Sundays In My City: Miami Children's Museum
Wordless Wednesday: YMCA Kids' Day

5 Trades Away: Please Help! #5TradesAway

My friend, and the CEO of BSM Media, Maria Bailey needs our help.


Here, I'll let her tell it:

"The back story:  It began as a homework assignment. Yes, my homework and not one of my children's. If you don't follow me on Facebook or haven't peeked in on my life lately, I went back to school last summer.  I'm currently working toward my Executive MBA at the University of Notre Dame.  You are never too old to realize your dreams in my book.   

"It started as an assignment but has grown into saving the lives of expectant mothers in Africa. 

"Let's start with the assignment.

"I was assigned to practice my negotiation skills by trading with a simple, yet authentic pair of Chinese chopsticks.  The chopsticks were purchased in China by my professor. Although they look like something I've seen on Canal Street, I have to believe he actually bought them in China because he's a priest.  My mama taught me to trust men of the Catholic cloth.  The exercise basically mimics One Red Paperclip, where Kyle MacDonald traded up his red paper clip until he traded for a house.

"Here's a great video on his journey. It's quite inspiring if you haven't seen it.

 "Well I don't need a house like Kyle. In fact, there's not much I need other than an A in this class. (Just joking about that one - sort of.)

"So I'm going to focus my homework assignment to trade up to something I can use to support my recent passion - saving the lives of expectant moms and their unborn babies in Africa.

"Each day, 800 moms die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these women live in villages in Uganda and die because they can't get to a clinic. Imagine. 

"Pulse, a company building village transports that universally hook to the back of any bike or motor scooter, is working with health care organizations to supply Village Ambulances to remote communities. I will be going to Uganda in June to work with Pulse on maximizing their efforts. I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity but most of all, passionate about this cause.

"Giving birth is a blessing, it shouldn't be a death sentence. We deliver our babies in clean birthing suites and these mothers can't even get to a clinic.

"Back to the chopsticks.

"My plan is to trade my chopsticks up in order to get the highest value item I can obtain and then sell that item to purchase as many Village Ambulances I can for the mothers in Uganda. It's a big goal for a small pair of chopsticks. That's where you come in.


Follow me on Facebook.

 "There I will conduct my trades. Follow along and if you have something of value that you are willing to trade let me know.  Think about it.  Do you have a signed football lying around the house?  Frequent flyer points you aren't going to ever use except for magazine subscriptions you don't need?  Access to a famous person who would donate an hour to spend with someone who might pay for that experience?  Anything? You may not value it but someone in my network might. 

 "I need your help.  I can do a lot of crazy things on my own but not this time.

"Here's the rules I have:

  • I can only trade 5 times
  • I can't trade with any employees or immediate family members
  • I have to do my final trade by May 5th

"I've dedicated my career to moms, however now I have a chance to help save the lives of future mothers. I would really appreciate your help on this one.

"I'm only 5 Trades Away.

"That's where it started but my friends overwhelmed me!

"So many of my friends have come forward with so items to trade and generosity that I couldn't possibly leave on the table. Each item means a little more help to provide a Village Ambulance to a village in Uganda. My team has created a way for you to participate in any way you want. I hope you will join me."


{This is Melanie again, now.}

 I have decided to participate in 5 Trades Away because, as a mother, I have experienced my own childbirth traumas and lost one of my precious twin boys, in 2003. Aside from that, I've had three emergency slice-and-dice c-sections, and they were traumatic in their own right. But I haven't lost my life to childbirth, and I can't imagine what my family would have had to endure if I had. It's not fair. It's not right.

I will have a pair of Maria Bailey's chopsticks, and I have traded with her for my next item to trade with someone else:


{Don't ask me why the "Mood Light," but whatever.}

This Digipower 32-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Writer is new, sealed in factory packaging. I'm looking to trade up for something, anything of greater value you may have to give to the women in Uganda who need your help.

Please share this post on your social networks, "like" it, comment (here, too) and help me get to my next trade!

I only have until May 1st at midnight, so I don't need to actually have the item in my hands; I just need a photo of what I will be traded.

Think about what you may have to give to the cause, to help me, Maria, and the women of Uganda. I'll post my next item, after this one is traded, and will keep this post at the top of my blog until the trading is over.

Follow along on the 5 Trades Away Facebook page to watch the progress of this wonderful cause.

Join in on Tuesday, May 5th at 8 PM EST for an online auction and Twitter party where they will sell my final trade item to benefit Village Ambulances. #5TradesAway

You can purchase one of the trades during the auction. All purchases will be paid via PayPal.

Thank you so much in advance for any support you can give.