#Edcamp5Challenge by Adam Bellow

In 2008 my wife and I were expecting twins. They were due in late December but, unexpectedly, my wife had a medical emergency and they were delivered in August. Sadly, our little girl only lived for three days. Our son spent 3 months in the NICU, and although there have been bumps along the road, he is now an incredible 7-year-old boy. Our world was changed forever that night, but we always look back on the experience with gratitude for the doctors and nurses that saved his life. The March of Dimes is an organization that we had no knowledge of before the babies arrived, but it is now one that we are so grateful for. To show small gratitude for the organization, we help to fundraise and make personal donations every year. It is a way of giving back, saying 'thank you', and ensuring that the help we received years ago will be there for other families when they need it.

So, what does that have to do with EdCamp? I am proud to be a donor to the EdCamp Foundation for very much the same reason as I try to support the March of Dimes. I know the value that EdCamp has and I am certain that it has saved the career of many talented educators by helping them find a supportive community. As a participant in many EdCamps, I know the value the event has in helping to move ideas into conversations and ultimately into actions that will enhance the education of so many students whose teachers come together to learn and share at their local EdCamp events. The organic growth of EdCamp over the past several years is a testament to both the people who helped to create the very first experiences, but even more so to the real need for these professional learning events that truly are meeting the needs of the participants. EdCamp has refined the unconference model and has become a powerful movement for positive change in education.

Several years ago, when EdCamps began to spread beyond where they began in Philly,I started attending a good number of the events. As anyone who has gone to an EdCamp can attest to, the organizers put in a lot of time and energy ensuring that they create a great experience for the EdCampers. Convinced by their power and moved by how many educators really were connecting and sharing their ideas, challenges, and proposed actionable solutions, I began to support a number of individual EdCamps around the world with small donations to help cover some of the event costs such as coffee or insurance, or whatever the organizers needed. I even had the opportunity to create the logos for a few events. 

The EdCamp Foundation is committed to empowering educators the same way that they were so many years ago back in Philly where it all began. It is my absolute honor to serve the EdCamp Foundation as a Board Member and I am proud to make a monthly donation to the organization that has, and will continue, to help connect more educators and revitalize their professional learning to positively impact their schools and classrooms around the world. I donate to say thank you for all that this organization has done and in a small way to help move them forward to do even more for other educators around the world.

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