Category Archives: Causes

If you don’t live here, you probably don’t realize a lot of the extremes that exist in the Silicon Valley. In my last year (my first year), in the Bay area, it has been nothing if not a culture shock for me.

Regular people working for tech firms, just trying to get by. Students, grabbed right out of college, pulled into startups or excellent jobs at Google, and making the “big bucks” because they don’t yet have “real” expenses.

The uber-rich of local Valley neighborhoods (I live at the intersection between two of those neighborhoods and routinely follow Ferraris onto the highway ramp) who exist right along with the rest of us.

Then I go to the Stanford Shopping Centre and I see, as I wait to turn left, the homeless and homeless vets who are routinely on the corner of El Camino and Sand Hill Road (Sand Hill, where there is more venture capital money than you can imagine), and I wonder who is helping those people. When I actually have cash, I’ll often give it to these guys. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but the image in Pokies my mind, of these homeless people surrounded by all this excess in the Valley – well, it bothers me.

Because of that, I like to hear when something good and charitable happens around here. That it’s not just about sportscars and high-end fashion.  On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (who is only 28 years old) announced he would donate nearly $500 million in company stock to a local charity called Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The SVCF is a charity that works with donors and other charities to allocate their money, offer grants, and help charities with programs like marketing and fundraising. Zuckerberg’s donation is earmarked for health and education issues.

In recent years, Zuckerberg pledged $100 million in stock to Newark public schools and joined with Bill Gates in the Giving Pledge, which asks the wealthiest amongst us to donate most of their wealth. (Really, how many Teslas do you need anyway?)

You can read Zuckerberg’s Facebook pledge here. And really, it gives me a little faith to know that despite the extremes of wealth and poverty in the Valley, some people really are using their money to help.

HerHighway.com is taking some of todays most influential women in the online communities, placing them into some of today’s top vehicles, and letting them roam the country from Los Angeles to New York to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness.

You can attend a TweetUP in one of many stops across the country and meet all the amazing women who have volunteered their time to do the drive; Race-car drivers,  Social Media GURU’s, Automotive Experts,  Foodies and Fashionistas.

The schedule is as follows:

Starting Line September 25th leave Los Angeles CA – Vegas, NV – Salt Lake City UT

September 26th leave  Salt Lake City UT – Grand Junction CO – Denver CO

September 27th leave Denver CO – Colby KS – Salina KS

September 28th Salina KS – Kansas City MO – St. Louis MO

September 29th St. Louis MO – Bloomington IL- Chicago IL

September 30th Chicago IL – Indianapolis IN (special event)

October 1st Indianapolis IN – Columbus OH – Pittsburgh PA

October 2nd Pittsburgh PA – Philadelphia PA – NYC, NY Finish Line

Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the handful of Featured Ladies for this trip:

Social Media Advisers
Ann Tran
Misty Belardo
Zipporah Sandler
Joyce Cherrier

Automotive Journalists
Christina Selter, Editor HerHighway & Host
BJ Killeen, Drivers Talk
Cathy Droz, Two for the Road
Nina Russin, Carspondent

Motorsports
Judy Stropus, Retired Indy Crew Member/JVS Enterprises
Anne Proffit, Motorsports and Automotive Journalist
Shea Holbrook, Sports Car Racing
Ashley Van Dyke, AVD Motorsports

This September, make sure you start following the hashtag #HerHighway to follow along on what these amazing women are doing.

And hey, you may even see me (Krystyl) along the way! ;-)

Make sure to follow @HerHighWay on Twitter for updates on whats going on, and even a chance to win a seat for this roadtrip!

THRIVEgulu Launch PartyEveryone knows that every once in a while, Silicon Valley has the pleasure of hosting visits by some of Hollywood’s brightest actors, actresses, and celebrities. Let’s face it, with the popularity of Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube, famous individuals are always stopping by to learn the latest and greatest in technology to promote their products, themselves, or their causes. Case in point: last Thursday, several well-known individuals stopped by the Bay Area to announce the launch of a non-profit charity called THRIVEGulu. You can read about this charity in my last blog post, but suffice it to say, the launch event was definitely one where you could see the convergence of celebrity and the tech world in an evening of fun, education, and inspiration.

The festivities began around 6pm in downtown San Francisco at Roe Nightclub where fans gathered outside waiting for their chance to meet two famous individuals who have had a lasting impact on the science-fiction genre over the past few years: Eliza Dushku and Joss Whedon. Lines were out the door with people for this quick meet & greet. But soon, the real entertainment began in the upstairs in a much more intimate and private gathering hosted by the two celebrities and one of the tech industry’s most prominent individuals, Ben Parr, former Editor-at-Large at Mashable and founder of The Peep Project. This gathering attracted a bevy of who’s who from the industry to have a great evening learning about THRIVEGulu and donating their wallets to benefit a worthwhile African charity.

THRIVEgulu Launch PartyEveryone has a dream of where they see their life going. For many of us here in the United States, it’s something that we can see come to fruition, but for many others around the world, it’s just not possible, all for a variety of reasons. But in Africa, the problems just seem to compound one another and the odds of someone living a fulfilling life just seems so astronomical. From civil war to diseases to other forms of strife, people in this third-world continent are in need of assistance and for a chance to realize their true potential.

Well things need to change. Instead of building upon fear and concern, perhaps we should realize that our efforts should go towards helping to build up hope and their future. With respect to Africa, one such charity is going above and beyond to help promote these ideals. It’s called THRIVEGulu and just this past week launched to the world as a means of helping the people of Uganda rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient once again.

Started by actress Eliza Dushku (Bring It On, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse) and her mother, Professor Judy Dushku, THRIVEGulu is a non-profit organization operating in Uganda that focuses on building and operating a trauma healing and reflecting center in Gulu (northern Uganda). It supports the healing and rehabilitation of trauma victims of the Ugandan civil war through the use of education–basically shows them that violence isn’t the answer and that there is much more they can do besides simply picking up a weapon and attacking their neighbors. Most of the time, a proper education is probably all that’s needed to help stop the violence and many in Africa, let alone Uganda probably don’t have access to it. According to their website, THRIVEGulu offers classes that are geared towards “helping rebuild society, increasing confidence and independence among participants, and providing creative outlets for victims of trauma to tell their stories…

Carly Rae JepsenOne of the hottest songs this summer is not one you would typically think would be this big. It’s amazing that the song people can’t get out of their heads isn’t the ones that are played frequently and practically non-stop (I’m looking at you Gotye), but rather the ones that are remixed over, and over, and over again. This summer, that one re-dubbed song happened to be “Call Me Maybe“, sung by the pop sensation, Carly Rae Jepsen.

Soon after its release, the Internet was abuzz with dozens of remakes of the pop song and included college athletes, Sesame Street, regular individuals, President Obama, and many others. Just doing a search on YouTube will reveal over a couple thousand video remakes of the song. So it was only a matter of time before someone here in the tech community, and in Silicon Valley, no less.

Last night at the launch party for the new African charity, THRIVEgulu, the sensational startup band named feedbomb took the stage to perform a brand new song. In case you don’t know about feedbomb, it’s composed of past and present members of Facebook, including lead singer Randi Zuckerberg, Chris Pan, Andy Barton, Eric Zamore, Robert Johnson, Mike Vernal, Eric Giovanola, Sean Chaffin, and Chris Struhar, the group puts on one hell of a performance singing covers of the best songs of the past few years, and even some familiar oldies. So while at the THRIVEgulu event, their second song just happened to be a brand new one and one that was written by Owen Thomas, the West Coast editor at Business Insider, and it was called, “Fund Me Maybe“.

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