Raising $1,000,000 for Pencils of Promise with Justin Bieber

Late last week, Justin Bieber helped to kick off the first Gala for a great organization called, Pencils of Promise. This organization was started by Adam Braun, a man that turned $25 into 30 schools and endless education all over the world. It is a really sweet story, beginning with Adam’s trip to India. He was approached by a young boy begging on the streets and Adam asked him, “What do you want most in the world?” The boy responded, “A pencil.” Adam proceeded to search in his backpack and as he handed the boy a pencil Adam “watched as a wave of possibility washed over him.” This is how Pencils of Promise was started, with a good heart and a $25 bank account.  To read more or to donate to Pencils of Promise go to their website.

Back to the Biebs; Thursday night (Nov. 17th, 2011) in Manhattan, New York, Justin Bieber made a big appearance at the Pencils of Promise Gala. He wore a velvet Dolce & Gabbana suit jacket with his signature, low-riding skinny jeans. Justin made quite the impression during the Gala’s auction. Justin, already part of the auction prize (a private basketball session with the likes of Shaq, Usher and the Biebs) chose to jump on stage, grab the mic, and M.C. – if you will – his own auction. Previous to the Biebs random auctioneer gig, the real auctioneer was holding bids at $20,000, and the final bids made POP enough money to build four schools at $100,000 – maybe Justin could re- think a future career. With money being donated at hundreds by the minute, supporter and philanthropist Robert Hollander agreed to “match dollar for dollar the rest of the donations for the evening — up to $500,000,” according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). Not to forget the night’s honoree, Justin also “raised nearly $300,000 by donating $1 from each ticket during the second half of his 2010 concert tour”, reported WWD.

Justin has been in support of the charity for quite some time as his manager Scott Braun is brother of POP founder, Adam Braun. Scott Braun was recognized at the gala as well for his charity work with Justin Bieber and the empire they are creating. The first was Justin’s fragrance for women, and others include the money raised from his ticket sales. Scott, sometimes better known as “Scooter” received an “enlarged, flat pencil” as his award.

Needless to say, I am pretty inspired by this foundation and the story behind it. This holiday season, if you are short on holiday gift ideas why not support a good cause. Haven’t you ever heard of planting a tree for someone as a gift? Well, if your special someone seems to have everything, take that gift money and put it towards a good cause. Pencils of Promise also sells bracelets, T-shirts, and other items to help raise funds for education. Items start at $5 and most are right around $20 or $25 (just enough for one full year of education for one child). Holidays are for giving, right? So not to sound cliché but, give the gift that keeps on giving!

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