Monday, August 23, 2010

URGENT--Fundraiser Alert!!

Fresh from our recent success in reuniting the Egbukonye Family I am happy to announce that we are launching a new fundraising effort this week. Here are the details:

I have registered to compete in the Top of Utah Half Marathon ( THIS Saturday in Logan, Utah. I have never run a half marathon race before and, in fact, have only ever competed in a handful of 5k races over the years. I have been preparing for this race and do feel ready but with 13.1 miles between me and the finish line this Saturday morning at 7AM dare I say that anything can happen??

Here are two options to pledge donations:

1. $/mile. You can pledge a dollar amount per mile I actually run. I plan to finish the 13.1 miles so if you pledge $1/mile then you would donate $13. $5/mile = $65 donation, $10/mile = $130, etc. If I don't finish (unlikely I hope) then you would donate your $ amount per mile for each mile I actually complete.

2. Speed Bonus. I have been training to run this race in under 2 hours. I hope to do that but there is no guarantee that I will. For the record, my fastest run so far (this past weekend) was 11 miles in 1:49. IF, I finish the race in under 2:00:00 you can pledge a bonus. For example, a flat amount of $25, $50, $100, etc. This can be in addition to Option #1 above or as a stand alone pledge.

Either way, please consider using this pledge as a way to motivate me to excel in this race while making a tax-deductible donation to a great charity.

Email me with your pledge at Call me anytime with questions: 415.203.3763.


I am thrilled to report that earlier this month--and just in the nick of time--the Egbukonye Family was reunited in San Francisco via New York City

Many thanks to those of you who took the time and money to support this effort. Candidly, we fell short of of raising the necessary funds to be able to get them here and Bridges to America is currently running in the red. That said, given the urgency of getting Vivian, Destiny, and Duke here before their visas expired we had to do whatever we could to accomplish this amazing reunion quickly.

Your ongoing support is needed. Please pass this along to those you know who may be able to help. We need to raise about $1,500 to erase the deficit and continue to help deserving families in need.

Pictures coming soon.

Mission accomplished...thank you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

$1500 Short Term Goal

The Egbukonye Family has 3 weeks to be reunited in the USA. As I write this, Mother Vivian, three year-old Destiny, and three month-old Duke are anxiously awaiting news in Nigeria that we have been able to purchase their airfare. We need to get to our $10,000 goal but desperately need to raise another $1,500 now to be able to make this dream happen for this sweet family. The father, Dixon, raised $1,000 on his own and is fully vested in this process. He has already secured a job and an affordable place for his family.

Supporting this effort is not simply writing a check to some faceless charitable organization or giving spare change to a needy hand in a big city, every dollar you can give directly supports a family in need that is committed to get reunited and get busy living the American dream of setting goals and working to accomplish them. They are already so grateful for the money that has been raised and are daring to hope now that there will be enough to get them here in time.

PLEASE, take the next 3 minutes and help change a family's life for the better.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Many thanks to all of you who have taken my calls and taken action to make your donations. I am thrilled to report that we now have about $2,500 in the bank and we are moving in on our short-term goal of $6,000.

I meant it when I said that every little bit helps and I am grateful for the few children who have broken open their piggy banks and given what they had to give.

I know we are all "hit up" from multiple worthy causes but the difference here is that you have a chance to directly help a family that will thank you personally for your generosity and I promise to keep you updated on this blog with their progress.

Lastly, if you are thinking of donating please do so now as I need to be buying tickets by this time next week to meet our deadline to have the family enter the US by early August.

Thank you so much for helping this sweet family.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

$4,000 by the 4th. Please Help!

Quick update on our fundraising efforts. So far, we have raised $1,500 towards our goal of $10,000. The big push now is to simply raise $4,000 by the 4th.

Dickson is grateful for the efforts thus far and in fact has found a way to contribute a significant portfion himself proving his sincere commitment to reuniting his family.

The clock is ticking on the issued visas for his wife and two sons and we urgently need you to please give whatever you can so we can buy the airline tickets and get them here by August 1.

There is absolute power in numbers and if you can give any amount we know that we have a great chance of reaching our goal and getting this family back together so they can start the American Dream of safety, security, and independence. Use your effort as a way to show your patriotism and respect for our great country.

God bless you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The American Dream: 25% There

Dickson Egbukonye is a lucky man. Against major odds Dickson won the Visa Lottery in 2009 in his home country of Nigeria. By winning his visa he was allowed to legally enter the USA as part of our government's effort to give a shot at the American Dream by providing a few lucky people in third-world countries the opportunty to come here and start a new life.

I have personally interviewed Dickson and was touched by his story. He calls his winning the Visa lottery nothing short of a miracle and sold all he had--his car, his TV, etc. to raise the $3,000 required to pay for the four visas he and his family would need to come here. He also had to raise the $2,000 for his airfare to come to the USA and prepare for his family's new life here. He is a trained security guard, already has his greencard and is actively interviewing for full-time work.

One month before he left for America his wife gave birth to their second son via C-Section. The cost of this procedure further depleted a chunk of his savings. He is now in a serious situation where he needs to get his family here before their visas expire later this summer. The cost of airfare and miscellaneous travel expenses is simply too great for him to bear on his own. That is where Bridges To America comes in.

In the true spirit of the American Dream, Dickson has told me that he can't go back to Nigeria because he has to move forward. Coming to America is about moving forward because that is what we do here. However, he recognizes that he can't move fully forward without his family. Thus his American Dream is only 25% fulfilled. Once he is joined by his wife and two sons it will be 100% complete and they can start to lead a productive life as a part of the American fabric contributing fresh enthusiasm and respect for the tremendous opportunities that many of us enjoy but too often take for granted.

Those of you who know me will recall that several years ago my family and I had the unique privilege of assisting a political refugee from Africa become reunited with his six children and beautiful wife in California. After two years of heart-wrenching separation it is hard to find the words to describe the joy of watching this good man embrace his children that he thought he might never see again.

Fast forward to today and this amazing family, the Fayani Family, is living a productive, independent, and healthy life in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a testament to the goodness of the father of this family, Joachim, and his sincere desire to share his happiness with others, it was he who made me aware of Dickson's story. After first speaking to Dickson I knew right away that he is a good man who merely wants to be reunited with his family and I also knew that I could not simply stand by and wish him good luck.

Accordingly, we have formed a non-profit called Bridges To America Inc. to help Dickson's family immediately and put the infrastructure in place to be ready to help others in the same situation in the near future.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 which will allow us to bring these family members here to the US and get them ready for their new life in the USA. All donations collected will be used to pay for travel expenses directly for the benefit of Dickson's family and any overage will be used for the next deserving family.

Would you please give what you can to help us reunite this family and help them fulfill their American Dream? Please click on the link in the upper right corner of this page and give what you can. Every little bit helps.

Bridges To America Inc. has applied for 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service which will make your donation tax deductible.