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The 2018 Foolanthropy campaign is underway and if you have a feeling of Deja Vu all over again, you're not alone.

And you're right. But really, you're wrong. Last year, Fools raised an amazing $150k for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico with All Hands and Hearts Smart Response. And and this year, for the first time ever, the 2018 Foolanthropy campaign is returning to this same organization, but not to Puerto Rico. Instead, we're going to Mexico! But more on that in a second.

Last April, I had the amazing opportunity to travel with members of the Foolanthropy team to spend a week volunteering with All Hands and Hearts in Barranquitas and Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. We mucked houses, scraped and concrete off leaking roofs and treated homes for mildew. It was an amazing experience, and it gives me a unique opportunity to tell you personally how wonderful this organization is and how important the work is that they are doing, not to mention how much it can change those of us who volunteer our hands and hearts as well as our donations.

Which is why I was not surprised at all when Foolanthropy 2018 announced they were going to bat again for All Hands & Hearts Smart Response. But while rebuilding homes after a natural disaster is a big part of what they do, All Hands & Hearts also has a focus on education and schools, and that's where Foolanthropy is taking us this year, the Celso Muñoz Primary School in Oaxaca State, Mexico.

Given the speed news stories come and go from the headlines, you might be forgiven if you had forgotten that Oaxaca was hit with 8.2 and 7.1 earthquakes within just 12 days back in September, 2017. The damage was unimaginable and left hundreds of students their schools reduced to rubble. All Hands & Hearts has been in Oaxaca rebuilding the schools, but the project for the Celso Muñoz Primary School is still $125,000 short of having enough funds for completion. That's where Foolanthropy 2018 comes in.

We're gonna bridge that gap.

The immediate goal for this year's campaign is $80,000, and we're already over 37% of the way there. But while that would be amazing, raising $100,000 toward the reconstruction of the Celso Muñoz Primary School would be incredible. And you know what would be gob-stopping stupendous? Raising $125,000 and sending these children back to school. Because having seen the generosity of Fools in 2017, I know without a doubt that it can be done.

From the All Hands & Hearts web site:

On September 7, 2017, one of the most lethal earthquakes in Mexican history, a devastating 8.2 magnitude quake hit close to the southern state of Chiapas. Just 12 days later and a few hundred miles away, a 7.1 magnitude quake rocked central Mexico, toppling buildings, breaking gas mains, knocking out electricity and sparking fires across the city and other towns in Mexico.

More than a year after the devastating earthquakes hit, many schools in Mexico are still unsafe for children to learn in …. Our work on the Celso Muñoz Primary School will be focused on rebuilding 7 classrooms, retrofitting 4 classrooms and rebuilding the office and library to ensure that students have a safe and resilient place to learn. This school will allow 170 students, between the ages of 6 and 12 to return to school and receive the education they need for a brighter future. Oaxaca is a state noted for its cultural diversity and long-standing traditions.

Here's how you can help.

• A $25 donation can provide protective gear for one volunteer, including a hard hat, safety glasses and gloves.

• A $50 donation can buy a wheelbarrow for hauling out debris and transporting building materials to the work site.

• A $75 donation can buy a ladder to enable volunteers to safely reach the roof (and get back down again).

• A $100 donation can buy an impact driver kit, an essential tool for building the mold for a concrete pour.

• A $250 donation can buy 25 bags of cement for laying foundations, bricklaying walls and protecting the school against future earthquakes.

• A $500 donation can fund a soil study by the local Oaxacan soil engineer, required for government approval of the reconstruction.

• A $1000 donation will pay for a month-long rental of shoring for concrete pours.

Over the last year, All Hands & Hearts has been busy, with 350 volunteers from around the world collectively spending 3,385 days rebuilding 11 schools so far, with 2 schools in progress, including our Celso Muñoz Primary School. You can read more about the Mexico Relief - Earthquake Recover mission here:

As a refresher, All Hands & Hearts is an international disaster relief organization that is often the first in after a natural disaster, a global army of volunteers that go whenever and wherever needed. They are 4-Star rated on Charity Navigator, Platinum-rated on Guide Star and A+ rated on Charity Watch, with 95% of every dollar raised going to the people who were affected hardest and need it most.

Here's a general video on the organization:

If you would like to donate in the form of a stock donation, just notify your bank/broker that you’d like to transfer shares as a charitable gift to All Hands and Hearts Smart Response, Inc. Identify the number and type of shares you’d like to contribute:

DTC# 0352, J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp
All Hands and Hearts Smart Response, Inc., 920-34678
Tax ID #20-3414952

If you do not want to donate online, you can mail a check to:

All Hands and Hearts Smart Response
ATTN: Engagement Department
6 County Road, STE 6
Mattapoisett, MA 02739

Be sure to indicate on your check that you are supporting the 2018 Foolanthropy fundraiser.

When donating online, you can even become a sustaining supporter with a monthly donation, request a matching donation from your employer, or dedicate your donation in favor of someone. And if you are willing, please help cover the costs of processing your donation so that the full value of your donation goes directly to All Hands & Hearts Smart Response.

And while the 2018 Foolanthropy campaign is targeted to Fools, it's open to everyone, so if you believe in our cause, please feel free to share with your friends and family looking for a high impact opportunity to give back to the world. Here are some sample Social media posts you can use:

FACEBOOK: For this year's holiday season, I’m joining with @The Motley Fool to support @AllHandsAndHearts in rebuilding the Celso Munoz Primary School in Oaxaca, Mexico after recent earthquakes. To learn more about All Hands & Hearts' mission and donate to this worthy cause, visit

TWITTER: I’m joining with @themotleyfool to support @AllHandsHearts to help rebuild schools affected by the recent Mexican earthquakes. To donate, visit

If you've read this far, allow me to get personal for a moment. Last year, I challenged Fools to Rec my Foolanthropy posts and I would match each Rec with a $1 donation, and dozens of you took me up on the offer. Unfortunately this year, despite the low unemployment rate, I have been out of work for going on 8 months. In fact, it was just 3 weeks after returning from Puerto Rico that I was "re-organized" out of my role as a Crystal Reports developer.

So while I made my own modest donation this evening, I am not going to be able to repeat my challenge to you. But I am going to challenge other generous Fools who have the resources to do so in my place. Please Rec this post, and if you're willing to match every Rec this post receives with your own donation, reply to this post as well so others will know you are what a wonderful Fool you are! :-)

And I'll make this one last promise. If I land a job between now and the end of the Foolanthropy 2018 campaign in January, I'll make an additional donation for every Fool that replies to this post that they have made a donation.

Who wishes he could do more but he is reminded that as bad as his own situation is, the volunteers at All Hands & Hearts Smart Response are serving those whose situations are even more dire and desperate...

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Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disclosure: May own shares of some, many or all of the companies mentioned in this post (
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