Blue Key CampaignIn high school, I dedicated myself to several worthy causes. I donated time at The Back Mountain Library Auction. I scared people (believe it or not) in a haunted house to raise money for a volunteer fire company and an organization dedicated to helping the youth. I gave blood to the American Red Cross. It wasn’t until I got to college that my eye wandered beyond my own backyard to help people. Organizations like charity:water, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam International, Direct Relief International, and ONE caught my attention. I gave time and money. I became aware of issues outside my comfort zone.

Then, a few months ago, my friend Rachael Seda emailed me. She told me about a campaign she was working on and asked if I’d be interested in helping out by becoming a Champion. I agreed and now, today I’m holding a blue key. Believe it or not, it opens a door in a lot of ways.

Firstly, it opens the door for those in need. When Rachael asked me to be a Champion, she was asking me to show my support for The Blue Key Campaign. What is the Blue Key Campaign? Well, they can say it better than I can, so I’m going to quote them:

USA for UNHCR launched the Blue Key campaign as a way to raise awareness and funds in the U.S. for the plight of refugees worldwide. The statistics are heartbreaking – more than 43.7 million refugees worldwide, many of whom are women and children, may never have a place to call “home” again, unlike you and I.

The campaign symbol is a “blue key” pin or pendant; a key, because it’s the one thing that refugees may never hold in their hand again. Purchasing your own key for just $5 is a great way to show support for refugees, as well as for the tireless work of more than 6,000 UNHCR staff worldwide, who work 24/7 to provide the protection, food, shelter and relief refugees need.

The campaign’s goal is simple: to spread awareness and grow support for this critical issue by getting 6,000 people in the US to sign up for their own Blue Key by December 31, 2011.

It’s amazing how we take for granted the idea of home. Most of us have a place to go at night when we finish with school or work. Millions don’t. And we rarely even think about it.

According to the UN Refugee Agency’s 2010 Global Trends Report, an estimated 25.2 million people — 10.55 million refugees and 14.7 million internally displaced persons — were receiving protection or assistance from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at the end of 2010.

By buying a blue key, I helped someone.

It’s a powerful thing to help someone. And I know that some of you, dear readers, may be asking yourself why I’m worrying about people all around the world when I should be worrying about fixing my own country. Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about the messy good ol’ USA- but there are things outside of our own lives that we don’t pay attention to and that doesn’t make the problem go away. For right now, I’m CHOOSING to look beyond my borders at something bigger. That’s my choice. You, dear reader, have a choice too.

Secondly, having a blue key opens a door to giving as an adult. I no longer have my college community to steer me toward different causes. I have to seek them out on my own, which is both a beautiful and terrible thing. There are too many groups I’d like to give to and too many people I want to help. I just have to remember that I have my whole life ahead of me to give to others. Every little bit helps – even if it comes a little at a time.

But giving has reminded me of what I have. I’m very lucky. I have student loans to repay, responsibilities, and all of those grown up expenses that we tend to complain about. But I also have food in my kitchen. Hell, I have a kitchen. I have a roof over my head. I’m surrounded by family and friends. I have love. Most of all, I have hope.

Not everyone has those things – but we all have the power to give them in one way or another. 

Get your blue key. 


The Scranton #BlueKey Tweetup

If you’d like to join me in supporting the Blue Key Campaign, I’m organizing a #BlueKey Tweetup in Scranton. It’s a little get together to help raise money for the Blue Key Campaign. If you’d like to come out to just meet some of your fellow NEPA tweeters, then this is a great opportunity for you to do so.

The Scranton #BlueKey Tweetup will be held on December 14, 2011 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Vintage Theater in Scranton. Nothing fancy, just a regular tweetup where you can meet people, chat, and just enjoy the evening.

The cost is $6.12 and this covers the cost of your very own Blue Key, to be picked up at the event, and Eventbrite’s service fees. There will be goodies and delicious beverages also available for purchase fromThe Vintage Theater cafe.

I hope you’ll join me. If you can’t no worries! I’m just glad you’ve taken the time to read this post and maybe, you’ll walk away knowing a little bit more about The Blue Key Campaign, and more importantly, what giving can do for you and others.

Here’s where you can register for the Scranton #BlueKey Tweetup and learn more about the event:

Thank you for your support!


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