Posted by Madonna Yoder on

One of the lessons that was drilled into me by my parents while I was growing up is that it's not enough to just take care of your own needs and wants. Everyone has a responsibility to their broader family, to their community, and to the world as a whole. They taught me that there are no good excuses for not giving back and there is always something you can do to help.

The global community needs all of us at our best right now. We are confronting major challenges with no clear solutions and it can feel incredibly daunting to face the scale of these problems head-on. What we do individually is a drop in the bucket, but these drops add up.

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” - Dr. Jane Goodall

There are many ways to contribute, and many individual strengths to draw on. Some people give their time to projects and organizations, some pursue high-paying jobs to give more funds to the causes they support, and others give of their expertise, materials, and connections to solve problems big and small.

I have chosen to use my expertise and skills in origami and framing to help expand access to clean drinking water among those who need it most.

Compound squares suncatcher; donation to Paper for Water

For every large tessellation that I sell (suncatcher, framed piece, or pillow), I am donating a mini suncatcher like the one pictured here to the charity Paper for Water.

Paper for Water gives origami to their donors, who fund clean water development projects around the world - including here in the USA. The organization was founded in 2011 by Isabelle and Katherine Kei Adams, two girls who saw a way to use their skills to make a difference.

I may not be installing the wells myself, but by giving origami to Paper for Water I am using my strengths to make the world a better place. Access to clean water enables people (mostly young women) to pursue more education and prevents deaths from water-borne illnesses. These impacts will allow more people to work on improving their own lives, the lives of their families, their communities, and our world.

The global community is facing many challenges, but with your help we can continue making the future better than the present. Be the change. Join me, and use your strengths to improve the future for us all.

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