Sioux Falls, SD
The Beatles once sang about getting by with a little help from their friends, but never did they imagine that people helping one another would come in the form of an online donation.
An idea is a powerful thing. It can blossom and turn into something much bigger than anyone imagined.
"It's been in my mind and in my heart for about 15 years that I thought we needed to get soccer programs available for Native American kids, especially in the reservations," Carol McKee said.
"Time flies when you're having fun, but time flies 10-times faster when you're living your dream," Jamison Murphy said.
For Carol McKee, her idea is more than a decade in the making. She looked at numerous ways to make her dream of getting soccer to the South Dakota reservations a reality, but the most successful way to get it done was something she didn't even consider until a mention on Twitter introduced her to the idea of crowd-funding through the Internet.
"When we did this, we sent the word out to people that we were doing this, and it was really easy to just share the link to the "Indiegogo" campaign. We had videos on there explaining it, we had our budget, they could see it all," McKee said.
Very quickly, thousands of people clicked on McKee's "Dancing With The Ball" campaign, and the donations started piling in.
"We actually raised $1,365. But when we launched it and sent the word out to everyone, the word got out and we had people contacting us," McKee said.
She didn't get as much money as she hoped for, but a handful of businesses contacted her and helped make sure the project would keep going. Some of them even fully sponsored soccer balls and shirts for the kids in the program. One local soccer coach saw the page and started his own efforts to help out.
"Coach Ryan Bier at Sioux Falls O'Gorman, who is an educator there and is the girls coach, shared it with his girls and they jumped in with both feet 110 percent and they did soccer ball drives. So at every one of their home games, they've been collecting soccer balls for us to distribute for this program," McKee said.
For musician Jamison Murphy, a Lakeville, Minnesota native, the dream was to write music and perform for all of his fans. His online wish was to get enough money together to pay for a recording session with Grammy award-winning producer Warren Huart.
"As soon as he said he'd track me and record me and record songs for me at half of where he'd originally quoted me at, I was like ' Hell yeah, I got to do this "Indiegogo" campaign,'" Murphy said.
He was skeptical at first about starting the project, thinking he was asking way too much of complete strangers.
"I have released 2 songs, well one really, so I didn't really feel like I was in any position to ask people for money, like 'Hey, help me record more music, even though you've only heard one song from me,'" Murphy said.
Just like McKee, Murphy went through the process of setting up an online page, including laying out the dream and telling people what their gift will mean.
"We were in a coffee shop and we were like 'What should people get for a $100 donation?' and I was like 'My life.' I wish I could hug and kiss them," Murphy said.
Murphy reached his goal. After going to Los Angeles and recording his music, he knows it would not have been possible without the help of people have never met him, but like his music.
"I was able to get my story out into the public in a way that got people's attention, and not only did it get people's attention, but it got the right people's attention and they wanted to help me out," Murphy said.
It's a sentiment also McKee shares.
"If I go on social media, I have the potential of reaching 1,500 people in one day with my project description," McKee said.
McKee and Murphy are experiencing what is becoming the new way of achieving a dream, and all it takes is a simple click of the mouse.
"Things like "Indiegogo" and "Kickstarter", they're allowing people to say hey, not only do I want you to succeed, they're also allowing them to be a part of that, I want to be a part of your success and part of your dream coming true," Murphy said.
McKee says she is working closely with reservations in South Dakota to get more kids involved in their newly-formed soccer programs. As for Murphy, the first song from his recording session in Los Angeles, "The Inbetween," will be released on iTunes later this week.
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