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Archive for June, 2011

Help me give $50,000 to someone who found my $40

Update: The project below was a success! Terri went on to win the grant. She had a huge support network and also worked hard in public relations. My friends, readers, and I were just a small part of the hundreds or thousands of Terri’s supporters in her victory. We will never know how big of a difference each of our daily votes made! Thank you to everyone who participated!


Dear Readers,

Do you believe in karma? Do you believe that good things come back to you? Help me make a statement about that.

I need as much help as possible on a little project of mine, and I would really love to ask for a favor from all my hundreds of readers, including you.

First of all, helping is free and will take 5 seconds a day. I promise.

(Vote at You can vote every day until 6/17!!)

If you’d like to help but don’t have time to read my personal story, scroll down to the very bottom with “How to vote.” Otherwise, sit back and enjoy this ride that people have called “amazing,” “sweet”, and “touching”:


In April, when I visited Philadelphia, I lost some money for the first time in my life (actually the first time I lost anything!).

I’ve always considered myself to be one of the luckiest people I know. So as luck would have it, this was also the first time I ever packed two blank checks on a trip. I put an extra $40 and two checks in a beautiful and lucky Chinese red envelope and put that in my bookbag.

When my friends and I were buying Philly subway tokens, I was getting something out of my bookbag and must have dropped the red envelope. Throughout the day, I wasn’t aware I lost it, since it was meant for extra and emergency cash.

A few hours later, I received a Facebook message from a Terri Shockley, someone I didn’t know. She had picked up the envelope just because it looked pretty, found money inside, and found my name on the blank checks inside. Then she did her best to search for me online to return the envelope. (I thiiink I’m easily searchable, but I still thank her for all the time and effort she took in tracking down and pinpointing a Nathan Chow.)

I was back in Boston by the time we were able to talk on the phone about how to get the envelope back to me. Apparently, while she was searching for my name online and on Facebook, she also saw the video of my TED Talk on character education! She said that I must be someone who deserved good things to happen to me. We had a conversation about kindness, karma, and character education before I gave her my address to mail the envelope back to me.


Ever since being Facebook friends with Terri, I found out that she’s the Executive Director of Philadelphia’s Community Education Center, “a non-profit, community-based arts and education center whose mission is to strengthen the sense of shared community and culture among peoples of differing backgrounds and cultures through the arts.”

Awesome! Sounds like something I would participate in.

I also found out that the Community Education Center is currently in a challenge to win a $50,000 grant for renovations and new supplies.

There are ten similar organizations around the country in this challenge. The top five with the most votes will get the grant.


Terri Shockley, thank you for your kindness on a small level and for your passion for leading such an amazing non-profit arts center at a large level!

You’re the one who deserves good things in return!

I am inviting all my readers from across the world and all 1700 of my Facebook friends and their friends to vote for your center to get the $50,000 you deserve!

Thank you for such a warm and lasting memory of the City of Brotherly Love!! =)


=== In short: ===

– A stranger found my $40 and took the effort to track me down to return it.

– This stranger, Terri Shockley, leads a community arts center for dance, music, theatre, and much more. Her Community Education Center is in a competition to win $50,000 for renovations.

– In the competition, only the top five centers will win. Terri’s has been swaying back and forth between 4th, 5th, and 6th place!!

––> We need YOUR help to vote for the Community Education Center, for me to thank her for her small good deed, and most of all, to make a strong statement about how good things flow in the world!

=== How to vote: ===

Take 5 seconds to go to Enter your email. Press Submit. Then press Yes. That’s it!

– I purposely shortened the long link (originally to the address above for you to memorize and visit whenever you’re bored!

You can vote EVERY DAY until 6/17 (coincidentally Boston’s area code!).

– It is legal to vote with more than one email address! Vote five times a day until June 17th! Remember, the center just needs to be in the top five by 6/17!

– You won’t receive anything in your email.

Invite lots of your friends too! Getting 50 new supporters is like voting 50 times a day!

– Join all the supporters through Facebook at this event:


Thank you for your help and for believing in karma. I’ve always believed that there’s a secret society of positive and all-loving people who love to give and serve––and that, magically, all the best things in the world usually happen to them.

By voting every day, helping here, and inviting all your friends, may all the best things come back to you too!! =)

Love Always,
♥ Nathan Chow