Interview: Avi Kaplan, Epic Change for TweetsGiving

Amy Sample Ward
See all of Amy Sample Ward's blog posts

epic change tweetsgiving logoI recently had the opportunity to connect with Avi Kaplan, the Community and Events Director at Epic Change, to discuss the upcoming TweetsGiving campaign and events.  Avi is just back from Tanzania where he and other Epic Change team members were working with the students in the classroom built with last year's TweetsGiving proceeds.

Find out more in the interview below!

epic change tweetsgiving logoI recently had the opportunity to connect with Avi Kaplan, the Community and Events Director at Epic Change, to discuss the upcoming TweetsGiving campaign and events.   Avi is just back from Tanzania where he and other Epic Change team members were working with the students in the classroom built with last year's TweetsGiving proceeds.

Find out more in the interview below!

What is Epic Change?

Epic Change is a US nonprofit dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs harness the power of their stories to create change in their communities. We are a very heartful organization and a lot of what we do is thanks to an incredible group of volunteers.

What is TweetsGiving?

TweetsGiving is a global celebration of gratitude and giving on November 24-26. Participants will share what they are grateful for through Twitter and other online media and attend gratitude parties around the world. People donate to a shared cause in honor of that for which they are most grateful. Where do the funds go? Funds raised will go to support the work of Mama Lucy Kampton (@MamaLucy), a ChangeMaker who has transformed her community in Arusha, Tanzania through her school Shepherd's Junior.

What was last year's celebration like and how do you think it'll be different this year?

TweetsGiving last year was overwhelming because we put the program together so quickly and really didn't know what kind of response we would get. Once the tweets of gratitude started to flow in we new we had identified a very powerful emotional chord with people. The tone of the messages and the level of participation we saw were hopeful and inspiring. The addition of gratitude parties this year is significant. A different kind of reflection is accomplished face-to-face than you can achieve behind a computer screen. I expect the parties to be lively gatherings and for people to form new relationships and to come with open hearts ready to share.

How can people get involved?

You can find an event to attend on our website TweetsGiving.org, volunteer to host a gratitude party (it's not too late!), and join the Epic Change Community online to receive continued updates on the project.

What are you up to right now in Africa?

We just spent three weeks at Shepherd's Junior near Arusha, Tanzania setting up a technology lab and wireless internet at the school. Together with our fabulous volunteers Melissa & AJ Leon of theLacProject, we taught the students and teachers about computers and social media. The students of Class Five at the school are now on Twitter and Tumblr and you can follow them all by clicking their pictures in this blog post. The internet has opened up the world for these students and their teachers are increasingly using the web in their curriculum.

For more details from our recent work here, including video, photos and more in-depth coverage of all about the work we've been up to in Tanzania on the "I <3 Epic Change" Blog created by theLacProject and in a recent article in the Huffington Post.

I hope you'll join us for TweetsGiving and I'm really excited for what's next at Epic Change.

About Avi

After over a year working as a volunteer, Avi is excited to join Epic Change as the Community and Events Director. He is a South Florida native and currently lives in Washington DC. He's interested in using technology to organize for social change and is a recent Harvard graduate. You can find him on twitter (@MeshugAvi)or by email (Avi@EpicChange.org).