In 2005, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald set out on a mission to get himself a new house
starting with just a red paper clip. He began by trading that paper clip for a pen, and then the
pen for a door knob, and the door knob for a camping stove, until eventually he traded a role
in a movie for a house. Taking him nearly a year to complete, it’s a story that would make the
entrepreneur in all of us a little jealous.
Now imagine if we could put that idea to work for social change in Tampa Bay. A group of
graduate students in the entrepreneurship program at USF have ventured out to do just that.
What started out as a class project to start a business with merely a paper clip as their only startup capital has snowballed into a movement to change the way we think about charity and raise money for local organizations in the process. The One Paper Clip Fund aims to raise one cent for every resident in Tampa Bay.
“The statistics are really shocking. I think most people just don’t want to believe it could be
happening in our country,” said Mike Pasley, Co-Founder of the One Paper Clip Fund. “One
fourth of all children in the state of Florida are living in poverty. In the Tampa Bay area alone
there is somewhere around 200,000 children who don’t know where their next meal will come
from, and about 5,000 are living in foster care as victims of neglect or abuse. These kids find
themselves in these situations and they have no control over it. What happens when they get
sick? How can we help them see a better future?”
Luckily, there are 4 million residents who can help the future of our community. The One Paper
Clip Fund is on a mission to raise one cent for every Tampa Bay resident to give to local charities
doing important work for our area’s youth. They have set out to hit their goal of raising $40,000
in just one week online through social media and an Indiegogo campaign. “We know it sounds
crazy,” said Pasley, “but we believe that our region has the potential to be seen as one of the most generous in the country. We want everyone to realize how easy it is make a difference.”
For more information and to see a list of benefiting charities, visit their website at
onepaperclipfund.org. The Indiegogo campaign is live at http://igg.me/at/paperclip until
midnight on Thursday the 16th.
The One Paper Clip Fund is a one week fundraising challenge to the people of the Tampa Bay area. Their goal is to raise $40,000, equal to one cent for every Tampa Bay resident. The campaign begins on Thursday October 9th and will benefit local children-based charities.