Allan Evans (PhD, EE ’10, exp) and Scott Wright (PhD, EE ’09) are highly trained and skilled electrical engineers, working on some of the hottest projects in their field. They are also co-founders of the non-profit charity called Globe Shares, which they established to help long-term volunteers connect with charitable opportunities around the world.
Globe Shares is for people who want to travel, and for donors who want to see how their money is being used. Allan and Scott have traveled quite a bit both professionally and personally. After talking to friends who’ve done they same, they realized that there is something special about actually immersing yourself in a specific community and culture, and even more, helping that community in meaningful ways.
“So,” said Evans, “we decided to put our efforts into starting Globe Shares so that the people who come after us can continue to do the same thing we are going to do. We thought, somebody has to start this, it may as well be us.”
“Our mission is to find volunteer opportunities at the places that people want to travel to, opportunities that won’t cost the traveler a lot of money,” added Evans. “If they do have to pay for some expenses, Globe Shares will help raise money for the supplies or whatever is needed for the volunteer project.”
They already have an impressive and varied list of partner communities and projects that ranges from teaching in Egypt and Thailand, to helping communities in Peru (right) recover from a massive earthquake that hit in 2007, to right here in Michigan working with Food Gatherers, the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, and partnering with U-M to introduce K12 students to engineering. More projects will be added as needed to accommodate individual travelers.
Evans and Wright both plan to travel for one year beginning in January. During this time, they’ll be blogging, taking photos, and letting the donors know exactly how they are helping specific communities. None of the donated money will be used for travel expenses.
“You’ll be able to see where your money is going,” explained Wright. “If you give even $25, you’ll be able to go onto the website and see where your $25 was spent. Almost 100% of every dollar Globe Shares receives in tax exempt donations goes directly to people in need.”
Wright leaves for Thailand in January, and will be joined by Evans once he completes final edits of his dissertation. When they return, Allan and Scott will resume their engineering careers in academia or industry, and continue to serve on the Board of Directors of Globe Shares. They hope others will be motivated to carry on the work they started – engineering a passion for travel into an opportunity to see the world, and help the world.