Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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start an orphanage
Starting an Orphanage - Sharing Ideas RE: how to do it

I (like several others on this site) share a passion for starting an orphanage. My wife and I (along with our church) are beginning the exploration process of starting an orphanage in El Salvador, and we would really welcome sharing creative ideas on the how to’s.

I have read 3 books written by Christians who were inspired to start orphanages and did it! I’d really recommending reading all three – A Leap of Faith by Alcyon Ruth Fleck, Hands & Feet by Audio Adrenaline, and When Invisible Children Sing by Dr. Chi Huang. A Leap of Faith shares the inspiring story of how Alcyon Ruth Fleck started International Children’s Care (which began in Guatemala before expanding to other countries). Hands & Feet shares the story of how Audio Adreneline (a Christian rock band) felt God’s call to start an orphanage in Haiti. When Invisible Children Sing is a VERY personal account of Dr. Chi Huang’s experiences with street children in La Paz, Bolivia, that became his inspiration for starting Bolivian Street Children Project – a non profit organzation.

Being someone who hasn’t started an orphanage yet, I haven’t experienced (yet) all of the bumps along the way. Nonetheless, I have given some significant thought to the idea, and here are some things that I’ve thought to be very important:

Prayer – Spending time in prayer with God to understand what He has placed on your heart and what He is calling you (individually) to do.

Form a Core Group for Discernment – Spending time with other Christians who share the same interest, as a group, faithfully discern God’s will as a group. Consider, too, including people that bring specific expertise – For example, the core group that we are looking to form includes our pastor, a pediatrician (my wife), a pschologist (a big plus due to the huge psychological challenges children in orphanages have faced), and me (a business mind (as an accountant), who also brings a desire to faithfully follow God’s will).

Strategy and Plan (incl Finances) – Development of a strategic vision, with specific goals, and with tactics to achieve the specific goals – This is the business part of me talking, but I think it, too, is a critical step. This puts to words what the vision is and lays our a plan to achieving it. What type of model will it be (today’s newer models involve a smaller home type setting with a mother and father in each home, vs. a large building that has less of a feeling of home – 2 of the books I mentioned above (Hands & Feet and A Leap of Faith) talk a good amount about these types of models. Starting an orphanage outside the US carries many challenges (assessment RE: which country to do it, how to connect with trusted in country resources (for example, we are looking at a church group in El Salvador), how to finance the initial cost, how to finance the ongoing costs, etc…). Regarding the ongoing costs, one thing to consider is a model that will result in as low of costs as possible since the idea must be sustainable. For example, I have seen orphanages that use agricultural techniques (growing crops, animal husbandry, Tilapia fish ponds, etc) as a source of food and income to help reduce costs. Consider also green energy options (solar power, etc), to keep ongoing costs low.

Just some ideas to share – If others would like to get more specific with idea sharing, that would be great!

God’s Peace,



Orphans, Orphanage and the poor....

Hello Sean,

I ran across your piece about an Orphanage today and I wonder about the status of such.

Please contact me and give me an update at

My wife and I traveled to Honduras this year working with orphans and the poor. There is a tremendous tremendous need for this. I believe that we all, that is all of that have a servants heart to help the orphans and the poor, instead of “starting our own” and spending all the monies that it will take, should find a ministry that is already up and running and serve there…
That is what we are doing, we will be spending the rest of our lives helping the lessed blessed in Honduras…

I welcome all others to join in….

Blessings and love,


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