

In the month of May, the world continued to struggle with Covid-19, but with an end in sight to the restrictions, the nation turned to a mixture of outrage and solidarity as news broke of another injustice. Between the outrage and some of the violent responses to protests, chaos erupted in the midst of protest and devastated homes, businesses, and lives.

We responded with an ongoing charity to restore small businesses. Despite the outpouring of emotion during a difficult time for our country, we saw some positivity in a new partnership we are proud to assist and continuous involvement in the community. This is what we have to look back on in the past month:

● We partnered with Toni Lane Compassion Charity, a charity team based in Sierra Leone that utilizes cryptocurrency to maneuver around the bureaucratic restrictions of international funding and sending direct supplies. More here: https://viaction.org/causes/sierra-leone-aid

● We kickstarted our charity drive to assist in rebuilding small businesses that had devastating damages from the riots in major cities. Link to donate here: https://viaction.org/rebuild

● Assistant Director Justin Glassman and Content Creator Sam Wade hosted the first monthly live Q&A in VIA Community. They answered questions from the community regarding plans for VIA and how they came to join VIA.

● We continued to use the funds from the Covid-19 relief projects to assist more families struggling with the crisis.

● The T-Shirt Design Contest has been extended and is ongoing as we continue to receive more submissions.

● Shelter Point Distillery shared our article about their project to assist hospitals with the need for hand sanitizer. Article can be read here: https://viaction.org/wire/news/distilleries-are-producing-hand-sanitizer

● Steubens Ltd. pledged to donate 20% of merchandise profit to our active Facebook fundraiser. You can shop here: steubensltd.com

In the coming months we look forward to continuing to assist and partner with those across the globe in voluntaryism efforts and becoming more connected with our community, and to see more progress in June.

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April 2020 Organizational Update

Despite the world being on hold, April was a productive month for us. We continued to respond to the Covid-19 crisis in any way we could, as well as gearing into the opportunity to come together with our supporters more on social media. This month has been a time of thankfulness for our community and reflecting the power of voluntaryism: when people come together and help one another in times of need. We’re encouraged by the helping hands that joined in on our Covid-19 response project and the involvement in VIA Community. Here’s what we have to look back on:

  • The Covid-19 Relief project provided 94 school children with a month of meals to alleviate the lack of work and resources that came with shelter and quarantine orders across the nation.

  • The Covid-19 PPE project provided 3D-printed personal protection equipment (65 face shields and 35 ear savers) to nurses, doctors, surgeons, EMTs, dentists, and other healthcare workers in response to the shortages.

  • Additionally, we coordinated with volunteers around the country to 3D print PPE for healthcare workers independently.

  • Libertarian merchandise store Liberty Junkies provided support to our Covid-19 Relief projects by donating the profits of their face masks to our foundation as well as bringing awareness to their audience of our cause.

  • Athena Fleeger was recognized Voluntaryist of the Month in VIA Community for her continued support and involvement.

  • Our ongoing t-shirt design contest launched and we are already receiving submissions as well as anticipating more great designs before the May 16th closing date.

With no real end in sight for the government’s COVID-19 lockdowns, we look ahead and know that we will continue to see voluntaryism at work. We continue pushing forward thanks to the encouragement from everyday people offering help and our supporters and donors.

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Nashville Tornado Disaster Relief

During the early morning hours of March 3rd, a very violent EF3 tornado moved through Nashville, Tennessee. Most of the Music City’s residents were asleep soundly in their beds as the funnel tore into downtown with its echoing roar.

By the time the storm approached Cookeville, Tennessee, it had produced a terrifying E4 with 175mph winds—the strongest our nation has seen in nearly four years. A resident of Cookeville, Eric Johnson, was crouching with his family in a bathtub when they were pulled and thrown 50 yards into a pile of debris. While they were lucky to survive, 24 lives were claimed in Nashville and Cookeville in total and hundreds of injuries were reported.

Nashville Tornado Disaster Relief
The E4 tornado rips through Nashville, TN.

When the sun rose on March 4th, Nashville looked entirely different than just hours before. Displaced families sifted through piles of memories to grab pieces of their own. Streets in downtown and closely lying neighborhoods were decorated with torn floral curtains, shattered flat screen televisions, family photos, and incredible amounts of debris piled on top of each other in mounds. Within just days, over 2,400 volunteers arrived from all over the US to feed residents and help with clean up.

Nashville Tornado Disaster Relief
Eric and Faith Johnson in the ruins of their home.

The morning after the storm’s harrowing devastation, Voluntaryism in Action launched the “Nashville Tornado Disaster Relief” fund. Within days, our donors were able to raise over $5,000 that was sent to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. There, these funds will be utilized to help with disaster relief and family needs.

With the power of voluntary assistance, these cities are being pieced back together quickly—action greatly needed considering we are in the beginning of what looks like a very active storm season in the southeast. If another crisis like this occurs, the VIA team stands ready to look for ways to send help to those in need. “Nashville Tornado Disaster Relief” is poised to become “Anytown Anystorm Disaster Relief,” thanks to our generous donors.

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March 2020 Organizational Update

March has been an incredibly busy month for us at VIA! We started out the month initiating emergency relief for tornado victims in Tennessee, and then the COVID-19 crisis suddenly turned the world upside down. Many of our volunteers were impacted, but we’ve been able to do our part to help those in our communities and all across the country who were the most affected by the government’s actions.

Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve accomplished this month:

  • Raised $5K for victims of the severe tornadoes in Nashville and surrounding areas.
  • Raised nearly $20K for COVID-19 relief.
  • Provided a few weeks worth of meals for 68 children and 37 low income families across the country. At our current pace we expect to be able to help five times that many!
  • Further invested in our IT infrastructure to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Got our publishing department off the ground to help spread information about the voluntaryist philosophy as well as sharing what our small team has been able to accomplish. Check out our latest articles and share them with your friends!
  • Assistant Director Justin Glassman and Publishing Manager Jeff Perry represented VIA on our very first podcast! You can listen to the episode featuring VIA here.

Heading into April, we will continue to disperse COVID-19 relief as quickly as we can. You can help us by sharing this relief form with your communities: https://viaction.org/covid19-relief

As time allows, we hope to appear on podcasts more often to help spread our reach even further so that we can help even more people. None of this would be possible without our donors—thank you so much for helping us help so many people! Together we can prove to the world that voluntaryism is the better way.

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