We are approaching the second anniversary of this blog, 730 consecutive daily posts. It’s time to celebrate! I wanted to do something different from last year, something that would give us all a chance to defeat despair in a relatively small but tangible way.
I have teamed up with a generous donor who insists on being anonymous, who wants to offer you the opportunity to choose a way to bless someone else’s life without it costing you anything except your good will. This donor would like to give donations in honor of each blog reader who leaves a comment, to one of the organizations listed below. On the second anniversary of this blog, I am asking readers to choose from among several gifts to be given to people in need of a bit of extra help. With your permission, a donation will be made in your honor (and you will remain anonymous to the company, unless you allow your name to be released) to whichever option you choose.
First, some assurances: each of the nonprofits listed below are well known to us, and we can vouch for them. Christian Relief Fund and Healing Hands International are favorite charities for Jeff and me, and we have been following their work for many years now. Both are completely transparent with all finances, and have earned the highest rating from Charity Navigator for efficient and ethical use of donations.
Closer to home, we have followed the activities of the Arc of Greater Williamsburg and Cerebral Palsy of Virginia since moving here in 2004. Matt has enjoyed many of their services and programs, and they are among the best local nonprofits providing direct services to people with disabilities. In our experience, this is all too rare. We have never lived in any part of the country that had adequate services to meet the needs of the growing population of people with lifelong disabilities.
Finally, USO is our personal favorite among the many military-affiliated nonprofits. They serve in a variety of ways, make good use of volunteers, and are found pretty much wherever U.S. military personnel are in need of their help. We have benefited personally from many of their services, and believe that they improve the quality of life for U.S. military families everywhere.
Now for the fun part. You get to help defeat despair by allocating a donation to your choice from the list. Though our donor has specified a cumulative total limit, we are not disclosing that until it is reached, because we want to encourage early participation by as many as possible. So please help us reach the limit! I will be disappointed if we do not get enough participation (through comments) to maximize the full cumulative total limit of the donation.
Here’s what to do: on the day of our second anniversary (November 10) just leave a comment stating your choice from the list below. As always, you can request that your comment not be published for privacy reasons and I will make sure that it does not appear online. A donation in your honor will be made for whichever option you choose. If you wish to have your first and/or last names released to the organization to whom the donation will go, I can get a letter to send you that will document that the donation was made in your honor. I will NOT release anyone’s address to any of these organizations at all, nor will I release your name to them, unless you’d like confirmation that the donation was made in your honor; please state your preferences in that regard.
OK, here’s the list. I tried to compile a variety of choices so you can give something that is meaningful to you personally. To read more about each option, click on the linked words.
2. Through the Christian Relief Fund (CRF), you can give a water filter OR a mosquito net OR a visit to a doctor OR a Bible to a family or person in needs of these things. Again, be sure to specify which item you’d like to give.
3. Through Healing Hands International, you can allocate a $20 donation for your choice of: clean water projects OR food sustainability programs OR disaster relief. Please specify to which of the projects you’d like your donation to go.
4. Through Cerebral Palsy of Virginia or The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, you can allocate a $20 donation for social and recreational programs for adults with disabilities. Please specify which organization should receive your allocated donation.
5. Through the USO, you can allocate a $20 donation to go toward programs for our military troops and their families.
Please leave a comment on the blog on our anniversary date, November 10, letting me know your choice of where to send a donation in your honor. Don’t forget to specify whether you would like your first and/or last name released to the organization so you can see a written confirmation that the donation was made in your honor. Also, as a reminder, if you want your comment and requested donation to be kept private, let me know and I will not publish it online.
And just because I think contests are fun, every person who responds with a comment and donation request on November 10 will be entered into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card along with a chocolate surprise. (I had to throw in that chocolate choice because so many people seemed to want it last year 😀 .) There will be five names chosen for these prizes in the drawing, and you need not have your comment published in order to be in the drawing — so those who are shy, don’t hesitate to participate!
Questions? Leave your inquiry in the comments below (and you can specify that your question not be published, if you wish) and I’ll try to clarify anything that may be unclear before the big day rolls around.
*special thanks to Kelly (a.k.a. Petals or Boomdee) for giving me this idea, without even knowing she was doing it. Last year, she won the $50 grand prize and asked me to donate it to an animal shelter of my choice! Bravo, K — a GREAT idea, just like all the others that come out of Boomdeeville (our affectionate name for her fabulous blog)!