Today we reached a milestone of epic portions for the Wheel2Wheel team. It may not sound like a big deal to many, but for the four of us involved in establishing an online donation mechanism and launching “Own-a-Km” this is the end of a very long journey.
The story starts 9 months ago in March 2010 when I attempted to open a PayPal account for Wheel2Wheel. Despite countless emails and the provision of reams of paperwork; PayPal was unable to understand Hong Kong’s classification of non-profit organisations and therefore couldn’t slot us into one of their US-style client categories. Ambushed with hundred’s of other pressing tasks, I temporarily abandoned the agonisingly repetitive PayPal application – figuring we would find ‘another way’.
So we tried various other e-commerce options, only to discover the same sort of obstacles arising for non-profit (as opposed to charity) applicants like Wheel2Wheel. The only exception was ammado who understood us and were very helpful.
So the problem sat there for months, until Paige Sinclair joined the Team in August 2010. From the very outset of her involvement, Paige took to the task of securing an e-commerce solution for Wheel2Wheel with a tenacious determination. She needed it, as it took another 50-odd emails over 3 1/2 months for us to finally possess an operating PayPal account. So my hat goes off to Paige for an incredible job making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Having a PayPal account is only part of the puzzle, in parallel with that drama – Alan, Manolis and I were working with Paige to develop the interface you now see for “Cash Donation” and “Own-a-Km”. This was comparatively easy and enjoyable.
Own-a-Km is a simple concept, much like the old-school community style of donating to a friend for running a marathon or something similarly challenging. We are particularly excited by Own-a-Km because it enables people to get involved with Wheel2Wheel for US$13, yet if we are successful in selling all 20,000km we can raise enough money to really make a massive difference to the ten charitable organisations we are supporting. Everyone who buys a kilometre is recognised on our website for their part in Living The Dream with Wheel2Wheel.
Please find time in your busy schedule to get online and buy a few kilometres. We are absolutely committed to making a difference and really thinking skillfully and carefully about how every dollars get used by our charitable organisations.
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