MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Some people see a need and do nothing. Others roll up their sleeves and get to work. But what if your goal is to help someone a world away? One woman made a business plan that ended up making a global impact.
Gaia Calcaterra, founder of The Gratitude Project, wanted to make a difference back in her homeland.
Calcaterra told Ivanhoe, “I was born and raised in Johannesburg in South Africa.”
Children in the rural areas were growing up in poverty, many without parents.
“Typically the child has lost both parents to HIV AIDS or Tuberculosis,” she said.
Leaving the oldest sibling in charge with no support, so how do you help a world away?
“We literally sat down at a table with no budget, no plan,” she explained
Calcaterra created the ‘Gratitude Project’ then made it the subject of her term paper while earning her MBA.
“Put together a six-month plan that was divided into financials and competition and demographics,” Calcaterra said.
First, they researched which group of people donates the most.
“It was actually Baby Boomers and very specifically female Baby Boomers,” she said.
Forty-three percent of the donor base! So they changed their marketing message and Calcaterra gave her volunteers leadership roles.
“Have it be theirs so that they generate ideas, take responsibility, magic happens,” she told Ivanhoe.
And it did!
“We initially started with a goal of raising $111,000 dollars and we raised an excess of $350, 000,” Calcaterra said.
“In order to be successful you need to get people on board and she has that,” Bay O’Leary, Associate Professor of Marketing & Chair of the Marketing Department at Nova Southeastern University, said.
They built a care center with the funds that permanently houses eight children.
“Help one, then help two, then help three,” Calcaterra said.
Making a global impact one child at a time, Calcaterra graduated with her master’s in business over the summer. Her next goal is to build a structure across the border for care workers to provide food and medical treatment. For more information on the gratitude project please visit www.gratitudeinaction.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
+1 (954) 288-4817
Contributor(s) to this news report include: Janna Ross, Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer and Robert Walko, Editor.
To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk