Lifestyle Design
Orphans vs. Flamethrowers…Creating A Personal “AWESOME” Fund
September 27, 2014
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And what if I told you that I could help you become more awesome…?

Would you pay me $100 for that?

Well, I have some good news…

In order to become more awesome, you actually need to pay yourself $100, each month, and create your own personal “AWESOME” fund.


How It Works

Every month, put $100 aside for something awesome.

That’s it.

Sounds like a savings plan, right?

Sure, if you want to call it that. The only difference is, this money will only be used for awesome stuff.

How do you define awesome???


Enter, the Awesome Foundation:

The Awesome Foundation is an amazing non-profit where 10 people give $100 to someone deserving each month, culminating in $1000 micro-grants that are now given in over 100 cities in 24 different countries (according to their main website). These micro-philanthropic trustees in each city have to determine which projects are most deserving of their dollars, and there’s only one main founding principle that determines the type of projects that are allowed to apply for the no-strings-attached $1000 prize.


Orphans vs. Flamethrowers:

Two types of projects get funded by traditional Awesome Foundation chapters (and I’ll get to how this goes back to personal “AWESOME” fund in a minute).

“Orphans” loosely defines projects that are strictly not-for-profit and actually help improve people’s lives.

When I was at the AweSummit in Ottawa, Canada at the beginning of the month, Terry Olson from the Orlando chapter shared with me his favorite “orphan” project of recent memory in order to give you an example…

One successfully funded project, called the Dance Happy Project, was started by 11 year old Georgia Bernbaum after realizing that dance would be an excellent tool in helping homeless children cope with tough times and reduce anxiety, depression, and withdrawal rates among these Central Floridian children.

As for “flamethrower” projects…

Terry’s favorite “flamethrower” recently was “Panorama”, an exhibition of photos taken by strangers who found a disposable camera on the street with a note asking them to photograph their perspective of Orlando and return the camera at the end of their designated time of awesome.

Like my hat states in the picture at the beginning of this article, that, my friends, is #awesome.


Back To You

Starting in October, I’ll be putting aside $100 a month for a personal “AWESOME” fund, using the same methodologies the Awesome Foundation has established for cities, but for funding my own, self-started “orphan” and “flamethrower” projects once or twice a year.

What can you do with $1200?

Lots of stuff! 

Fill an underprivileged school with new library books. Leave 100 blank notebooks lying around town with a simple message telling people to fill it with inspiration and start creating new memories. Go to Burning Man and create a piece of incredible artwork.  Set off a non-Fourth-of-July fireworks celebration. Throw a “Project X”-style block party that your neighbors will forever remember you for.

I’m tired…It’s midnight here…I’m sure you’ll have better ideas. 

Anyways, point is, let’s do some more awesome stuff, whether it is to help others or whether it is because you want a good story to tell later on (the I-can’t-believe-I-actually-did-that-…-LOL type of stories).


I’m challenging you to join me in creating your own personal “AWESOME” funds. Email me at if you are accepting my challenge, and we can start scheming about our “orphan” and “flamethrower” projects for the future! 


In the meantime…cheers to being awesome ;).


About author

Jared Kleinert

Chief Test Subject at The Gap Year Experiment

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