Two weeks ago, and just days before our 10th Watsi-versary, we reached out to our entire community to ask everyone to show up big and help us reach the incredible milestone of funding life-changing healthcare for our 25,000th patient.
When we first launched Watsi, we had a bold, yet simple idea to bring people together on the internet to do good. We'd seen that much of the traditional approach to philanthropy felt like a drop in the bucket and often a bucket that you weren't actually sure what was in it or where it would be poured at the end of the day. We thought couldn't there be a way to talk to people, listen and find out what would actually be helpful for them, and then come together to get them resources as directly as possible? And, for those who join in to help, wouldn't it be amazing to literally show them their impact?
Putting in late nights and long weekends across six continents and eight time zones, our small team of big-hearted volunteers built the first pass at our platform with a goal to bring people together to help fund healthcare for 10 patients. Can you imagine that we could now cross the milestone of reaching 25,000?
Through it all, we grew, we showed up, we built, we broke, we learned, and now we've emerged stronger, more efficient, and more focused than ever on our one goal of making healthcare accessible to all.
Well, we did it! 🎉
Despite all the uncertainty and hardship we are facing in the world, when we made our bold ask two weeks ago, our community did what you do best. You showed up big. You showed the world what is possible when we come together.
After a round of virtual high-fives 🙌 and too many slack emojis to count 🏆🚀💓🎉, we reached out to thank Dee Ann who made the last donation that fully funded surgery for Asiimwe, our 25,000th patient. The words Dee Ann shared were a powerful reminder of what makes Watsi so special in the world:
"As the mother of a son, Asiimwe’s smile melted my heart immediately and made me want to help him. I am able to help because I was lucky to be born in America where most of us have opportunities we too often take for granted, opportunities that simply don’t exist in poorer countries. I believe people everywhere have more in common with each other than we have differences. We all have hopes and dreams. Watsi gives folks like me a chance to help others pursue those dreams by removing their health obstacles. Thank you for letting me make a difference in little Asiimwe’s life in Uganda 8,000 miles away from my small Central Illinois town.”
And do you want to know one of the best parts of this story? This was Dee Ann's very first donation to Watsi. She heard about us from her son and joined in at that special moment simply by chance. We love this because from the day we launched Watsi, this is how we've always grown—person to person, by word of mouth—and it shows just how much goodness is ahead for us.
Yes, there are millions of people who need help each year, but Watsi is built on the idea that there are millions more who want to help. And, if we can be the bridge to bring these people together—directly, efficiently, and transparently—then a world with healthcare for all is actually within reach.
With the best community in the world and, as our co-founder Grace likes to say, "a front row seat of the very best of humanity," in the years ahead we'll be putting our all into:
• Growing to reach more high-need communities that still don't have access to the healthcare that could save their lives.
• Deepening our impact for our medical partners and patients through listening to their needs and building a robust global response to meet this unprecedented moment.
• Sharing remarkable human stories that inspire solidarity, empathy, and action.
• Continuing to build a first-in-class, direct, and personalized giving experience with an even deeper connection to our individual and collective impact.
• Strengthening our community-led and participatory governance so that we can show the world that people-powered philanthropy is the way forward to build a brighter, healthier world.
You make it possible.
Whether, like Dee Ann, this is your very first time meeting Watsi or you have been with us since Day One, THANK YOU. To everyone who took a bet on us, THANK YOU. To our supporters, medical partners, Universal Fund community, #TeamWatsi past and present, and most importantly, to our patients, THANK YOU. We are humbled and grateful that you put your trust in Watsi and are right at our side on this incredible journey.
Together we have come so far over the past 10 years, but we also know we are just getting started. We can't wait for all the good that is ahead. 🌱
We hope you'll join in now to sign up for our Universal Fund and help make an even bigger impact in the next 10 years. Learn how:
If you are already a Universal Fund member, thank you! 🙏 Being able to count on your support every month helps us focus on all that needs to be done to reach patients around the world in need of care. As we celebrate 10 years of remarkable impact, we hope you'll help share our story and tell a friend about all the good we are doing together.
The Watsi Team
Everyone deserves healthcare.