July 2019: Launching our love project – Write the World

Earlier this year I had an idea. In the shower. Which is often where the best ideas happen, I reckon.

It was a little niggly idea at first. But it grew and grew, until before I knew it the idea was a project. Which is now happening. The idea in a nutshell: Write the World notebooks, unique notebooks designed to make the world a better place. Our point of difference: 100% of the $10 purchase price of every single Write the World notebook sold goes to The Life You Can Save to direct towards effective charities. That’s right, 100%.

I jokingly call it the love project. It’s such an apt name for it. I love so much about it…

Selfishly, I love that it allows me to use my skills – working with specialists like designers and printers, creating, writing, implementing, organising. Oh yes, I’m an organiser!

I love that it’s increasing my horizons, allowing me to talk to and meet interesting people I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. It’s broadening my own world.

I love that the whole family is engaged in the project, offering ideas and suggestions and ever so patiently listening to my constant updates and latest Write the World thoughts.

I love that the idea has been so positively embraced by every single person I’ve told about it. It’s a project that seems to bring out the best in people.

And I love that The Life You Can Save has agreed to be our project’s donor charity. It means the project is totally aligned to where our family has been putting our effective altruism efforts for the past 24 months.

Our family will be directing our monthly effective altruism donations to Write the World for the next few months. We are funding the design and printing of the first six hundred notebooks ourselves. For an initial outlay of $3,500 – which we would have donated to effective charities anyway over the course of the coming months – we will eventually be able to direct $6,000 in notebook sales to The Life You Can Save. Almost twice what we would have otherwise being able to donate.

Because that is another thing I love about the love project. It has this magical multiplier thing going on. The more we print, the less the notebooks cost. The more we sell, the more we donate. Say, for example, we increase our print quantities in the future – with economies of scale, the notebook production price goes down and for a $5,000 initial investment, we’d see $30,000 donated to The Life You Can Save in notebook sales.

How magic is that?

We will be looking for generous effective altruists to sponsor future design and print runs. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in having your donation magically multiplied through the Write the World notebook love project – drop us a line at savinglives@writetheworldnotebooks.org to start a conversation about how we can work together.

The Write the World website will be launching in September 2019. In the meantime, you can follow our journey to launch on Facebook (http://fb.me/writetheworldnotebooks) or Instagram (@write_the_world_notebooks)

January 2019: Back to school

Where we live, in Australia, the end of January is synonymous with hot weather and kids going back to school. First day back at school for both of our kids was a stinking hot day – 35 degrees. But they both rode off to the local high school, perfectly situated right next to the beach. And rode home, able to jump into our pool to cool off.  Living the life.

They also both had their pick of school lunches to take with them.

My son, a stereotypical ‘growing lad’ of 14 who tucks away an extraordinary amount of food and is still skinny as a rake, opted for three roast beef and salad rolls and two apples. He likes food he can hold in hands and eat while he plays soccer. Why waste lunch time sitting around eating, right?

My daughter, embarking on her first year of high school, chose to take her primary school lunch box with its little compartments that can be filled with sandwiches, fruit and a ‘treat’ for her sweet tooth. But no yoghurt – as apparently this year yoghurt is embarrassing. Go figure, poor yoghurt will need to employ a PR agent for the pre-teen demographic it seems.

Once again, their privilege – simply in being able to choose what they’d have for their school lunches – was apparent.

And talking about it was a good reminder for us as a family that in some countries the incentive of a school lunch is enough to get kids to school – increasing their opportunity for learning. Vice versa, if you’re at school and you haven’t eaten, your ability to learn is compromised.  

In July 2017, one of our first effective altruism monthly donations went to Oxfam, donating school meals for 23 children for a year. We backed this up with our January 2019 donation. Due to me not working for half of January, and perhaps the price of supplying school lunches increasing, our commitment to donating 5% of our income translates to school lunches for 12 children every day for the next year.