Archive for March, 2008|Monthly archive page

Long Time, No Post…

In Africa on March 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Sorry that it has been so long since my last post.  I have been working on the next draft of my letter to Bank of America, but, more importantly, I’ve been on my spring break.  I’ve barely been interneting, and I haven’t thought up a new post to write.  But I have been mulling over an idea for an article about tribalism in Kenya compared to racism in the US.

I was snooping (?) around a Kenyan discussion board and was surprised to see the outright bigotry between the Kenyans.  Some were blatantly threatening each other and their leaders.

I thought that might be an interesting article to research.  Maybe I’ll get on that.

Letter to Bank of America Corporation

In Philanthropy on March 3, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I am going to try something new. I am drafting a letter the Bank of America officials – such as Kenneth D. Lewis (the Chairman, CEO and President) – and would love some helping ironing out clarity issues and any errors via Teach a Man to Fish rather than by individual emails. If you’d like to offer some changes, you can leave them in the comments or send me an email.

Thanks for the help!

Sunday, March 2, 2008
Kenneth D. Lewis
Chairman, CEO, and President
Bank of America Corporation
100 N. Tryon St., Bank of America Corporate Center
Charlotte, NC 28255

“We believe, very simply, that it is the actions of individuals working together that build strong communities … and that business has an obligation to support those actions in the communities it serves.”
– Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman and CEO

Mr. Lewis,

My name is Jaryd Madlena, I am a student at Whitworth University, and I am writing to you to propose a new customer service based entirely on your company’s wonderful philosophy. We all know that change can be a long and difficult process, and sometimes it can be as simple as enabling others to do work together. This is why I would like to propose a new customer service called Change for Change. It is based on your innovative Keep the Change program, and requires little alteration to achieve a greater end. Let me explain how this program will work:

1. Bank of America customer buys something.
2. The charge to their checking account is rounded up to to the nearest dollar.
3. The percentage of the difference – chosen upon enrollment in the Change for Change program – is donated to a philanthropic organization of their choice, and the rest is put in their savings account.

For example: A customer buys a cup of coffee for $3.25. The charge to their checking is rounded up to $4.00. 25% of that $.75 (the percent they chose when enrolling) is donated to World Vision, Inc. (the organization chosen). So, $.19 is donated to World Vision, Inc and $.81 is moved into their savings account.

Change for Change is a pertinent example of Bank of America’s philosophy of giving. It would perfectly demonstrate Bank of America’s ideology that it is up to individuals to build a strong community, and it is your job to support them in that endeavor. I think Change for Change would be the most ideal way in which you could bring about real change in local and global communities.

Sincerely yours,

Jaryd Madlena

Peace Corps

In Development, Post-Whitworth, Readings on March 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I have been reading Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps Moment of Truth for about a week hoping that it would give me some more insight into something that could play a major role in my life as I finish school in a little more than three years. It certainly has, but not in the way I had expected.

The book was published in 1978, authored by two individuals that have 20 years of cumulative experience in the Peace Corps, C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther. It has some very interesting views on the inner workings of the Peace Corps, and also the internal struggles, partisan politics, and even seemingly selfish acts within an organization created to bring people together in a Brotherhood of Man. Every rose has its thorns, I suppose.

Instead of making me more interested in volunteering with the Peace Corps, the book has had the opposite effect: leaving me less than excited about possibly signing away two years of my life to an organization that seems to make a lot of mistakes; at least according to Keeping Kennedy’s Promise, it does. I haven’t yet finished reading it, but I am very close and thought I would put down some thoughts I felt I wanted to share.