Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Contest

Beginning April 1, I will be relocating my family to Miami for a few weeks.  The blog will of course continue.  I will return to Boston before the end of the month when the minor house renovations will hopefully be complete.  On April 1st, I am launching a charitable effort and contest, and I encourage all readers to participate.  The contest will conclude on June 1, 2012.
The rules are simple:

1. You may donate time, money, or goods locally.

2. The recipient of your donation may be a registered 501(C)-3 charity (not all non-profits are valid), an individual, a family, a local group, church, school, etc.

3. Email me a (confidential or anonymous) receipt, log of hours, photos, or other record of your giving.  I am trusting the integrity of everyone, so please be honest.

4. I will tally the totals, and will treat the top five donors to an on-the-house semi-formal (or formal) dinner reception at one of the great old Boston Clubs.  If you are unable to make it to Boston for an evening, I will make a donation in your name to the cause of your choosing.  Winners may also be chosen by their clever approach to donating.

5. Time donated will be measured in hours.  If you can’t donate time, money donated will be measured by dollar amount.  Every $15 will count as one donated hour, so you can always donate time instead of money.  Donated goods will be tallied by the donated value.  I want this to be applicable to all people, so don’t feel that you have to give money (donated time or goods is generally more valuable in my opinion).  If multiple people join you, you get credit for all of their hours.  Because I am equalizing time/money/goods, this should level the playing field for all.

6. I would love everyone to donate something locally to increase our collective total.  One hour, $15, or some clothing in usable shape.  You choose the cause and you make the donation.  Email the details (however small they are) and I will include them in our group total. DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO ME.  The donation must be between you and your cause… I am merely providing the overall tally.

7. The cause to which you donate should be something that is close to your heart, local or domestic, and legitimate.  Donate packages of socks or school supplies to a family shelter, read or provide help to elderly neighbors, tutor children, serve meals at a shelter, spend a day picking up litter, anything you can think of.  For the purposes of this, political and policy advocacy groups will not qualify.

Please participate with at least one hour, $15, or a donated good (or all three).  I will keep a progress tally going.  We have two months as of April 1, so pick something worthwhile, and let’s get to it.
Also, I must reserve the right to not recognize certain donations into the tally.  Use common sense.


  1. What a wonderful way to inspire your readers! Not shopping, not something frivolous (frivolity is all well and good, but this is a refreshing change), but something meaningful for all involved!

    Thanks, and I hope that other blogs repost your challenge--you could start a movement!

  2. great idea. If people care to try there is "an app for that" i.e. tracking your donated time created by Cabot Coop (the cheese people, with whom I work tangentially...).

    Also if I can steal the floor for 1 sec, if anyone lives in Somerville (or C'bridge/Medford) and would like to donate time to the Friends of the Library I have organized a meet-up next Wednesday to discuss -but if you cant make that and would be jazzed to assist anyway please do email me and I will get you more details.

  3. Nit-picker alert: if youse guys are going to buy your indulgences, your rate should be pegged to your location. In Connecticut, for example, one "volunteer hour" is worth about $27.

  4. That said, this is brilliant. I will be looking around for the right thing.

  5. Great idea. You are fantastic for this.

  6. Hilarious!! ;-)

    As it happens I'm aware of an overseas charity catering to young Russian/Eastern European women looking for love and security in the West. I shall approach them with my proposal. I'll let you know how I make out.

  7. Who won the spring contest?


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