Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Out-Of-Character Request

For as long as I've been reading it, Tomato Nation has been doing an annual fundraising drive for Donors Choose, a charity that lets, well, donors choose to fund specific projects for schools that have been submitted by teachers.

I hate stuff like this. I mean, not charity, or kids (well, kids, but not education), but every time I get a message from a friend about some charity walk or something I bristle. When we get letters like that at home, we call it junk mail. We have national registries to stop telemarketers. But e-mail and Facebook mean every friend with a cause can spam us now. I'm sounding like a total crank, but really all I mean is that if I gave to every friend who asked, I'd be broke. So I generally don't give to any, and choose charities to give to on my own.

So while I admire Sars' use of her considerable online popularity and the work she puts into doing this huge thing, I tune it out every year because I'm a horrible person. And I guess I also misunderstood what Donors Choose was, exactly. Somehow I thought it was all about donating books to libraries? This is what happens when you ignore the whole thing and never click the links.

ANYWAY, last week I got successfully guilt-tripped, and I finally checked out Sars' DC page, thinking I'd give 10 bucks for pencils or something. And god damn it! Right up top was a project to turn a classroom into a multi-purpose theater space (I'm not really clear on how floor mats do this, but they had me at "black box theater"). This got me searching, and with minimal effort I found a music composition project and a show choir. As you know, I'm kind of a sucker for this stuff, and my cold, stony heart was sufficiently melted. I also stumbled across a request for a life-like baby doll to discourage teen pregnancy, which I wholeheartedly support, even though it's totally unrelated.

I don't have much to give, and that felt especially meager when split across four projects, so now I'm doing exactly what I said up top that I hate: Please check out my Donors Choose page and support one of these worthwhile projects (the composition one has already been completed). Or, if you hate the arts or love teen pregnancy, head to Sarah's for a much wider selection. Since this is all crowd-sourced, a small contribution still counts toward the larger goal.

That's enough of that. Thank you for your time. I'll resume hating items in my Netflix Queue shortly.

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