“With Our Actions May We Be Giants”

Posted on March 12, 2008 by Allie


When I think about what I’m most thankful for, one of the things that always comes to mind is the amazing friends I have. Both in real life and in the blogosphere, I am lucky to know intelligent, thoughtful, challenging people who share of themselves in incredible ways.

My friend Neil’s latest project is awe-inspiring, and a true testament to what one person can do to make a difference. He is working to raise $20,000 for The Cambodian Children’s Fund through the Off The Mat, Into The World Seva Challenge by December 31, 2008.

Yes, you read that right. TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. And no, Neil isn’t independently wealthy.

On his blog, he says:

“In any context that I have ever related to in the tangible world, $20,000 is a lot of money. After federal witholding, state witholding, social security, medical insurance, dental insurance, 401(k) deposits, and pre-paid NYC Metrocards, I might have squeaked past $20,000 of net pay once or perhaps twice in my entire life. Take away rent, food, utilities, and a sometimes-indulged vice for buying pre-viewed DVDs at Blockbuster, and I’ve been lucky to have $3,000 of discretionary income for the entire year. “

Neil is a professional writer, editor, and yoga teacher (he also has mad cartooning skills), and is working to put his skills to use to earn money for the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

When he struck out on his own as a freelancer last year, he made up business cards. On the back he printed the words

with our intentions
may we be good

with our words
may we be giants

He writes:

I liked this text, because if it was true that our words make us giants, then the life of one who writes and edits words for a living has the potential for creating great abundance. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to be a giant?

After further reflection, I realized that I didn’t really and truly believe this idea. Though many have become giants through their words, be it through publishing a novel about a killer car or addressing people in Gettysburg, one can become a giant while never saying anything at all. One can visit an bed-ridden friend, adopt a puppy from the pound, or yes, help a Neil trying to raise money for children in Cambodia. . .

. . . Let us all be giants, and let us all be awesome. Let us consider what I think is a more appropriate text for the back of a business card and beyond:

with our intentions
may we be good

with our actions
may we be giants

So, ask yourself, what can Neil do for you? And what can you do to help children in extreme poverty get the care they need?

Here are some basics:

  • His resume is available upon request.
  • If you know people who are inclined to support charities trying to end extreme poverty, please ask them to get in touch. Neil will put together a concise, professional presentation for them.
  • If Neil raises $20,000, he will go to Cambodia for two weeks to work with the Cambodian Children’s Fund in the Steung Meanchey garbage dump and other sites of poverty.

Donations to this cause are tax deductible. Neil is available for questions and information on how to donate at neilggordon at hotmail dot com.

What Neil’s doing for me is writing some posts on yoga for Allie’s Answers in the coming months, and I’m thrilled that through this all of you will have the chance to get to know Neil too. I am so thankful for his friendship. I am a better person for knowing him.

No Comments +

  1. What a great inspiring cause. I hope Neil reaches this goal.

    Enter Your “Green Ideas”

    March 12th, 2008 at 7:24 pm
    Comment by Kelly
  2. Sounds incredible and it’s great that you can use your blog to promote his efforts.

    March 12th, 2008 at 8:47 pm
    Comment by mickey
  3. I’m really in awe. Learning about what Neil is doing has totally changed my perspective on what one person can do, and how far we can push the bar for ourselves.

    March 12th, 2008 at 9:31 pm
    Comment by Allie
  4. I think that because his goal so closely aligns to the name of my favorite rock & roll band, I’m more inclined to support his cause, which is awesome to begin with.

    March 13th, 2008 at 1:16 pm
    Comment by Noelle
  5. You know, I thought of you when I typed the title.

    I believe Neil will be back in the city soon. When your ankle feels better, you could take a yoga class to support the cause.

    March 13th, 2008 at 2:53 pm
    Comment by Allie
  6. That’s pretty amazing. Raising $20,000 is difficult even for non-profit company events, I can’t imagine trying to do it solo.

    March 13th, 2008 at 4:20 pm
    Comment by nancypearlwannabe
  7. What a wonderful world to live in…Neil has an inspirational idea! And we get to read about yoga poses too…if i had any money at all to donate I would. Thanks to you both for making my day better…

    March 13th, 2008 at 4:22 pm
    Comment by nicole
  8. [...] presents ?With Our Actions May We Be Giants? posted at Allie’s Answers, saying, “My friend Neil’s latest project is [...]

    March 31st, 2008 at 12:41 am
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  9. [...] remember my friend Neil?  You know, the guy who is working to raise $20,000 for The Cambodian Children’s Fund?  Well, I’ve asked him to write some posts on yoga for Allie’s [...]

    April 7th, 2008 at 5:09 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » The Story of the World’s First Yoga Practitioner, As Told By Neil
  10. [...] material. This post is a part of a series of posts by my friend, Neil, (the guy who’s working to raise $20,000 for The Cambodian Children’s Fund). Click on “Neil’s Cambodia Challenge” in the sidebar to read [...]

    May 2nd, 2008 at 4:36 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » The Yoga Mat That Never Uncurled, By Neil
  11. [...] All proceeds go to The Cambodian Children’s Fund. [...]

    June 20th, 2008 at 4:24 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Don’t Just Stand There, Bust a Move
  12. [...] my friend Neil?  The one who’s trying to raise $20,000 for The Cambodian Children’s Fund by the end of the year?  Well, he sent me an e-mail with an amazing deal for all of you.  Check [...]

    November 3rd, 2008 at 5:54 pm
    Pingback by A Message from Neil - The Sweetest Deal EVER
  13. [...] The only stipulation is that if you win, you have to tell three friends (on the honor system) about Neil’s fundraising efforts for The Cambodian Children’s Fund. Reddit Stumble Upon del.icio.us [...]

    November 14th, 2008 at 3:30 pm
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  14. [...] Please tell a few friends about Neil’s Cambodia Project. [...]

    November 17th, 2008 at 2:20 pm
    Pingback by And the Winner Is . . .
  15. [...] And, of course, you still have time to donate to Neil’s Cambodian Children’s Fund project. [...]

    December 22nd, 2008 at 7:32 pm
    Pingback by Last Minute Green Gifts - Donations
  16. [...] The only stipulation is that if you win, you have to tell three friends (on the honor system) about Neil’s fundraising efforts for The Cambodian Children’s Fund before December 31st, when the Siva Challenge [...]

    December 29th, 2008 at 11:09 pm
    Pingback by One Day Contest - A bag of goodies!
  17. [...] e-mail you for your addresses.  Don’t forget to tell three people about Neil’s Cambodia Challenge before December [...]

    December 29th, 2008 at 11:23 pm
    Pingback by And the winners are . . .
  18. [...] been wanting to fill you in on my friend Neil’s latest project, and also wanted to do a Neil’s Cambodia Challenge wrap up.  So check out Neil’s post below, and the today’s tip of the [...]

    February 25th, 2009 at 7:24 am
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