October 1, 2008

Give a Little, Get a Lot

Most of us don't really have a lot of extra dough these days, and even if we do, there are about a million great causes to which we can donate it, but I'd just like to suggest one in particular for you all to keep in mind.

Sars over at Tomato Nation has once again started her Fall Contest in conjunction with Donors Choose's Bloggers Challenge.

Donors Choose is a fantastic organization that helps teachers and kids by giving them the educational tools they need, but aren't getting from the schools. I've been donating what I can spare to this organization for several years now and words can not describe how great it feels when you get that package in the mail from the kids that you've helped - their thank you letters and pictures of them with the books, microscope, musical instruments, art supplies or computer you helped buy for them. I get choked up just thinking about it.

Anyway, Donors Choose runs a bloggers challenge during the month of October where various blogs compete to see whose readers can raise the most money, and last year Tomato Nation readers raised $100,000 dollars, helped thousands of kids and won the challenge by a wide margin. Let me tell you, the warm fuzzies I got from being a part of that haven't gone away yet. But the warm fuzzies aren't all you get out of donating through TN; you can win tons of great prizes and best of all, when we raise enough money, Sars does something great. Two years ago, she shaved her head. Last year she dressed up as a tomato and did the Angela Chase dance (that's the outstanding dance that Angela (Claire Daines) did after her first kiss with Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life) in Rockefeller Center in the middle of the lunch hour. This year, if we raise $100,000, she takes the costume and the dance to the front lawn of the White House.

Dancing Vegetables at the White House, what could be better?

Day one isn't over yet and as of this post TN readers have donated $12,000 and helped over 1,300 students. The next closest blog in the challenge has raised just over $3,000. Here comes the lump in my throat again!

If you have a little extra lying around, $10, $5, $1...whatever you can spare, you can add it to what everyone else scrapes up and help a bunch of kids grow vegetables, learn math, stock the library, paint a mural, take a field trip, learn the difference between Iran and Iraq and where to find both by getting them maps and globes...the list goes on and on and on. A little goes a long way.

Visit the TN Fall Contest page and see for yourself how awesome the project is.

P.S. If you're an American Express card member, you can also cast your vote for Donors Choose in the Members Project contest. The winning organization gets $1.5 Million from American Express and every penny of that will go to classrooms if Donors Choose wins.

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