Using Kickstarter to Save Lives

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UNHCR Kickstarter
Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, from Kickstarter project page.

I write a lot about Kickstarter projects, because I like supporting people who have big dreams and fun ideas. You pledge a few bucks, and get some cool rewards in return. But this latest project supports a different collection of dreams, one that many of us take for granted: food, shelter, water, education.

The UN Refugee Agency has partnered with Kickstarter to provide relief for the millions of Syrian refugees that have fled their homes. Unlike most Kickstarter projects, this one doesn’t come with a bunch of swag. You won’t fill in another color on your Kickstarter wheel, or get a T-shirt saying “I helped feed a family in need.” Instead, the money you donate will go toward providing some very basic necessities like sleeping mats, drinking water, emergency kits, and tents. More than half of the refugees are school-age kids. $600 is what it takes to provide a year of education and care for a child.

Instead of the “all-or-nothing” funding typical of Kickstarter, you’ll be charged as soon as you pledge, and you can make multiple contributions until the campaign ends. Although there’s still a small percentage (about 2%) that will go to a credit card processing fee, Kickstarter and its payment partner, Stripe, are both donating their usual fees to the project, and your donations are tax-deductible in the US.

The campaign will run for a week. Please take the time to make a donation today!

Visit the Kickstarter project page for more information.

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