Magellan International School’s Entry for the Gigabot 3D Printer Giveaway. Happy Father’s Day!
Jun 15 2014

Printing CapabilitiesMy son’s 6th grade class at the Magellan International School, that was founded 5 years ago, is attempting to win a 3D Printer in the The Great Big Gigabot Giveaway!  Their video entry is on Vimeo here:  I was trying to find a way to embed the video, but it doesn’t work like YouTube so I included a photo of one of their 3D printers instead.

Please watch the video to learn how they plan to use the 3D printer to design and create toys for children at an area hospitals or shelters as part of their community service endeavors.  Then please go to to to create an account and vote for their entry to win. Their video is in the bottom row on the left.  The decision is based 40% on popular vote, so please vote and share this post with your friends.  Thank you!

Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to all you wonderful fathers out there!  You know who you are. 🙂

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Donate to Wikipedia – I Just Did
Dec 31 2010

I link to Wikipedia often in my posts.  My guess is 70% or greater of my posts I link to a page on Wikipedia because I find it to be accurate and unbiased, so I just donated.  I also use it often as a reference guide (new age encyclopedia) when trying to find out information for personal or work related projects as well as for my kids’ school projects.  So, please consider donating now.  If you go to any page, you’ll notice the founder’s statement that if everyone who visited donated just $5, they would reach their goal to help keep it free.  I donated $50 because I believe it’s a great resource.  It’s amazing how many people volunteer their time to make this non-profit company and site reliable and work.  This is from the donation site:

From Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales:

This is it. X hours left. We’re at the time of year when people all over the world come together to sustain and protect Wikipedia.

Wikimedia Foundation spending

Not everyone can or will donate. And that’s fine, because each year just enough people support Wikipedia with a small donation. If you feel it’s your turn, please make a tax deductible donation of $5, $20, $30 or whatever you can to help us reach our goal before midnight tomorrow.

Most people don’t know this, but I’m a volunteer.

I don’t get paid a cent for my work at Wikipedia, and neither do our thousands of other volunteer authors and editors. When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others. It is a unique human project, the first of its kind in history. It is a humanitarian project to bring a free encyclopedia to every single person on the planet.

Every single person.

We’re a small organization, and I’ve worked hard over the years to keep us lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.

To do this without resorting to advertising, we need you. It is you who keep this dream alive. It is you who have created Wikipedia. It is you who believe that a place of calm reflection and learning is worth having.

The time has come. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to protect and sustain Wikipedia.


Jimmy Wales

Author: | Filed under: charities, fundraising | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

High Tech Entrepreneur’s Raise Money for Haiti
Jan 18 2010

A short, but important, interruption to my blogging break for the benefit of the earthquake victims in Haiti.  The Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Central Texas is coordinating a fund raising effort among technology entrepreneur’s to raise money for the victims in Haiti. Even if you aren’t a technology entrepreneur or don’t work for a technology company, you can donate! 🙂

The Austin Startup blog did a great post about this today is copied below.

Austin Tech Leaders Create Matching HelpHaiti Fund

“If you haven’t yet donated to help out the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, or even if you have and can offer a little bit more, Austin Ventures and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas are providing a way to double your donation. They are calling upon Central Texas tech companies, their employees and friends to provide assistance to the rescue efforts in Haiti, and have established a $600,000 High-Tech HelpHaiti Fund to match donations.

You can donate at a website set up by the Entrepreneurs Foundation at The $600,000 contributed to match the contributions has been donated by Austin Ventures, Donna & Philip Berber, Dave & Isabel Welland, MFI Foundation, the Garber Family, Silicon Labs and the Entrepreneurs Foundation.

“The Austin entrepreneurial community is a tightly-knit group from which we all benefit. It is important that we use this great bond to mobilize and help others in time of need. The tragedy in Haiti is one of these times for us to step up,” said Phil Siegel of Austin Ventures, who is also chairing the committee to distribute the donations. Also serving on the committee are MFI Foundation’s Lynn Meredith, Glimmer of Hope Founder, Philip Berber, Silicon Labs founder Dave Welland and Eugene Sepulveda, CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation.

The committee has already wired $250,000 to two groups that are assisting directly with the efforts in Haiti, choosing to immediately donate what they could now rather than waiting to match the contributions of the Tech community. Austin Startup encourages all of Austin’s entrepreneurs and members of the tech community to give to the HelpHaiti fund in whatever amount you can.

Additional information is available at and by emailing”

Author: | Filed under: austin, charities, entrepreneur | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Fighting Breast Cancer
Oct 5 2009

team-tech-ridersThe following post was written by Jessica Hanover, Bioscience Director at the Austin Technology Incubator and originally posted on the ATI Blog.

When we found out that our friend and co-worker, Melissa Rabeaux, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few short months ago, we decided to do what we could to support her and other people less fortunate who are fighting breast cancer.

ATI formed a team called Tech Riders, to ride in the Texas Mamma Jamma race to raise money to help breast cancer patients.  Below is a wonderful letter written by our very own Bioscience Director, Jessica Hanover.  The team has raised over $6,000 and anything more is icing on the cake!  Please check out the letter below and donate if you are able to a very good cause.

Thank you for your support for helping us support our friend in this ATI team endeavor!

Just a few months ago, the work we do with our cancer-focused startup companies at the Austin Technology Incubator took on a whole new meaning: our ATI colleague and friend Melissa Rabeaux was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Our daily conversations, usually centered on CleanTX Forum and our upcoming Clean Energy Venture Summit, quickly turned to surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, nutrition and oncologists.  It was startling and unsettling for us, to say the very least, to watch Melissa’s daily focus change so abruptly and critically.

We rallied around Melissa immediately as best we knew how, but we wanted to find a way to do even more, for Melissa and for the significant community of breast cancer patients right here in Austin.  So, we took action, and on October 10, 2009, we will be participating as a team – Team Tech Riders – in a powerful grassroots event to help thousands of Texans diagnosed with breast cancer, and to honor Melissa as she recovers from her recent surgery and deals cancer a mighty blow.

With hundreds of people, we will bicycle up to 100 miles through beautiful Central Texas in the Inaugural Texas Mamma Jamma Ride.  We’re raising money as a team, and the funds will provide direct care services through ten local non-profit agencies to Central Texans diagnosed with breast cancer.  Simply put, your donation will save and improve the lives of thousands of Texas neighbors.

Our Team Tech Riders goal is to raise at least $5,000.  So I ask that you donate to our team and make a difference for some wonderful people who really need us.  Every dollar you can spare – whether it’s $75 or $10 or whatever you can give – will have a positive impact.

You can make a tax-deductible donation online to Team Tech Riders by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this message.  Or, if you prefer, you may write a check payable to “Texas Mamma Jamma Ride” and send it to us here:  Team Tech Riders – ATI, 3925 W. Braker Lane, Austin, TX 78759.

Thank you in advance for your great generosity.  Breast cancer affects everyone, and this fact has really hit home for us here at ATI.  We’ve chosen to ride for all of Austin’s patients, and in honor of one very special person in particular, and we need your help.

With much appreciation,
Team Tech Riders

Author: | Filed under: charities | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

Why Do People Raise Money?
Oct 27 2008

Raising money is a hard thing to do and often harder when you are raising money for a non-profit.  The payback isn’t measured in dollars, in quantifiable ROI (return on investment), or in perks and huge salaries.  It’s measured in change.  It’s measured in the effect your cause has made on your community…on the world.  I have yet to read such an inspiring article/post on the matter of raising funds in a non-profit as the one written by Sasha Dichter, who works at the Acumen Fund, on Seth Godin’s blog called In Defense of Raising Money: a Manifesto for NonProfit CEOs.  Whether you are in a non-profit or a company trying to be profitable, it is a MUST read!  You can feel his passion in his post.

Here are a few excerpts, but please go read his entire post…it is truly inspiring.

“How good is your idea?  How important is your cause?  Important enough that you’ve given up another life to lead this life.  You’ve given up another job, another steady paycheck, another bigger paycheck to do this all day long, every day, for years if not for decades, to make a change in the world and to right a wrong.”

“Breast cancer has an unbelievable level of awareness in the United States, definitely ahead of all other cancers.  Yet breast cancer is actually the 5th leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind lung, stomach, liver and colon cancer.(2)  So why does it get the most attention and the most funding?”

“So why are you so scared to ask people for money?  …

How about this instead: “You are incredibly good at making money.  I’m incredibly good at making change.  The change I want to make in the world, unfortunately, does not itself generate much money.  But man oh man does it make change.  It’s a hugely important change.  And what I know about making this change is as good and as important as what you know about making money.  So let’s divide and conquer – you keep on making money, I’ll keep on making change. And if you can lend some of your smarts to the change I’m trying to make, well that’s even better.  But most of the time, we both keep on doing what we’re best at, and if we keep on working together the world will be a better place.”

If only we could all feel as passionate about our lives and ideas with this same level of intensity every day, but most of us can’t (maybe even Sasha doesn’t feel this way every day) so we read posts like these and get inspired by someone else’s passion.  What a true gift of charity when people share their wisdom and passion…expecting nothing in return…except for maybe a little change.

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Give A Man A Fish, He Eats For A Day…
Oct 15 2008

Teach her how to fish, she eats for a lifetime.  This year’s Blog Action Day theme is about poverty.  When I last checked the site over 10,000 bloggers had signed up to participate reaching over 11 million readers worldwide.  Last year’s theme was on the environment and I wrote Rock. Paper. Scissors. How Do We All Win? on the topic of the environment and cutting down on paper usage. 

How does one break the cycle of poverty? As an entrepreneur, I’m a strong supporter of those who try to make a difference by creating products and solutions that help their local, national, or global community.  All ideas are not created equal, but the people behind them are the ones who can cultivate them into something life changing or learn from their failures, pick themselves up and help others on their paths to create something great. 

Whether entrepreneurial drive is innate or learned one may never know, but we do know that it can be cultivated and nurtured by the right people, resources, and support.  It can also be squashed and abused by people who feel threatened by the passion behind the ideas. 

I have heard several of my favorite bloggers mentioned in the past and I thought it was a really neat concept. So for this year’s Blog Action Day, I’ve decided to donate $100 to a Kiva project.  However, it looks like I’ll have to wait because all of their projects are currently funded! 

Kiva is a site that enables people to give/lend money to entrepreneurs in third world countries who are trying to make a difference in their poverty stricken communities.  You can contribute money towards a small loan for an entrepreneur to help him/her get started or purchase some supplies.  It’s called micro-lending. 

Giving someone the means to try something entrepreneurial to build up their self esteem and add value to their community, is priceless.   Giving them the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship first hand from the school of hard knocks is contributing to their life education.  

So take a look around you and be grateful for what you have despite the challenging economic times ahead for all of us.  If you are reading this blog post, chances are that you are not sitting in a hut somewhere without electricity wondering where your next meal might come from. 

Encouraging ideas, creativity, and entrepreneurship is the way we will see ourselves through this downturn.  Investing in good people with the entrepreneurial spirit is a fabulous thing to do.  Check out and when an entrepreneur and her project surface that you find interesting, consider lending her a few bucks to help her make a difference!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, charities, diversity, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Seth Godin and Squidoo Raising $80,000 for Charity
Oct 1 2008

I saw on Seth Godin’s blog today that he and Squidoo, the company he founded, are raising money for charity and giving away $80,000.  All you have to do is vote by visiting the post I just linked to for the charity you like on their list.  Each vote counts for $2 and they will take up to 40,000 votes (yes, fairly simple math).  Go check it out and use that voting finger and contribute $2 wisely!  Voting will be open until October 14, 2008 and they appear to be almost half way there…

Author: | Filed under: charities, FYI | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Twittering About Frozen Peas
Dec 30 2007

twitterblog.gifA fascinating thing happened to me and many a folk on Twitter last week.  I went from 30 followers to over 175 followers worldwide in just over 24 hours all because of a woman known as @SusanReynolds.  Susan blogs at Artsy Asylum and started a new blog called Boobs on Ice to document her journey fighting breast cancer.  A woman who I have mentioned frequently on my blog, Connie Reece, helped start a campaign called the Frozen Pea Fund.  You can see a great interview of Connie on this particular topic called PEAS and Passion on Thom Singer’s blog.  Connie also helped start Frozen Pea Friday where people change their twitter avatars to “peavatars” in support of Susan Reynolds and to build awareness of the Frozen Pea Fund.

As I mentioned in my Social Media Mania – What’s A Gal to Do? post I joined Twitter on December 13, 2007.  Near the end of last week, I saw @lizstrauss, @princess-belle and others making challenges that they will donate money to the Frozen Pea Fund if twitterdom would help them get to X number of followers within a certain time period.   I decided to join in late on December 27 and put forth the challenge of 175 to donate $50.  I had 30 followers at the time.  It was down to the wire but just as midnight was closing here in US CST on December 28 a tweet went out to some Aussie twitter folk and I ended up with close to 180!

I would have donated even if I didn’t make it to 175.  I was having so much FUN seeing people take action based on 140 character or less tweets to help fight cancer, a worthy cause.  Talk about instant gratification for almost all parties involved!  I donated my $50 right then and there.  To me, the Frozen Pea Fund endeavor has been the best example of a social media campaign I have seen or been a part of.  Kudos to people like @conniereece for taking the time to show us how social media can be used to make a difference!

Now I’m going to see if twitter can help me find a good reference for a beginner yoga class to take in 2008.  I’ve got a lot to do in 2008 and Yoga will be a big part of it.  I even saw that they are offering a Deepak Chopra Center Yoga Retreat at the Crossings in March.

If you’d like to follow me on twitter, you can find me @aruni.   If you’d like to see how I figure out how attempt to use social media to help build awareness of my company, Babble Soft, you might want to subscribe to this blog’s feed.   If you have any suggestions on how to reach our target market, please don’t hesitate to send me your ideas…they are always welcome!

Happy New Year!  Oh and don’t forget to donate to the Frozen Pea Fund

Author: | Filed under: charities, social media, social networks, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Center for Child Protection Bingo Luncheon
Oct 28 2007

On October 13, 2007 I attended the fabulous Play Bingo Ladies Luncheon benefitting the Center for Child Protection Agency.  I was invited by one of my business Advisors, Janice Ryan, to sit at her table.  I had a great time!  I attended this luncheon once before as a representative of the Association for Women in Technology – Austin, but I had forgotten how much fun and how much money one extraordinary event can raise for the unfortunately numerous amount of children in this world who need protection.  The Center for Child Protection’s mission is to reduce the trauma for children during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases in Travis County.

Here is a picture of us at Janice’s table.  I am on the far right, Janice is to the right of me and her daughter is to her right. 

Although no one at our table got the opportunity to yell “BINGO,” our table was randomly picked to receive gift bags from Dillard’s that had a nice toiletry bag among other things.  I needed a new one for overnight trips.  I also was randomly selected from a drawing that I had forgotten I entered when I first arrived and won a massage, a facial, and a book called Dancing Naked… in fuzzy red slippers by Carmen Richardson Rutlen.   I’m not sure when I’ll have a chance to read the book, but I can’t wait to get that massage!

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