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DonorsChoose/Tomato Nation Challenge

October 24, 2008

This is not strictly book-related, but it’s close enough that I’m going to take a break from my irregularly-scheduled book reviews to schill for it:

Sars over at Tomato Nation is having her annual fall donation challenge.

The goal? Raise $100,000 dollars for Donors Choose, a education-related charity where teachers in low-income districts submit project proposals and donors pick which one(s) they’d like to fund.

The prizes? There’s a whole bunch of individual prizes for donors (regardless of how much you’re able to give); if we hit $100k by Halloween, Sars will go to Washington, D.C. and see the sights… while wearing a giant tomato costume (and film it, of course).

The contest rules & FAQ are here; the donation page is here.

Personally, DonorsChoose is my absolute favorite charity – not only is it going to fund classrooms in need, but you can pick which area, age level, and subject area you want to fund – and, unlike most other charities, you can see exactly how your money is being used. You can access a cost-breakdown sheet for each project to which you donate; one of my recent donations included a Barnes & Noble receipt showing exactly which books they’d bought. I can look at it and go, yes, my $20 bought those kids those three books.



Also, every donor gets a thank-you e-mail, but if you donate $100 or more to a project, you get a fantastic thank-you package with a pictures of the students using the materials you helped buy, and letters/drawings from the students themselves. For example, a while ago I funded a project to buy fairy-tale books for a kindergarten class, and the kids sent me thank-you notes with drawings of their favorite stories. Totally made my day…. for the past four days.

I know times are tough and money is short, economic crisis, yada yada. (Trust me, I’m a grad student; I know.) But if you do have even a few bucks to spare, consider contributing to the Tomato Nation Challenge. Because: Helping kids in the most underfunded districts learn to love books! (or science!) (or whatever!) Also: Giant tomato at the Lincoln Memorial!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2008 1:39 pm

    Nicki, thanks for the info about a charity I’ve never heard of. I’m going to look into it further. It sounds wonderful.

  2. October 26, 2008 9:27 am

    Shana – Donors Choose really is fantastic; unlike most other charities where you hand them your money and it just sort of disappears into the ether, with this one, you get a very clear idea of exactly where and how your money’s helping.

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