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"We help hopeful people in need share their stories
to acquire resources that will improve their lives."
Epic Change believes that people's stories are invaluable assets that can be used as resources to improve their lives. We help them tell their stories in innovative, creative and profitable ways in order to help them obtain the financial resources they need to create change in their communities.
Epic Change is an experiment in social entrepreneurship that was founded by Stacey Monk & Sanjay Patel in 2007 after they returned from a volunteer experience in Arusha, Tanzania. Inspired by a their trip to Africa, they returned determined to give something back to the people who so generously shared their culture and stories with her throughout their journey. As they wrote in their blog while they traveled, Stacey and Sanjay realized the power and value of the local stories they were sharing with her own family and friends, and wondered whether they might be a potential means to raise funds to support the impoverished communities she visited and others like them across the globe.
Upon their return, Stacey and Sanjay decided to explore her idea further and founded Epic Change, a non-profit organization whose mission is to "help hopeful people in need share their stories to acquire resources that will improve their lives." Epic Change has adopted unique funding approach, which involves making loans to global organizations that seek to improve their communities. To pay back the loans, Epic Change plans to work with the groups it funds to manufacture artwork and merchandise that creatively tell their stories (e.g., books, postcards, CDs, artwork, etc.). The proceeds from sales of these goods will then be used to pay back the original loan provided by Epic Change, who plans to recycle the repaid loans to fund similar initiatives in other communities all over the world. The group's name is, in fact, based on this aspect of their approach: they intend to tell the "epic" true stories of the individuals and communities they serve in order to raise funds to create positive "change".
As of Feburary 2008, Epic Change has raised nearly $40,000 since the IRS approved their 501c3 status September 2007, primarily through small donations from individuals that have been enabled through the organization's aggressive adoption of many technologies that enable social change. In December 2007, Epic Change made its first loan of $30,000 toward its initial project, the rebuilding of a small school in Tanzania at which Stacey volunteered during her initial trip to Africa. Using the loan, under the direction of the school's founder and headmistress, the school has already purchased an acre of land, has nearly completed construction of 4 classrooms and plans to move over 100 children there by March 2008.
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