It began as a homework assignment. Now it’s grown into a MOVEMENT. What was a request for help has turned into a fun and worthwhile movement YOU can take part in. 

Please keep reading, or if you have already read the back story, scroll down to see how you can participate.  

The back story.

It began as a homework assignment. Yes, my homework and not one of my children's. If you don't follow me on Facebook or haven't peeked in on my life lately, I went back to school last summer.  I'm currently working toward my Executive MBA at the University of Notre Dame.  You are never too old to realize your dreams in my book.   

It started as an assignment but has grown into saving the lives of expectant mothers in Africa. 

Let's start with the assignment.

I was assigned to practice my negotiation skills by trading with a simple, yet authentic pair of Chinese chopsticks.  The chopsticks were purchased in China by my professor. Although they look like something I've seen on Canal Street, I have to believe he actually bought them in China because he's a priest.  My mama taught me to trust men of the Catholic cloth.  The exercise basically mimics One Red Paperclip, where Kyle MacDonald traded up his red paper clip until he traded for a house.  Here's a great video on his journey.  It's quite inspiring if you haven't seen it.

Well I don't need a house like Kyle.  In fact, there's not much I need other than an A in this class. (Just joking about that one- sort of) 
So I'm going to focus my homework assignment to trade up to something I can use to support my recent passion- saving the lives of expectant moms and their unborn babies in Africa. 

Here's the back story.

Each day, 800 moms die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these women live in villages in Uganda and die because they can't get to a clinic. Imagine. Better yet, watch this video to understand the magnitude.  

Pulse, a company building village transports that universally hook to the back of any bike or motor scooter, is working with health care organizations to supply Village Ambulances to remote communities.  I will be going to Uganda in June to work with Pulse on maximizing their efforts.  I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity but most of all, passionate about this cause. 

Giving birth is a blessing, it shouldn't be a death sentence.  We deliver our babies in clean birthing suites and these mothers can't even get to a clinic.

Back to the chopsticks. 

My plan is to trade my chopsticks up in order to get the highest value item I can obtain and then sell that item to purchase as many Village Ambulances I can for the mothers in Uganda. It's a big goal for a small pair of chopsticks. That's where you come in. 

Follow me on Facebook.

There I will conduct my trades. Follow along and if you have something of value that you are willing to trade let me know. 
Think about it.  Do you have a signed football lying around the house?  Frequent flyer points you aren't going to ever use except for magazine subscriptions you don't need?  Access to a famous person who would donate an hour to spend with someone who might pay for that experience?  Anything? You may not value it but someone in my network might. 

I need your help.  I can do a lot of crazy things on my own but not this time.

Here's the rules I have:

  • I can only trade 5 times
  • I can't trade with any employees or immediate family members
  • I have to do my final trade by May 5th

I've dedicated my career to moms however now I have a chance to help save the lives of future mothers. I would really appreciate your help on this one.

I'm only 5 Trades Away.

That’s where it started but my friends overwhelmed me!

So many of my friends have come forward with so items to trade and generosity that I couldn’t possibly leave on the table. Each item means a little more help to provide a Village Ambulance to a village in Uganda. My team has created a way for you to participate in any way you want. I hope you will join me.

There are two ways for you to participate:

  1. Start your own 5 Trades
    • Sign up to receive your pair of chopsticks to trade.
    • Look around your house, talk to friends, go to clients. Find things to trade.
      (You don’t have to wait for your chopsticks to arrive to begin trading. )
    • You can only trade 5 times and all trading ends on Friday May 1st at midnight.
    • Follow along on our Facebook page to compare your trades with everyone else trading.
    • Send us a picture of your final item by Sunday, May 3rd at midnight.
    • Join us on Tuesday, May 5th at 8pm EST for an online auction and Twitter party where we will sell your item to benefit Village Ambulances.
    • Send your 5th trade item to the winner (we ask you to cover the shipping) when we notify you on May 6th.
    • Enjoy knowing your efforts have provided transport in Uganda for an expectant mother.
  2. Donate an Item for us to auction on May 5th
    • Look around the house for an item you don’t need anymore. Maybe a product a brand sent you that you know you’ll never use.
    • Email a photo of the item with a short description to
    • Once the auction is done, we will tell you where to ship it. All proceeds go to purchasing Village Ambulances.

Everyone who signs up to conduct their own trade, will also have their name on the donation plaque on the Village Ambulance.

Trades and shipping are limited to the US only.

Unable to participate in the auction? You may also chose to donate to the cause:

100% of everything raised will go to transports in Uganda and will be delivered during our trip in June.

For additional information or thoughts, feel free to email me at or message me via Twitter or Facebook.

© 2015 Maria Bailey