Project Alpha Details

Updated on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. 

THANK YOU for expressing interest in joining the Project Alpha Team. This page provides all the details of the project from story guidelines to crowdfunding specifics. Please check back here regularly for the latest updates.


Story Guidelines

Basic summary: 800-1200 words story on the theme “the trip that changed my life”

Please come up with a title for your story. For example, I went to Guam an American, I came back a world citizen or Finland opened my eyes so wide, now I need regular eyedrops. 

Specific details, guidance, help for coming up with that story, and more can be found by downloading the Story Guidelines in Word or PDF format.


Schedule and Deadlines

In short: May 23, 2016 is the deadline for submitting your story to or 

Complete schedule and deadlines can be access by downloading the Schedule in PDF format.


Pictures Requirements

For your story, it would awesome if you could include 3 high resolution pictures (at least 1600×1600) of that trip to be featured along with your story. This is preferred but optional. 

A short biography will be included for each story along with a square picture featuring YOU, the writer of the story. It will look something similar to the picture below (you might have seen it as a signature block on my emails). It will include your name, your blog address or Instagram or twitter or whatever else you’d like, your picture, and a short bio that’s less than 280 characters to fit in that tiny space. It can whatever you want it to be.

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The cover art will be a collage of all our pictures. To make this collage, I will need 1 picture you’d like to share. The cover art will wrap around to the back as well. See the picture below for a rough idea of what it might look like – each vertical rectangle is a picture, but note that this is just a draft and the final design might not be all vertical pictures.


Optionally, I am thinking at the end of the book to include a gallery of random pictures from all our travels. You may send me a few pictures with locations indicated and they’ll be featured for fun. Update: this might not be feasible anymore – see book production details below.


Project Alpha Promotion

The success of this project depends heavily on your help in promoting and raising awareness. The more people who know about the project, the more we’ll raise for charity. To minimize cost, there are no funds allocated to advertising, so your help in this matter is critically important. I’ve created 8 social media files that you can share at any time on your blog posts, social media updates, on your sidebar, and etc. The zip file can be downloaded HERE. You may create your own files for sharing as needed.

When you do share something related to Project Alpha, please tag me and I will be there to support: Instagram (@upupandabear), Twitter (@upupandabear), Pinterest (@upupandabear), and Facebook (

Please help in this effort. One of the easiest things you can do is to let your friends and family know about Project Alpha. If you know fellow travelers or bloggers who might be interested, please let them know or let me know and I will contact them directly.


Book Production

After researching the different publishing options out there, CreateSpace seems to be the most economical to minimize cost and maximize contributions to the charity. Here’s some general information of the book format so far:

Format: paperback

Size: 6″x9″

Length: approximately 250-450 pages long

Pages: each story uses about 4-5 pages depending on amount of pictures. With 50 stories, the book will be about 200-250 pages long (just main content) – additional content include the introduction and etc. With 100 stories, the book will be about 400-500 pages long. There’s room to manipulate the text size to fit more content into less space. And if we really run out of room, less pictures will be used.

NOTE: It turns out the cost to produce a book in full color is A LOT more expensive than B/W. A book 250 pages long in B/W is $4.85/book with s/h. A book 250 pages long in full color is $18.50/book – YIKES! I’ve reached out to CreateSpace to see if they can give a discount as this is a charitable book project – no such luck. So for now, it looks like B/W is the way to go. Keep this in mind as you submit your pictures.

The interior book format is fairly simple with the intent to not distract readers with too much stuff. Some examples are shown below.

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Crowdfunding Details

I haven’t wrapped my mind around how we’ll do this yet, whether to focus on a single platform or disperse efforts on multiple campaigns. Currently, I’m leaning towards the focused approach. I’m also debating which platform to put this project on, considering all the pros and cons of each: cost, reach of audience, familiarity, and etc. If you have ideas on how best to do this, please let me know.

More to come on this topic as we get closer to launch.


Charity Details

The proceeds from this campaign will be donated to Unbound. 92.5% of Unbound’s donations go straight into programs to help those in need and they are the only children charity to earn an A+ ratings from Charity Watch. Our donations will go towards sponsoring children. More details are available at the Unbound Sponsor a Child Page.

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Unbound’s philosophy is to support the children through community-based solutions. This approach looks at the whole picture to ensure that the family unit and the community are built up at the same time. I really resonate with this strategy. It really does take a village to raise a child. I encourage you to read into Unbound’s approach and mission.


Videos Production

I’m pretty horrible at making videos. Fortunately, some of you are experts and I will need your help in creating some videos for the crowdfunding campaign. My initial idea is to create a THANK YOU video wherein each one of the writers film a 10 seconds clip to introduce himself/herself and say thanks for the support. That’s all I can come up with right now :(.

If you have some ideas, please let me know.



To maximize impact of the project, I am reaching out to corporate sponsors everywhere. It has been a very difficult task so far. My current method is to blind email travel-related companies to engage and form a partnership with benefits including being a good corporate citizen and high exposure to travelers and travel bloggers everywhere. If you have some ideas on how to do this more effectively, please let me know.



Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude for YOU, the writers, ambassadors and editors of this project. Without you this project would not be possible. I hope that through this project, we can make a difference in the lives of children everywhere. And not only that, I hope to form strong relationships with you and to help you accomplish your goals – whatever they may be. I hope that you also use this opportunity to network with the other contributors and support each other in your personal efforts.

Please don’t hesitate to ask me any question or to suggest an idea or impovement. I am 100% dedicated to this project and will be highly accessible for its duration. I can be reached via email ( or or Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Google+, and Skype (libaidisciple – I’m not on here very much).