What are your plans for RTW with Us now that you’re back?
Well, we’re not going to stop, that’s for sure! We got so much encouragement and support from so many wonderful people. We raised over $150,000 last year and this year our goal is $225,000. The projects are high impact, done in partnership with a local charity, and with the local community. This year we are also developing ways for kids in the US to get more involved via an after school program / club that allows kids to have FUN learning about other cultures with the goal of getting them engaged in global issues and showing them just how much power they have to help others and themselves.
Do you have not for profit status with the IRS?
Yes! We are a recognized 501(c)3, therefore all contributions are tax-deductable. Our tax ID number is 27-1637167 and our address is 354 Fair Oaks Street San Francisco, CA 94110. Even though we do business as Round the World with Us, our official name is Change a Life; Change Your World in case you want to look up our charity on Guidestar or with the IRS.
Are you missionaries who promote a particular religion?
No. Teresa is a member of First Church Unitarian, a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in Littleton, MA. One of the principals of the UU church is that people are entitled to their own beliefs. FCU is made up of people from many different religions as well as atheists and agnostics. What unites us is a belief that we should support each other in our journeys through life, helping others (even if we don’t know them personally), and promote justice for all. We encourage everyone to get involved and adopt projects – no matter their religion, age, race, stage in life, economic status, etc – everyone can do something – and all of those actions add up!
How do you select your projects?
In year one, we knew we wanted a variety of projects and we knew we wanted to experience and see many different countries and cultures. We also knew that to be able to afford the trip to visit every project and see the results first hand, we needed to spend almost all of our time in developing countries – and that is also where we would have the most impact. We began did very extensive research on charities within the countries we wanted to visit and charities that are working in education, health care, economic development, and environmental issues that have an immediate impact on communities.
That first year, we ended up with 12 compelling projects, which are all completed now.
Now we have narrowed our focus to humanitarian effort that allow teenagers to become leaders in their communities and learn skills and confidence required to pull themselves out of poverty and help their entire communities to do the same. Check out all of our projects on our projects page.
If you work with teenagers to do service learning projects, and would like to apply for a grant, please contact us at Teresa@rtwwithus.org