Many Richmonders have thought of her as an inspiration for a while, but now Kira Siddall is getting recognition in Glamour magazine for all her work. Read about the notable things she’s done, and what we can do to help her win.
Bottom row. Far left.
That’s where you will find her on a list for Glamour Magazine’s Best of You competition, an annual competition that highlights the country’s most inspirational women. Richmond-based Kira Siddall is one of ten semifinalists. The top four finalists will receive financial donations to charities of their choosing and a trip to New York City.
“Three weeks ago I got a ‘screening’ phone call,” said Kira in a phone interview yesterday. That was when she was informed that she had been nominated (by a co-worker, as Kira later found out) for the contest. Because she was only nominated, “I didn’t take it seriously at first.” While Kira remained cautious about her chances, the editors of Glamour ended up selecting her as a semi-finalist for Best of You, which went live for public voting on January 12th. “It’s been incredibly overwhelming in the most positive ways.”
Although featured in a nationally-recognized magazine, Kira’s excitement does not come from narcissistic indulgences. While admitting that “it’s been awkward for me to receive so much attention,” (going so far to ask the advice of another well-known Richmonder, Patience Salgado), she is grateful to be able to “talk to people about the different charities I work with.”
A Social Media Specialist at Siddall, in 2008, Kira became involved with a social media effort called TweetsGiving that raised nearly $11,000 to build a classroom in Arusha, Tanzania. Individuals across the world were encouraged to publicly show gratitude on any topic. It went on to trend on Twitter. It was the “first time I saw the power of social media,” said Kira.
The name changed to Epic Thanks, and since 2008, the organization has invested money in Tanzania, Nepal, and the US, building classrooms, a library, and a temporary home for disabled veterans. “They’re doing amazing things.”
Should voters name Kira as a finalist, not only will she win a trip to New York City, but will earn $1000 for charity. Should Kira win the honor, she hopes to use that money to fund “Mama Lucy” Kamptoni, a Tanzanian woman who, through micro-loans, has funded schools in the city of Arusha.
Although Kira’s philanthropic sights can often extend beyond Richmond city limits, her heart is very much oriented around the city. “Every kind of good you want to do, there’s something for you,” said Kira. “Richmond has so many volunteering organizations…there’s a volunteering opportunity in Richmond every single day,” she said.
Best of You votes can be cast until February 13th.
photo courtesy of Kira Siddall