Philanthropy Girl: “Now That’s a Pencil!”

An Early Start on Entrepreneurship

At age 10 I set up a store called  “Pam’s Place” in my room.  I had this Dutch half door in my room.  I put up a colorful sign for my new business, unlocked the top portion of the door, and swung it open.  I was open for business!

Pam’s Place ‘featured’ pencils, bookmarks and magnets.  I would decorate them and then try to sell them to my family. One day I tried to sell my Dad a pencil.  He said to me, “Now why would I buy this pencil? You need to show me how this is special. Because I can go to Walgreen’s and buy a similar pencil.”

I scurried back to my room. I decorated it with glitter, sparkles, and felt. I came back with my ‘special’ pencil. I was breathing hard for my little body, and anticipating what my father might say….

He took the pencil in his hands and turned it carefully, looking at it, with all the goopy colorful stars smeared on it.  His eyes and face lit up: “Now that’s a pencil!”  he said. And he bought it for 10 cents.  It was my first sale.  🙂  With his support and encouragement, I kept delving into more and different entrepreneurial ventures.

My Dad taught me about value. And so much more: The value not only of a product, but also values in general.  How you treat people, how you work with them, how you care for them during challenges.  To this day when I face a challenge he says, ” I don’t want you to stress about this. Let me walk with you. Let me be by your side.  Let me be your partner. We will solve this.”   His investment of intellect, love, care are endless and make me the social entrepreneur I am today.

It started with a pencil.  Make it sparkle.

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About Pamela Hawley

Pamela is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™ (www.UniversalGiving.org). UniversalGiving™ (UG) is an award winning marketplace which allows people to give and volunteer with the top-performing projects all over the world. UniversalGiving™ offers a variety of ways for donors to become involved through individual Projects or Gift Packages. Visitors simply choose a region (such as Africa) and an issue (such as education or the environment) and receive a list of quality ways to give and volunteer. When giving, 100% of your donation goes directly to the project. UniversalGiving™ performs due diligence on all its projects through its unique, trademarked Quality Model™. To date, almost $1.5 million and 8,000 volunteers have been matched through www.UniversalGiving.org. UniversalGiving™ has most recently been featured in the Christian Science Monitor, Self Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, L.A. Times, and CNNMoney. In addition, UniversalGiving™ was the 2006 Webby Award honoree and won W3's 2007 Silver Award for Creative Excellence on the Web. UniversalGiving™ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose vision is to "create a world where giving and volunteering are a natural part of everyday life."™ Before UniversalGiving™, Pamela co-founded VolunteerMatch, which has matched more than 4 million volunteers with nonprofits. During her time with there, Pamela also launched VolunteerMatch Corporate, a customized version for employee volunteer programs. More than 20 Fortune 500 companies became clients, providing 43% of Volunteer Match’s sustainability. Pamela's global experience includes work and volunteering abroad in microfinance in remote villages of India; crisis relief work in the 2000 El Salvador earthquake; sustainable farming in Guatemala; digital divide training in Cambodia; and indigenous community preservation in Ecuador. Pamela has a political science degree cum laudé at Duke University and a Masters on scholarship at the Annenberg School of Communications, USC, in International Communications.

2 thoughts on “Philanthropy Girl: “Now That’s a Pencil!”

  1. Pingback: Exploring Entrepreneurship Early « Living and Giving

  2. Pingback: Exploring Entrepreneurship Early | BusinessBlogs Hub

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