Jolkona’s 2nd annual Corks & Forks dinner — also our 5-year celebration! — is coming up fast! Join us 6 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2013 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center for an evening of cooking and cocktail lessons, a delicious meal and auction excitement.

Corks & Forks 2013

We’ll be reviewing our progress in growing philanthropy through small donations locally and globally, and announcing some big plans for the next 5 years.

This is the perfect occasion to thank all our supporters so far, and make some new friends. It will be a night to remember, so please get your tickets quickly before we sell out!

Sponsors & Donors

We have a growing list of Corks & Forks sponsors and auction donations (Disneyland passes, anyone?) that we want to recognize over the next few weeks. Check back here regularly for more information.

Let’s kick things off with Outerwall, one of our main sponsors! Responses courtesy of Lily Osborne, Outerwall’s Community Relations Specialist.


What is your organization’s mission?

Outerwall’s mission is to create a better everyday. As the company behind Redbox® and Coinstar®, we’re pushing the walls of retail out of the way — building businesses that make life simpler and better for consumers and retailers.

How do you define “philanthropist?”

A philanthropist is any person who contributes their money, time or talent to benefit the community and contribute to a better future.

What does cooking together and sharing a meal mean to you?

Cooking and sharing a meal is tied to family and friends. It’s a time to slow down, reflect and appreciate abundance in our lives.

Why are you supporting Jolkona?

Jolkona’s use of technology brings donors and grantees closer together by reporting on impact. The organization is constantly innovating to come up with new creative ideas to entice more people to give.

Thank you, Outerwall!


Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this page

Jeans donned, tie loosely knotted, and shirt un-tucked, I followed the instincts of my sufficiently empty stomach and made a bee-line down the hill to the Blue Ribbon Cooking School on South Lake Union. My only hold up was a seemingly interminable red light whilst trying to cross the I-5. The rest of the evening was a go!

Food, glorious food!

Soon after a beer and a few too many appetizers later, I was rolling gnocchi and chopping sage with a group of friendly strangers – there’s nothing like the preparation of food to get people interacting! Who rolled the best gnocchi? Despite my three years in Italy, not me. I then powered straight onto Cocktail Mixology, where I learnt all about muddling and a French 75, named after the 19th Century French 75 mm field gun (Why? Think boom. Enough said).

I also connected with a couple fellow Brits. We dubbed ourselves Team GB. Many a “God Save The Queen!” later and I was onto the steak and salmon. Feeling the delicacies of the fish were a little too on the dexterous side for me, I passed to the meat. Steak in pan. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. Turn. Cook for 3 ½ minutes. That part went swimmingly. But when it came to the sauce, it was my pronunciation of tomato that drew heavy criticism. I made amends at the crepe station, however, where I teamed up with one of my fellow Team GB companions. We practically ran the show – our crepes looking as bright, round, and winsome as any gold medal.

To follow was the shrewdly observed silent auction with an incredible array of items. Then we were called to the table where we were treated to the buzz and clamor of our live auction and, of course, our much anticipated dinner. Everything- auction, dinner, and all – was as delectable as it was full of mirth.

One person’s determination to engender change

There were many memorable moments from the evening – the cooking classes, the food, the incredible auction items, Team GB – but, for me, one thing stood above all those: Adnan’s story about Jolkona. It was compassionate and compelling; an extraordinary reminder of how one person’s idea and determination could result in so much change – change for the good. It was truly inspiring to see how from the desire to help one Bengali man, who couldn’t afford to bury his own son, it could end up with where Jolkona is today: over 150 projects and over $500,000 donated. And more importantly, the numerous lives that have been impacted the world over.

The Jolkona team produced a special film for the event. Check it out:


The evening’s impact

Thanks to everyone who participated, donated, and put their time, energy and compassion into the Corks & Forks fundraiser, we were able to raise over….


Thank yous

First of all to everyone who donated so generously to the Kona fund.

We have to thank, of course, our brilliant sponsors: Coinstar inc., Ja Warren Hooker Fitness Performance Group, and Cornerstone Advisors. Little could have been achieved without them.

We also need to thank all those beneficent people who donated auction items: Adnan and Nadia Mahmud, Alexander Resource Group, Amazon, Andy Hytjan, Art Wolfe, Axtion Club, Barbara Grant Consulting Group, Barri Rind, Big Dipper Wax Works, Bob Colleran, Canlis, Carisa Marie, Chateau St. Michelle, Christos on Alki, Coach Aina, Coinstar Inc., Dave Henderson, David Jofre, Dennis Tom, Dreams Performing Arts, Edgar & Holli MartinezEnvy on Alki, Fairmont Hotel Group, FlyWheel Spin Cycle Studio, Gary Manuel Salon, Gene Juarez, Heide and Matthew Felton, IvarsKid Valley, JaWarren Hooker, Jen Duffy, Jenny Almukhtar, Jordan Belmonte, Justin and Jen Spelhaug, K2 Sports, Lauren Burman, Lisa Arlint, Long Provincial, Mary Hoy Shampoo, Material Good, Megan Fleming, Microsoft, Miir, Mission Latin Restaurant, Moshe Dunie, Mynt Expressions, Nancy Xu, Pacific Science Center, Parichey Gandhi, Pavan Potaraju, Pete Morse, Pete’s Market, Punit Java, Raghu Murti, Reconstruct Remodel, Quixotic Designs, Salon 08, Santina Rigano, Seattle Symphony, Tam Nguyen, Teatro Zinzanni, The Bridge, Trudy Muller, WaxDiva Lucy, Wing Luke Museum, Woodland Park Zoo.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this page

Jolkona’s 1st annual Corks & Forks auction and dinner event is coming up quick! Join us on October 4th from 6:30-9:30pm at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School for an evening of cooking, drink-making, and bidding to unite the community around a mission of giving. Hosted by auctioneer Jim Dever of Evening Magazine, the night is sure to be full of laughs and fun!

The assortment of hands-on classes will teach you how to craft everything from savory truffles to sophisticated cocktails to mouth-watering soups and salads. Come ready to wow family, friends, and co-workers at future dinner parties!

Excellent prizes and getaways will be up for auction – not to mention the plethora of items available in the silent auction! Take a look at the complete auction item list for the big night.

Grab yourself a ticket while they are still available right here!


A huge thank you goes out to the major sponsors of Corks & Forks, Coinstar, Inc. and Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance. We went ahead and asked them a couple of questions about partnering with Jolkona and the importance of food to them.

Coinstar, Inc.

A local company, Coinstar, Inc got its start in Bellevue, WA in 1991. Jolkona is so excited to have Coinstar onboard for the upcoming auction and fundraising event. By backing our mission, their resources and reputation help illuminate the projects we are dedicated to.

Thank you Coinstar for your sponsorship and support!

Why are you a sponsor for Jolkona?
Coinstar, Inc. is proud to sponsor Jolkona for its innovative approach to giving. Jolkona’s use of technology brings donors and grantees closer together by reporting on impact. It’s an excellent method to entice more people to give!

What has food meant to you?
Like Jolkona, we feel lucky our company is headquartered in Seattle, surrounded by a robust local food movement. Our region’s focus on food feels special and serves as another way to bring our community together, whether that’s at the community garden, co-op grocery or family dinner table.

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance is made up of a team of fitness professionals who provide mobile services for exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation needs. Jolkona is thrilled to have Jaa’ Warren’s involvement and support. It means a lot to have meaningful, local sponsors for a special event like Corks & Forks.

Once more, thank you to Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance!

What has food meant to you?

Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, gathering with friends and family to tell stories and create a positive community. Besides the food always being spectacular, food brings people together.

Local Projects

Jolkona works intimately with a number of local organizations dedicated to furthering education, employment, and personal well-being. We would like to spotlight a few of these to give you a better idea about the kinds of non-profits we support in our own backyard.

Washington CASH aims to educate and motivate low-income individuals with entrepreneurial ambitions. Their means of empowerment include personalized business training, professional workshops, business development training courses, and even microloans to help legitimately finance start up businesses. CASH strives to give people the skill sets and confidence necessary to achieve success in today’s tumultuous economy.

The Pacific Science Center is a leading light for education and culture in Seattle. It has been a pillar of the community for fifty years as the nation’s first science and technology-based museum. Jolkona partners with the Pacific Science Center to give children the opportunity to attend science camp by sponsoring campers. Camps for Curious Minds are made up of countless programs for every age and inclination. These experiences prove to be exciting, edifying, and life-changing for our youth.

Jubilee Women’s Center provides housing, staffing resources, and life improvement services for homeless women in the community. They are determined in their undertaking to restore dignity and self-sufficiency to the lives of women who have endured an array of struggles. Jolkona facilitates shopping excursions for women to boost self-confidence, as well as thorough one-on-one professional care. Jubilee’s focus on comprehensive services from employment to education to mental health makes it a meaningful hub in our community.


100% of the proceeds from Corks & Forks go to the Kona Fund for Jolkona, which sustains our goals in several ways. The contributions help maintain our operations, which allow us to take young philanthropists under our wing, while also ensuring 100% of the donations we receive are given to their rightful cause and actualized. It is because of your generous support that Jolkona is able to devote its time and energy to those in need.

Please, come join us for this exceptional opportunity to show your support for one another in the community and Jolkona!

General Tickets are currently $120, while tickets for our NextGen young philanthropists are at the special price of $100. VIP Tickets (which include awesome bonuses like champagne and wine, appetizers, and your own apron) are $175 a piece.

Buy tickets now for you and your party before ticket prices increase on Oct. 3rd at 5pm!

See you at Corks & Forks on Oct. 4th to celebrate the generous world of giving!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we are doing and the impact you are making.

As Jolkona focuses on growing our community of philanthropists and social entrepreneurs, we are thrilled welcome a new member to our leadership team: Aparna Rae, our first Development Manager.

What is your role here at Jolkona?

I’m joining the team as Development Manager. Basically, my job is to bring in funds to support Jolkona operations, through grants, major donor cultivation and events.

What was your previous work experience?

I went to college with the dream of working for National Geographic — majoring in forensic anthropology and graphic design — but somewhere between my second and third year, took a turn and headed into education. Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked in K-12, after-school and community-based programs, and even taught seminars at a university.

Despite the many changes to my original “plan,” my motivation today is the same as when I started college: helping the world’s bottom billion (or two). In my previous roles locally, I focused deeply on structural issues that keep immigrant and refugee youth from succeeding in school, and designing programs to address them.

Which other nonprofits have you previously worked with, in the Seattle area or elsewhere?

Locally, I’ve worked with Neighborhood House, The Power of Hope, FEEST as a consultant, and currently PYE Global’s Young Women Empowered as a consultant.

In addition, I helped launch Project Feast and its pilot programs for immigrant and refugee cooks in May and June 2013. I currently sit on the board of The Service Board, as the Vice President/Chair.

How did you first find out about Jolkona ?

I heard about Jolkona from Siddhartha Saha, who was shooting some photos for a project a few years ago. Followed from the periphery, and then helped with elements of Corks & Forks (Jolkona’s fundraising dinner) last year.

What do you find most interesting and/or challenging about Jolkona?

What’s both interesting and challenging about Jolkona is that we need to capture funds to meet goals on our Give partner programs (through Give Direct, Give Together, Lift Bangla), as well as for our own operations. This model creates a kind of Catch-22, since Jolkona doesn’t oversee the Give projects, so those donations don’t pay for our own staff, office or website. So, I do think that a lot of my work early on will be in helping define program areas and increase fundability.

My areas of expertise are primarily in program design and evaluation, which translates really well to the needs of fund development at Jolkona. And at the same time, I want to get people excited about the promise of Jolkona and our innovative next-gen philanthropy lab model, so that they want to join us by making meaningful contributions to operations.

What are you most excited to do as part of the Jolkona team?

I love meeting new people, and in my role I’ll get to do just that.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I lived in four different countries before moving to the U.S. at 14: India (Jaipur, Delhi, Gurgaon); Kathmandu, Nepal; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai, UAE.

If you would like to hear more about her in person, Aparna will part of the Crowdfunding & Beyond panel discussion for nonprofits at tomorrow’s NDOA conference in Bellevue, WA.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Seattle may be best known for its contributions to the music, tech, fishing and coffee industries, but did you know it’s also a major hub for global philanthropy? The region is home to more than 300 organizations — including Jolkona and about a third of our nonprofit partners, plus powerhouses like the Gates Foundation and World Vision  — working to improve lives in the world’s 144 developing countries. I think we need a brand, like Silicon Valley. How about Compassion Corner?

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 2.09.52 PMAimed at raising awareness of our amazing global development sector, Jolkona partner Seattle International Foundation and the Office of the Mayor launched the Seattle Ambassador program earlier this year, inviting citizens to apply to be the city’s representative on tours of poverty-alleviation projects abroad. The inaugural ambassador is Jozlyn Pelk, 21, a University of Washington – Bothell senior who is currently making her first trip outside the United States, visiting Guatemala and Nicaragua. She’ll be back next week, making her first public remarks about her trip at Jolkona’s Corks & Forks celebration on Oct. 10, then a featured appearance at the Seattle Ambassador Fall Bash on Oct. 17.

Jozlyn is blogging and tweeting (hashtag #206global) while in Central America. Here’s some observations from her blog posts so far:

Oct. 1, 2013:

I spent hours with the group of 20 scholarship students; who knew drawing and balloon exercises could teach us so much about community.  It struck me to hear the children speak about their desire to help out at home, what their communities’ need, and their dreams to become teachers, firefighters, and singers. The children are so young yet they know what community is and how to contribute. This was striking to me.

I see where their passion comes from. At the end of our visit at Casa Blanca, we met with the school’s committee of mothers of these students. I have never encountered such genuine and endearing people, who expressed their deepest gratitude for their opportunities provided for their children by showering us with beautiful gifts consisting of hand woven cloths, headbands, and typical Guatemalan atole and tamales. Their gifts and long goodbyes will be something I will always cherish for the rest of my life.

Oct. 2, 2013: Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 2.23.46 PM

I was inspired by the CECAP’s emphasis on creating economic opportunities for women. Rosalía shared that nearly all of the women I met with in these workshops have become small business owners and are able to generate an income because of their new vocational skills. 90 percent of vocational workers in Santa Cruz have graduated from the help of the Amigos scholarship program.

I had life-changing experience of meeting with a woman who has set an example for others in the community because of her involvement at CECAP. We were welcomed into the humble home of Espiritu Santos Alvarez, a 30-year old woman who has completed two beading workshops at the vocational training center. Espiritu laid out her jewelry portfolio on a table under the shade of the tin roof of her house, which consisted of aqua-colored doorways and windows, an outdoor stove, and a weaving table. Espiritu shared her story of becoming an artisan, and how her time at CECAP has allowed her to earn an income to support her family.

Oct. 3, 2013:

Before Escuela Milagros (“The Miracle School”) was built in 2011, children had to walk down this steep rocky hillside to Tzununá to get to school. When the river is high, they are unable to leave Tzanjumel. I thought to myself, “How in the world are children supposed to get to school in these conditions?” It was already a struggle trying to drive up the uneven rocky surface with four-wheel drive. Imagining children trying to hike up and down this hill everyday — or not being able to make it to school at all — consumed me with frustration.

This is the stuff that creates new philanthropists. We can’t wait to hear more from Jozlyn at our Corks & Forks dinner next week!

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We’re celebrating Jolkona’s first 5 years at our Corks & Forks dinner/auction next Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 — and we’re especially thrilled that a table of representatives from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, our original corporate sponsor, will be there to share the excitement!

The communications agency first partnered with us in 2010 for a matching grant campaign called MatchED, which doubled up to $5,000 of donations to educational projects showcased on our website. We’ve partnered together several times since then, and several WE employees are among our most dedicated volunteers.

Waggener EdstromA little trip down memory lane:

As we prepare to celebrate Jolkona’s 5th birthday together and look ahead to another 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, the WE team in Seattle shared these thoughts with us this week:

What is your organization’s mission?

Through communications, we aim to be the voice of innovation and the catalyst of its impact.  Our vision is to be the pre-eminent leader in giving a powerful voice to innovations that influence markets, inspire people and improve lives.

How do you define “philanthropist?”

Simply put, philanthropy is giving back. Or more specifically, being generous by the way of your time, money or influence to help good causes.

At Waggener Edstrom we have closely examined how philanthropy has evolved over the years. In the past, the majority of so-called “philanthropists” were typically older, far along in their careers and would support by writing large checks to well-established foundations and charities. But we are seeing that model shifting drastically. Today’s philanthropists also include young professionals and digital-natives who are passionate about a myriad number of social causes from clean water to universal education to girl’s empowerment. They tend to give smaller amounts and expect organizations to show directly where their money is going. And money is not the only way young people give – the new generation of philanthropists also tend to donate their time, skills and even their influence on social media properties (read more about what WE considers “Social Citizens” here). Similarly, WE have evolved our approach from giving money to focusing on strategically using our time, treasures and talents to work together to drive impactful change in the communities where we live and work.

What does cooking together and sharing a meal mean to you?

The act of cooking and sharing a meal together is so human and universal. We are excited to participate in Corks & Forks to share this bonding experience with our colleagues and others passionate about making a difference in the world.

Why are you supporting Jolkona?

WE are passionate about supporting the new generation of philanthropists and appreciate the dynamic digital platform that Jolkona has built to create big impact through small donations. WE believes in the power of partnerships between the public and private sector and the budding social entrepreneurship sector. The company is also committed to supporting causes that our employees care about and engaged with. Three of our colleagues even sit on Jolkona’s leadership team: Seema Bhende, Director of Strategy; Melinda Moseler, Marketing Advisor for Brand; and Megan Fleming, Social Media Advisor. Through the MatchED and Good Deeds campaigns, numerous donations and volunteer hours, Waggener Edstrom has been supporting Jolkona for over 4 years and will continue to support as long as our employees are engaged in this kind of work.

Anything else you’d like to add?

WE love learning about new causes and projects through Jolkona’s monthly GiveTogether program. Keep inspiring and empowering people to give!

Thank you, Waggener Edstrom!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

It’s Jolkona’s 5th anniversary this fall: 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, by connecting small donors with meaningful giving opportunities that make a big difference locally and globally.

1st Fundraiser

We’re celebrating with our Corks & Forks dinner/auction on Oct. 10, 2013 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center. Will you join us?

The evening will include gourmet cooking and cocktail lessons, fine dining and wine. We can’t wait to thank all our supporters so far, and make some new friends!

We’ve come a long way since Jolkona’s early years, when co-founders Adnan and Nadia Mahmud held small kitchen parties to help raise money for our partners and operations! Check out this archive photo and blog post for a little #ThrowbackThursday trip down memory lane:

Our 1st Ever Fundraiser!

We had a turn out of about 20 people and we were able to raise little over $1000 during the event!!! We are very encouraged by the turn out of mostly college students and young professionals and by the fact that we were able to raise $1000 from such a small crowd.

Bidding Our Time

The money raised at Corks & Forks helps cover Jolkona’s basic operations (rent, equipment, staff). In October 2012, the first time we held this dinner/auction, we raised $32,000 — and we’ve already sold more tickets for this year’s event!

Much of the ticket price goes to the event costs, so we are especially grateful to our generous sponsors: Inome, Outerwall, the Seattle International Foundation and others. Also, our auction donations look absolutely amazing — get your paddle arms ready!

A sneak preview:


  • Four Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper Tickets, valued at $548.

Passes are valid during normal operating hours and provide admission to a magical experience at both DisneylandPark and Disney California Adventure Park for one day. A magical experience for all ages!




  • Elephant Bath at the Woodland Park Zoo, valued at $1,000.

You and five guests get to step behind the scenes at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Elephant Barn and watch up close as one of the magnificent elephants receives her daily bath and check-up! 



  • Seattle Pop Art, valued at $130.

Stretched canvas print by Parinita Salian. This would make a stylish addition to your home or office, or a great holiday gift!

  • And many more!

Hope to see you there: Get your Corks & Forks tickets quickly, before we sell out!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Where were we 5 years ago? Where will we be 5 years from now?

adnan nadia old

Is it fun to imagine, or scary, or both?

Even more scary fun:

Try writing a letter to yourself with your thoughts about where you may be in the future, then save it to open on that date… not that this activity ultimately traumatized my high school classmates at our 10-year reunion or anything 🙂

Way back in 2008, Jolkona co-founders Adnan and Nadia Mahmud were taking baby steps in their mission to inspire and empower the next generation of philanthropists, by connecting busy young professionals to small giving opportunities that make a big difference locally and globally.

(Now they’re taking baby steps as new parents!)

To continue the spirit of #ThrowbackThursday…

Check out these blog posts from Jolkona’s early years:

photo 2

We’ve come a long way, baby! And 5 years is the “wood” and “silverware” anniversary, apparently. So help us celebrate Jolkona’s milestone with our Corks & Forks dinner/auction on Oct. 10 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center. In addition to serving as our main fundraiser for operations, this occasion is our chance to thank all our supporters so far, and tell old and new friends about Jolkona’s exciting plans for the next 5 years.

We hope to see you there! 

Visit the Corks & Forks page for ticket and sponsorship information, and our Facebook event page to join the conversation. If you have any questions, please email or tweet it to us @Jolkona #CorksnForks.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Updated 8/22/13 with Huffington Post link.

Adnan Mahmud, Jolkona’s co-founder, gave an inspiring talk at Seattle Tech Meetup’s Tech For Good night yesterday, citing the five lessons he’s learned from our organization’s first five years. Check it out:

More than 300 people packed into HUB Seattle for this event, with others watching the livestream from elsewhere. Other speakers represented Survive the Streets, PathForce, MovingWorlds, ActivelyLearn, and Vittana.

For more on Adnan’s advice to young philanthropists — including his adorable baby girl — check back here for here’s the link to his Huffington Post Impact column. You can also chat with Adnan and other Jolkonans at our next Seattle event: Paint Together, #GiveTogether on Sept. 6 at Material Good’s studio. RSVP here.

We’ll be posting more stories related to Jolkona’s upcoming 5-year anniversary over the next few weeks, culminating in our Corks & Forks dinner, auction and celebration on Oct. 10 at Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center. Save the date — ticket info coming soon!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.


Note from the Editor: today is Valentine’s Day, but it’s also Generosity Day. We wanted to honor the generosity of Megan Fleming and all the stalwart work and time she has given to Jolkona. Be inspired by her generosity.

Megan Fleming, Jolkona volunteer since 2010, is a part of the Social Media and Communications team. Previously with Banyan Branch and now working on the Social Innovation team at Waggener Edstrom (where a few other stellar Jolkona volunteers also work), Megan is taking the lead on Twitter engagement for Jolkona and we are so grateful for her contributions.

In addition to the hours she spends tweeting for Jolkona, she also has assisted in procuring and fundraising for Jolkona’s annual fundraiser Corks n’ Forks as well as participating in strategic planning sessions.

Megan’s passion for volunteerism started before she came to Jolkona. Traveling through South East Asia in 2009 and 2010, Megan explored Cambodia. As she traveled to the beaches of Sihanoukville she witnessed the ugliness of pedophilia, sex tourism and general lack of respect for young children living in poverty.

Wanting to help these children, who live on less than $1 a day, she dedicated her time and energy to CCPP Cambodian Children’s Painting Project. At CCPP children not only have a safe place to visit, but also can learn and play.

At CCPP, children complete 2 paintings a day and then the pieces are sold at a gallery for $4 each. $2 goes to the child and the other $2 goes back to the program. Additionally, there are English lessons, typing classes, arts and crafts as well as games. They also experience field trips and receive hot meals, dental care, health care and clothing if needed.

Megan worked with children ranging in age from 1.5- 18 years old and came home with stories of little ones that warmed her heart, made her laugh and always had a smile for her. After her travels, Megan started working in social media and joined Jolkona as a volunteer to continue working towards funding global development and spreading awareness about Jolkona and its partners.

“One of the things I love most about Megan is her passion and enthusiasm for global development and poverty alleviation and her commitment to use her professional skills and expertise to give back.  For the past couple of years, Megan has been an instrumental piece of our social media engagement with donors and supporters and has helped keep our community engaged and aware of what’s going on with Jolkona and how they can help.  She’s also is willing to help support other teams and spread the word about Jolkona as needed which is always great in a small organization.  We’ve loved having her involved and a part of the Jolkona team!”  -Nadia Mahmud 

“As the person in charge of this blog, having people spread the word about what we’re saying is essential. Megan has totally been that person. That makes Megan essential. But it’s more than just spreading the word; it’s about believing in the message and wholeheartedly getting behind it. Megan has done this, and this is indispensable. She’s been the perfect confluence of passion, enthusiasm, and professionalism. Thank you, Megan!” – Gabriel St. John 

Megan has been an instrumental part of our social media success and is in charge of much of our engagement with our amazing tweets. Because Jolkona doesn’t spend any money on marketing or advertising, we really rely on the power of social media to outreach and spread awareness of our work and the amazing partners we work with. We are so thankful for Megan’s continued contributions and energy. Thank you Megan for being a part of Jolkona over the past couple years!

You can follow Megan on Twitter @MegMarieF.

Be inspired; be generous. Make a difference today. 

Share the love with those in need this Generosity Day by making a donation through Jolkona.

Or send one of Jolkona’s Valentine’s Day gift cards to the ones you love.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and re-pin our pins on Pinterest.

In preparation for our annual Corks & Forks fundraising event, our team envisioned an amazing event with all fundraising elements- silent auction, live auction and program to highlight and illustrate all of the wonderful work Jolkona does. As the planning continued, we knew the elements of the evening’s program had to include a media piece about Jolkona. For the guests who were familiar with our organization and for the guests who were getting to know us, we needed a video to encompass all parts of Jolkona.

Enter Lucas Gregor, new Jolkona intern, fresh out of college and willing to take the lead on writing, shooting and editing Jolkona’s first impact video. For weeks, he dedicated his time to shooting in various locations from the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture park to Cal Anderson park on Capitol Hill to the Jolkona office downtown. With every part of the video from scouting locations, to bringing confidence and empathy to the video participants to editing, Lucas displayed passion and ease. The video encompasses testimonies from Jolkona partners, donors, volunteers and a board member to highlight what giving is all about. Here is Lucas’ brilliant work and final video:

In addition to giving over a hundred hours in creating the Jolkona impact video, Lucas is always available to help with other volunteer needs. In the month of October, Lucas volunteered at the Corks & Forks event, manipulating the media for the evening’s program. He also was a stellar bar tender at Jolkona’s Microsoft Giving Campaign’s international fashion show A Night of Fashion and Giving. Even with a last minute request, Lucas is always willing to help others and to be available to support Jolkona.

“Lucas is easy going, dedicated, and has an eye for creating great videos. He has been an amazing asset to the Jolkona team over the last six months. One of the first projects he worked on was our Volunteer Dancing video which was an editing project piecing together videos from around the world with our volunteers dancing while visiting our partners. The goal was to inspire more people to get involved with volunteering and he did an amazing job. Lucas’s internship is coming to an end and we’re sad to have him go but are truly grateful for all the creative storytelling he has helped Jolkona with in just a short period and we wish him all the luck in his future endeavors.” – Nadia Mahmud (Jolkona CEO)

“Lucas was a gem to work with from the start! The first time I met him, I showed him our dance clips – there were more than 20 clips, filmed to different songs, different tempos especially when we couldn’t hear the music, and often had shaky hands as our volunteer cameramen. I thought he would need at least 3 weeks to get this sorted out but he came back in a week with a rough cut that blew all of us away. The quality of his work continues with the video he made for corks and forks and I’m excited to see his artistic abilities continue to grow as Jolkona grows!” – Nancy Xu (Jolkona Volunteer)

Lucas has easily become part of Jolkona’s amazing volunteer team and we are so very thankful for his time and commitment!  Thanks so much Lucas!

Interested in being a Jolkona volunteer? Drop us a line at You can also keep up with us on  FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

I’m not ashamed to admit it, my love language is food. Food is affection. Food is happiness. Food is love. Cook me a bowl of warm soup on a wintery day and I might love you forever. Likewise, if you’re someone important to me, I’ve probably already cooked you dinner (or at least I’m planning to). You can probably imagine, then, my unabashed glee when Jolkona initially drafted up our Corks & Forks fundraiser event. And as each decadent, mouth-watering detail has been finalized, my pangs of anticipation have risen to a steady crescendo. Much grumblings of stomachs later, the event is here!

Great food, a better world

Hosted at the delectable Blue Ribbon Cooking School, this Thursday October 4th Jolkona will be throwing a soiree of cooking classes, dinner, wine, hearty slaps on the back, and much jollity – and all in aid of making this world a better place.

Guests will be greeted with a beautiful selection of appetizers and beverages. During this time of mirth and mingling, attendees will select 4 of 5 different classes to attend. The cooking stations for the evening are as followed: (1) gnocchi (2) steak & salmon (3) crepes  (4) wine tasting (5) cocktail mixology.

And then – we get to eat it! And just in case that doesn’t sound tempting enough for you and you haven’t seen it already, here’s the menu:

The menu


Vegetarian Samosas with Traditional Indian Chutneys

Tostones topped with White Fish, Pineapple Salsa and Cilantro Infused Sour Cream

Thai Grilled Chicken Skewers with Honey-Peanut Coconut Glaze


African Spiced Carrot, Orange and Parsnip Salad

Salmon en Courte with Creamy Spinach and Walla Walla Sweet Onion Sauce

Steak au Poivre with Brandied-Peppercorn Sauce

Homemade Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Medley of Pike Place Market Style Grilled Vegetables


Seasonal French Dessert Crepes

Blue Ribbon Coffee

Afterwards there will be a live fundraising auction. One of the stellar items up-for-grabs is a 5 night’s stay in the Fairmont Heritage Place in Whistler. There’s also a pair of K2 skis. Buy them both and that’s ¾ of your winter vacation covered!

The Kona Fund

The Kona fund has a special place in our hearts. Why? – because it’s really the cornerstone of our Foundation. Through it we offset all our operating costs, which then allows us to allocate 100% of your donation to your chosen project. All the evening’s proceeds will go to the Kona fund.

NextGen Tickets are $100 and General Tickets are $120.

VIP Tickets are $175.

Make (and eat) great food; make the world a better place. Come to Corks & Forks! Miss it, miss out.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we’re doing and the impact you are making.

On Thursday of last week, a group of passionate individuals got together in a trendy building on Lenora and 1st to celebrate Jolkona and make their impact. That’s right, Socializing for Social Change‘s (S4SC) event benefitting Jolkona was a great success! Here’s the story of how the night went, and in true Jolkona fashion, a report of the impact the event had.

Volunteers from Jolkona and S4SC assembled at Maker’s Space at 4:00 to get ready for the event. They prepared food, put out the raffle station, hooked up the sound system, and set up two projectors; one highlighting different Global Health facts and Jolkona projects, the other broadcasting any tweets featuring #S4SC live. At 6:00, guests started arriving.

They were greeted at the door, and given a nametag featuring their twitter handle and the project they donated to with their ticket. They then got food, drinks, and raffle tickets; a chance to win one out of four fabulous prizes. At 7:30, S4SC founder Antonio Smith officially welcomed everyone who attended, and introduced our very own Nadia Khawaja, who gave guests the rundown on Jolkona. At 8:30, the raffle tickets were drawn, and everyone received swag bags filled with great prizes. By 9:30, the event was over, and volunteers helped return the space to the neat order it was in before.

I felt that the evening was very successful; S4SC created a lively atmosphere and a great forum to talk about Jolkona and giving. This kind of event is a great way to attract the vibrant and young community that Jolkona loves. Seeing the twitter wall live, and hearing about the potential amount of publicity for Jolkona, showed me yet again that each and every one of us, each drop of water counts towards making a difference.

The Impact:

-The hashtag #S4SC potentially garnered 30,000 impressions the night of the event!

80 Event tickets were sold, meaning:

10 youth will be sponsored to attend the Kick It with Kenya soccer/leadership conference.

23 children will receive diarrhea treatment in Kolkata, India.

8 Women will receive training to be community health promoters in rural Peru.

56 Raffle tickets were bought; and Jolkona received a total of $1,100 for Global Health, finishing our Give Health matching campaign!

A huge thank you from all of us at Jolkona to Socializing for Social Change! Their work and partnership is what made this amazing and fun event possible.

See the total impact our Give Health Campaign had. If this event sounded fun, get ready for Corks N’ Forks on October 4th! Read more Jolkona on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.