The Great SHARE Challenge

S.H.A.R.E. meets the Mark Cullen Challenge

Over a cool drink in the heat of the southern sun last winter on an awareness /monitoring trip with SHARE the Mark Cullen Challenge was conceived.

After visiting project sites with Project Manager Les Frayne, Mark Cullen, SHARE’s Honorary Patron, immediately understood the needs. He had a renewed appreciation for the investments that SHARE has made in people and projects in impoverished communities in Central and South America.

Mark’s question to Les was this, “What can we do to help you and Bob Thomas [SHARE’s other project ‘monitor’] meet the goals of SHARE here in Central and South America?” Les’s answer was straightforward and at the same time very revealing, “If we had $100,000 more in our budget we could meet a huge number of needs here, without increasing our costs back home. Administration and monitoring costs would remain the same. The need for these funds is right in front of us.”

This news had an impact on Mark. Within a few days of returning to Canada, Mark had conceived his challenge for SHARE: Mark promised to raise an extra $50,000 for SHARE’s work if other supporters in SHARE would match the amount by raising an extra $50,000 of new donations in the year.

This challenge resulted in a very busy, exciting and worthwhile year for SHARE.

To meet the challenge SHARE supporters held garage sales, a fireworks extravaganza, backyard parties, organized concerts, open houses, and plant sales. Many people gave gifts with meaning - a donation of a SHARE gift for a birthday, an anniversary or in memorial, others gave a donation of stocks.(a tax free benefit). A portion of profits from the sales of Mark’s recent book "A Sandbox of a Different Kind" were donated to meet the challenge.

We are now proud to announce that SHARE has met the challenge for this year!

As a result of our successful year SHARE has already made plans for expansion of our projects in Brazil, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Stay tuned for more good news as we make plans for our projects in 2008 and be assured that 100% of the funds raised will go directly to a 'hand up' for a needy community.

Our hope, of course, is that the efforts to raise these additional fund will be sustained 2008 – we have, after all, proven that WE CAN DO IT!

SHARE thanks Mark Cullen for being the spark that started the challenge. Thanks also to Mark for his continued, diligent support of SHARE and his public endorsement of SHARE’s work.

Mark Cullen, SHARE patron for 10 years, has completed his first SHARE monitoring trip to Belize, with Les Frayne.

He is so pumped up about the great work of SHARE that he is challenging all of us to raise an additional $50,000 above last year's donations to be added to the general budget and our scholarship fund. And Mark has undertaken to raise another $50,000 through his own efforts, including the donation of $1 from each sale of his upcoming book!

Are you ready to help us meet this challenge? If one motivated individual's efforts can raise $50,000, certainly the rest of us together can match it. -- Board of Directors, SHARE Agriculture Foundation.


For more information on how you can help us to meet Mark's Challenge, to discuss a planned giving programme, or if you are interested in going with one of our Project Officers to see our work in South or Central America, contact us at

Mark Cullen received the letter below from a young beneficiary of SHARE's work while he was visiting in Belize. You can make a significant difference in the lives of others like Kathy by making a donation today.

Letter from a SHARE beneficiary to Mark Cullen