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Crowdfunding 'One Dream' at a Time

There is nothing more beautiful than a 95-year-old smile, except the feeling that comes from having a part in causing it. It is the inadvertent pay-off of crowdfunding the needs of others that starts and sustains growing communities.

My father sent me the photo of my grandfather standing next to the plane they flew the last weekend. Consistently concise, my father's phone call to me was something similar to: “He took the controls, completed take off and landing. Excellent job. Now, he is smiling.” Simple, always efficient, yet with a lilt in his voice that was unmistakable. My father had received as much value from helping Papa realize his dream of flying one last time. The priceless gift bestowed a giver. The texted photo is forever etched in my brain. The teamwork between us, to make it happen, adds to the content of my character. No one will ever convince me that happiness can't be collectively planned, and crowdfunded.

Related: From Extinguishing Fires to Igniting Hope

Chicago's growing communities prove that, sometimes, money CAN buy happiness.

Have you ever been excited about a grand idea, only to discover someone has already accomplished it? I feel this way each time I discover one more community revitalization effort accomplished in Chicago. When 98 year old Louise dreamed of seeing the Cubs play at Wrigley Field, ONE DREAM stepped in. The Chicago-based charity, fulfills one dream for seniors whose income cannot provide it. When the collective brainpower has reached the limits of services donated, they crowdfund money to pay for the rest. Powering dreams of the venerable is not as easy as it may seem. Accommodating the challenges of the aged often requires medical considerations. Sometimes a nurse is needed, special equipment, and inclusion of purple-haired friends. Some dreams are more costly than others, merely because the challenges of old age has hit one person harder than another. Their dream is of no less valuable to them, and no less felt by the Chicagoan givers to the seniors they serve.

 "They built our Chicago-area communities. They sacrificed to protect us. Without them, we wouldn't be who we are today. Wouldn't it be wonderful if their life-long dreams came true?" ~One Dream


Does investing in One Dream make sense?

No one is immune, the elderly population is growing more rapidly than incomes. According to One Dream, almost half of American’s seniors struggle to make ends meet. Baby boomers are next. As they age, there will be an additional 15 million more seniors. Poverty will devastate more of those who helped form us. At a time in one’s life when medical expenses are at their highest, some make barely $11,354 per year. Shouldn’t we be crowdfunding living expenses? Do collective efforts to raise money for an experience that will last but a moment make sense? At the point in your life when moments are all that you have left, such dream-realizing moments often outweigh any others. At the same time, these moments can offer a life-changing experience for the crowd who takes part in creating that punctuating smile.

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Here is how it works.

growing communities, community revitalizationOne Dream collects company sponsors and donated services, while feverishly crowdfunding the rest. They don’t always know where the resources will come from, yet are on their way to fulfilling their fourth dream in five months. Their website (link) begs of volunteers to find more Chicagoan seniors in need of a dream filled. Here is how it works:

1) Senior dreamers meet the following criteria:

  • Must be at least 65 years old.
  • Annual income must be less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Must be physically and mentally capable of enjoying his/her dream.
  • Needs to be a good person.
  • Have United States Citizenship.
  • Willing to have their story shared online, including photos and videos.
  • Depending on the dream, One Dream might need a note from the senior’s doctor too.

2) Volunteers gather resources

Crowdfunding by posting in the Dreams Collection.

In-kind donations; including travel vouchers, ground transportation, and other goods and services. Creativity is welcomed!


3) WahLAH! The dreams come true

The collective efforts provide each deserving senior One Dream realized. The shared success is shared in the Dreams Come True Gallery and throughout social media channels.

One of our more seasoned Patch of Land, Growing Communities followers mentioned to me “Yes, Chicago is leading the world in revitalizing communities, parks and us old farts.” You, too, can help make a difference in the lives of Chicago’s seniors, and those youngsters who need to give. In fact, with the limitless potential of crowdfunding, I can see these efforts sprouting up worldwide and expanding for real estate crowdfunding to provide housing, thereby truly freeing those who have served us so well.

What kind of crowdfunding project would you suggest for an elderly person who has impacted your life? Or for a community of senior citizens in general? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

If you want to learn more, take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about real estate crowdfunding on a daily basis and find out why so many people are crowdfunding real estate projects across the country with Patch of Land.
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4 thoughts on “Crowdfunding 'One Dream' at a Time”

  • francis keya +254711616193

    francis keya +254711616193 commented September 2, 2015

    We Eli organization in Kenya, we are looking for any donors to partner with to change the livelihoods of Mukuru slum people in Nairobi who are living below a dollar. Please we need funds to build houses, educate their children. Contact me please.

    Marco Rivera

    Marco Rivera reply September 3, 2015

    Hello Francis,

    Thanks for your comment, unfortunately Patch of Land is currently only working with investment properties located in the United States. However, we appreciate your mission as it's also Patch of Land goal to help rebuild communities here in the US. Hopefully in the future we will be able to expand our horizons and grow communities around the globe. Until then, I encourage you to do more research and see if there are any real estate crowdfunding platforms that are operating in your country. I wish you the best of luck Francis!

  • David Poynter

    David Poynter commented September 8, 2015

    Wonderful idea, Karen! I love the way you graduate the story of your 95 years young "Papa" into the needs of seniors. Being a member of the boomers myself, raising teo of my grandsons and qualifying in every other way, still, I wouldn't dream of asking as I've had many more dreams come true than anyone should. My parents are in their 90s and are blessed with good health and are financially independent, as well. I don't know any seniors, in fact, who are in need of a dream come true. I know that, in the 70s and 80s a full one third of all homeless Americans were Vietnam Veterans. Perhaps a worthy candidate can be found in that demographic.

    Karen Perkins

    Karen Perkins reply September 24, 2015

    Mr. Poynter, I am glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for following.

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