Go Inspire Go – with Toan Lam and Kala Shah

28 June, 2014

Bread for the Journey of Marin County made a grant of $1,500 to Go Inspire Go. We funded a their Community Heroes program, which is a pilot project that works with young people, helping them to focus their inherent generosity by performing acts of kindness and community service. Kala Shah, the innovator of this program looked around and saw privileged kids living alongside people in need and yet the two were not in relationship with one another. She wanted to change that. Rolling up her sleeves, she started where she could—her own children’s elementary school. Today the program is spreading across the country.

Toan Lam, the founder of Go Inspire Go, helped Kala make her dream a reality by listening to her deep need to make a change and encouraging her to create the Community Heroes project under the auspices of Go Inspire Go. Toan Lam—trained as a journalist and TV reporter—created Go Inspire Go as a way to transform media by telling inspiring stories of kindness and generosity on film, and working to leverage social media for social change. Today, Kala and Toan are the dynamic duo, working to grow Go Inspire Go and all of its projects.

Join us this week for an inspiring conversation with Toan Lam and Kala Shah of Go Inspire Go.

Toan Lam is a multimedia consultant, university professor, thought leader and founder of GoInspireGo.com, a multimedia platform that “uses social networking for social change.” After eight years as a TV reporter, Toan decided to leave his job to start Go Inspire Go. He wanted to use his power of storytelling to inspire others to use their power (network, resources and talents) to help others. He started the organization with one volunteer and a hope that his first story would inspire five people to help five others. A few hundred thousand viewers watched, many helping those featured. A movement was born.

Toan and his team of 100+ volunteers scour the globe for “street corner”-style heroes to produce authentic and touching stories, while leveraging social media to raise visibility and support for those featured. Toan Lam is also a featured blogger for The Huffington Post and Deepak and Mallika Chopra’s Intent.com.

Kala Shah is Go Inspire Go’s Chief Innovation Officer, directing strategic initiatives at the organizationalkala level as well as growing its grassroots program, the Go Inspire Go Community Heroes club, which cultivates young minds to exercise their power to serve their community. The flagship program at Sun Valley School in San Rafael, CA, received a prestigious LinkedIn Social Innovation Grant to scale and replicate the program across the Bay Area. Kala has been on a lifelong quest to figure out what drives people to make their unique positive impact in the world. She has worked on national and statewide policy initiatives to advance the 3Es (economy, environment and equity), with organizations to put those sustainability values to practice and as a funder to encourage civic involvement and activism. As a mom to three boys and an engaged community member, she seeks to sculpt young minds about compassion, culture and service. With Go Inspire Go, she has discovered the secret sauce ingredients to motivate social good — one part fun, one part passion and a sprinkle of inspiration mixed with a team of committed and talented social change agents.