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Our Refugee Camp Honeymoon

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Ethan and Lisa Zohn are in Greece as part of the CrowdRise 24-Hour Impact Project. They’ve launched a fundraiser and have 24 hours to raise $20,000 to improve lives in a Syrian refugee camp. This is their story.

Vasilika Refugee Camp, Thessaloniki, Greece – The term honeymoon typically conjures images of beautiful beaches, swinging hammocks and champagne glasses clinking with the sun setting on the horizon. This honeymoon is none of those things.

Since being married in July, Lisa and I had been contemplating what to do for a honeymoon, but we were stumped about where to go and what to do. I then came up with the idea of a charitable honeymoon, and Lisa was immediately in – which is exactly why I married her.

This charitable honeymoon in mind, I contacted some friends at CrowdRise where I learned about their 24-Hour Impact Project. In this program, CrowdRise ambassadors are selected to find an important cause and in just 24 hours raise the funds to make a change. They then spend the following 24 hours implementing that change. All activity is filmed in real time and video updates are posted so that donors can see the immediate result of their contributions (examples have been a homeless community, a group of students, an endangered species and even an entire village). Lisa and I decided to join the 24-Hour Impact Project and help them improve the lives of 1,200 Syrians living in the Vasilika refugee camp in Greece.

Since winning Survivor and surviving a rare form of cancer, my life has been laser focused on helping to make happiness real for others. I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and immerse myself in many different humanitarian efforts…but nothing could have prepared us to meet hundreds of families that had to flee their home country and cross the border looking for a better life. Many had spent their life savings to reach Greece by boat. Many of their husbands and fathers had ventured in earlier months to Europe and would hopefully send for them. But when Greece’s borders closed, the families were separated. And now these people remain stranded in a country that is not their own.

Being Here

I’ll admit that I was really nervous. I was most afraid of feeling like we couldn’t do enough and the need would be so great as what we thought. As we approached the camp, I was quite surprised. To be honest, from the outside it looks like a huge indoor soccer facility, the kind you see stationed in a warehouse on the outer city limits. As we got closer, things started to change and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was more like six giant abandoned warehouses, converted into barracks, positioned back to back to back. A barbed wire fence surrounds the structure and a muddy dirt road leads to a small entrance, guarded by armed Greek police. Inside there are rows and rows of canvas tents with rusty old cots. There’s no heat. They rely on outhouses. Food is scarce and mostly consists of packaged bread and apples. It’s a horrible situation made worse by the never-ending rain and fast approaching winter.

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We aren’t legally allowed inside the refugee camp, but a young girl named Helena snuck us in through a hole in the barbed wire fence. The idea of going to jail on my honeymoon was definitely not on the itinerary. But Helena wanted us to meet her family.

We made our way to Helena’s tent and waited outside while she surprised her mother with her new American friends. We stepped out of our shoes and stepped inside. Her mother was under the covers on one of the four cots lining the tent. She reluctantly got up, coughed a deep cough and pointed to her throat. We could see she was ill and frantically searched our pockets for lozenges which we gave her but she put aside. Helena was searching under the cots for something to offer us and she discovered the stash of Nescafe but sadly upon opening the lid, there was barely a tablespoon of powder left. Her mom quickly put it away and we talked as best we could with Helena translating. As we said our goodbyes, her mother heartbreakingly asked us to take Helena back with us to America. This is the reality of the refugee crisis.

But there are some bright spots, too. Next door to the camp is a safe-haven for the kids called Eko Project. A group of volunteers from Spain built a school, library, play space and kitchen that serves fresh, healthy and warm food. The kids run around and play soccer every day (I played professionally, so this was amazing to see). They are adorable, but behind their smiles and step-overs there is definitely pain. Seeking a way to help, I knew that I could communicate through the beautiful game.

Speaking in Soccer

As I was meeting refugees of all ages, from all different countries, speaking all different languages, I desperately wanted them to feel comfortable with me. So, I started kicking a soccer ball and calling myself Messi. It was the greatest opening line ever.

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On the soccer field, there is always a battle and lines that are crossed every minute of the game. Every soccer fan understands that the lines on the field are a general strategy to position players at the start of game, but once the referee blows the whistle, like a siren, players are free to roam wherever they want.

There is a sense of freedom when you play soccer – a player can sprint, kick, rest, talk and celebrate wherever they want, whenever they want and on their own volition. It’s their personal choice and they have the freedom to make those choices. Yes, there are consequences when a defender makes a streaking run up the center of the field, attacks the far post and attempts to rifle a shot from the six-yard line – but the consequence of that potentially failed mission is not jail…or even worse…being sentenced to a life in a country that is not your own. On the soccer field there are lines to be crossed, but no borders preventing you from crossing them.

When we stepped out of our car at Eko we were immediately welcomed by a little girl dressed in pink and green with a striped hat and matching scarf. She held out a hand full of sunflower seeds and made sure we each took one before she hugged all of us and said, “my loves.” I was already holding back tears at the sweetness of this one little girl.

We soon discovered that there were so many more kids just like her…just normal, everyday kids. They just want to play, they want you to watch them try a soccer ball trick, they want you to push them on a swing, they want you to care about them.

We were quickly surrounded by kids. Which meant that it was time to organize a quick pick-up match. The first team to hit the post wins. The starting line-up consisted of an American Jewish soccer guy (me), Iraqi war vet and Syrian truck driver to square off against a Turkish professor, a Spanish volunteer and a Palestinian store owner. Filling out the roster was Helene, her little sister Elene, Slava and her sister Sidra, then there were the boys, Mohammed, Mohammed, Mohammed and Mohammed along with 25 other refugee kids swarming around us frantically trying to get a touch on the ball.

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Aras, Mohammed x 4 and I worked together like a well-oiled machine, gunning crisp passes around our opponents. Aras was calmly smoking a cigarette and nutmegging the kids at the same time. He made a note to tell me that he didn’t smoke in Iraq, but the stress and boredom in Vasilika got him hooked.

David, the Spanish volunteer managing The Eko Project, blasted a shot off Helene’s knee which ricocheted into the cinder block goalpost and the game was quickly settled. The kids cheered and the older folks were happy to stop running. I can’t say that playing the beautiful game with these kids helped them forget the reality of their situation, but I can say that this bright, brief moment with them did make them smile and help them feel free…even if it was just for a minute.

The Bigger Picture

Even though we couldn’t speak the same language, we could all communicate, have fun, become friends and share an incredible moment. Simply arriving with a soccer ball granted us instant access into the community, broke down cultural stereotypes and brought people together. That’s what a ball has the power to do.

We’ve heard about refugees all over the news…but being here…our heart is in it. These are innocent people who are desperately seeking their human rights. We saw the news stories before, but now these are our friends. And that’s why we’re so thrilled to be doing the 24-Hour Impact Project to raise awareness and funds to keep Eko Project and this soccer program thriving.

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This is just a small sample of the people we’ve met, the stories we’ve heard and the things we’ve seen. We now need your help to reach our goal of raising $20,000 to assist these amazing people while they’re here.

Donate to support Ethan’s 24-Hour Impact Project on CrowdRise and help us improve the lives of these Syrian refugees:

Photos and video: Ryan Doyle, Video Vision 360

Source: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-refugee-camp-honeymoo_b_12530442

Crowdfunding

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

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You rely on Crowdability to bring you the best start-up deals. Now rely on us to bring you the most fascinating stories and trends from the world of technology. You won’t find this stuff in the mainstream press. Look for it every Friday morning.

The Scariest Movie Ever — According to Science

The Exorcist? Poltergeist? Friday the 13th? What’s the scariest movie of all time? Well, just in time for Halloween, science finally has an answer. The scariest movie ever is… »

Teenager Discovers Potential Cure for Covid-19

Top scientists are racing to develop a cure for the coronavirus. But meanwhile, a 14-year-old high school student might have beaten them to it. Learn more »

Finally, Help for Earworms

Ever had a song stuck in your head, but you can’t remember the name of it, or any of the words? Help has arrived »

Now You Can Surf the Web on the Moon

The population of the Moon is pretty small. In fact, it’s zero. So why is it getting wireless internet service? All the facts right here »

Taking LSD Could Help Your Career

Need help focusing at work? Got a big project that requires your attention? This could help »

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/taking-lsd-could-help-your-career

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Earn $10,249 a Year in FREE “Crypto Income”

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Last December, I wrote to you about a new way to make money with cryptos.

It didn’t involve risking your money on high-risk crypto tokens. Instead, it was a way to earn safe, consistent income — for FREE — month after month.

In fact, as I’ll explain today, if you’d followed my advice, you could have earned as much as $10,249 over the past year.

But if you didn’t follow my advice, not to worry…

Because as I’m about to explain, you can still take advantage of this strategy today…

Let Me Introduce You to Sandy

Before I reveal this powerful income-generating strategy, let me introduce you to someone:

Her name is “Sandy” — or, as she’s more commonly known, Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy hit New York on October 29th, 2012. According to Business Insider, it was the “worst storm to hit the area since at least [the year] 1700.”

It dropped over 14 feet of water on lower Manhattan, and it left millions of residents without power, cell phone service, or the internet.

People had no way to get in touch with their loved ones, or to get access to emergency info.

But for residents of a tiny neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was quite a different story…

A Peer-to-Peer Network Saves the Day

When Sandy hit and the internet went down, a small group of technologists in an old industrial neighborhood called Red Hook sprang into action.

They set up a “peer-to-peer” network called a “local mesh network.” This enabled residents to connect to each other’s computers directly, so they could communicate.

Everyone else was trying to get online the traditional way: by connecting to a single server. But since that single server wasn’t working, they were out of luck.

Here’s an image that shows a traditional network versus a peer-to-peer network:

As you can see, there’s no “middleman” in the peer-to-peer network…

So there’s no single point of failure!

This Could be Huge

This type of peer-to-peer technology is a big deal…

The next time a natural disaster occurs — or God forbid, if there’s a terrorist strike — it could keep people online and connected.

This explains why Grandview Research estimates that, by 2025, such networks could turn into a market worth $11 billion.

It also explains why venture capitalists are pouring money into this sector. For example, Union Square Ventures recently invested $15 million into a peer-to-peer networking startup.

And as it turns out, you could profit from this deal, too.

Let me explain…

Introducing: Helium

Union Square Ventures is one of the most successful venture firms in the country.

It was an early investor in billion-dollar startups like Twitter and Tumblr.

And now it’s invested in a peer-to-peer networking startup called Helium.

Simply put, Helium has built a simple device that acts as a “hot spot.”

Once you put the device in your home, people in your neighborhood can use it to connect to each other instantly.

This device is a breakthrough. You see, when the Red Hook technologists set up their network during Hurricane Sandy, they encountered huge problems. For example:

  • They had to create their own custom software.
  • They were forced to rely on inefficient hardware and unsecure connections.
  • They had to pay huge electricity bills.

But Helium fixes all of these problems in one fell swoop. And now, during an emergency, a Helium network could mean the difference between life and death.

And that’s why Helium wants to incentivize you to set one up…

New Crypto: Helium Tokens

Simply put, if you set up a Helium network, you can earn real money.

Here’s how it works:

  • Helium has created a crypto-currency called Helium Tokens (HNT).
  • To earn these coins, you just need to set up and maintain a Helium network.
  • And because these coins are traded on various crypto exchanges, you can exchange them for real dollars.

Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, has earned roughly 8,266 Helium Tokens since he first set up his device a year ago.

Based on the current price for Helium Tokens, that works out to roughly $10,249 in extra income in the past year alone!

And now you have the chance to start earning income like that, too!

Cash-in on Cryptos Today

Keep in mind: to get started, you’ll need to pay a few hundred dollars for the Helium device.

But once you own the device, you essentially have a source of free income.

To learn more, visit Helium’s website here »

Happy investing!

Best Regards,
Wayne Mulligan
Wayne Mulligan
Founder
Crowdability.com

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/earn-10249-a-year-in-free-crypto-income

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This Is a $103 Billion Profit Opportunity

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Investors in private startups pocketed a fortune last quarter…

According to a report released last week, they took home $103.9 billion.

That’s a record high — and as you’re about to learn, those profits are expected to keep flowing.

So today, I’ll show you why this is happening…

And then I’ll share two easy ways to get in on the action yourself.

How Private Investors Make Profits

Before I tell you how to take advantage of this profit window, let me back up for a moment…

Let me explain how investors in private startups make money.

Startup investors make money when a company they invested in has an “exit.” These exits happen in two main ways:

  1. When a startup gets acquired by a bigger company in an M&A transaction, or
  2. When the startup goes public in an IPO.

And as it turns out, Q3 of 2020 was a record-setting quarter for these exits…

A Record-Setting Quarter for Private Investors

The first half of the year was a disaster…

The coronavirus put a halt to everything, including exits.

But Q3 brought a massive uptick in activity.

For example, as you can see in the chart below (courtesy of PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor), exit value increased 292.5% versus Q3 2019.

That was the 2nd-highest quarterly total in PitchBook’s historical dataset, just behind Q2 2019.

What do all these exits mean for their investors?

They mean huge windfalls of profits!

(FYI, even when you factor in the winners and the losers, over the past 20 years, these exits have returned an average of 55% per year. At 55% per year, in 20 years, you could turn a tiny $500 investment into more than $3.2 million.)

Just six months ago, this sort of exit activity seemed impossible.

So what happened?

The 3 Reasons Behind These Profits

This burst of exit activity is due to three main reasons.

New Sectors Soaring: Covid-19 has given a boost not just to biotech, but to industries like Fintech, Edtech, and Telemedicine. The way we work, learn, and receive healthcare are changing — and innovative startups leading the charge are becoming valuable very quickly.

Macro Environment: Low interest rates and a booming stock market are giving investors confidence that innovative startups will command high prices as public companies.

SPACs: As noted earlier, M&A and IPOs are the two main ways that startups exit. But recently, a third way has gained in popularity: a “special purpose acquisition company,” or SPAC.

In Q3, public listings drove the spike in exits — IPOs like Snowflake (NYSE: SNOW), Asana (NYSE: ASAN), and Unity (NYSE: U).

The things is, as PitchBook explained, the strong performance of these stocks in the public markets will “likely drive more IPO” activity…

And for startup investors, it’ll drive more profits.

So — are you in?

Two Easy Ways to Get Started

Crowdability offers a multitude of free resources to make sure you see current startup deals that are available for investment…

And to make sure you know what to do once you find a deal you’re interested in.

For starters, look at our weekly “Deals” email. We send this out every Monday at 11am EST, and it contains a handful of new startup deals for you to explore.

Second, check out our free white papers like “Tips from the Pros. These easy-to-read reports will teach you how to separate the good deals from the bad.

The profit window is now open — take advantage of it!

Happy Investing.

Best Regards,
Matthew Milner
Matthew Milner
Founder
Crowdability.com

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Source: http://www.crowdability.com/article/this-is-a-103-billion-profit-opportunity

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