I was fortunate enough to grow up in developing countries like Jamaica and El Salvador (called “third world countries” at the time), with a father who dedicated his life to inventing applications that made “treasure out of trash” and a mother who perfectly balanced her elegant social life with meaningful charity activities. I learned at an early age how important it is to help others and to share your time, talents and good fortune. As you can imagine, philanthropy became one of my most deeply held values.
At 14 years old, I volunteered for the local puppet troop to warn elementary schoolchildren about stranger danger and traffic safety through puppet shows. Since these were held during school hours and this was before I could drive, the local police office (also volunteering) picked me up at junior high to transport me to our performances at local elementary schools. (Imagine the rumors at school, with me repeatedly picked up in a police car during school hours!)
I also was a volunteer Big Sister for many years, as well as volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the local libraries, MaxFund (an animal shelter) and the Boulder Valley Humane Society.
I have also had the honor to work with Water for People http://www.waterforpeople.org. There, I received a crash course in what works and what doesn’t in NGOs (BTW, Water For People is at the forefront of doing things RIGHT!), as well as how much more we could be doing in the development sector if we just got a bit more clever about how we go about things.
I’m an enthusiastic supporter of microloans to women in developing countries as a way to empower themselves to improve their life. I promote Kiva any chance I get, and I recently achieved my goal of making 170 loans on Kiva.org. You can check out my lender page here: http://www.kiva.org/lender/nataschalee
To “pay it forward”, and share my talents for the good of others, I regularly donate my art for charity. I have donated photography and/or art pieces to many local charities including Parenting Place, There With Care, Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts, Water For People, local schools, and Hope House, among many others.
If you would like a piece of art or pottery donated for your upcoming auction or fundraiser, I’m thrilled to help.
Please contact me for details.