Monday, December 13, 2010

A [Gasp] GOOD CCC!?!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Well, obviously I don't mean a cupcake cake [patooie!]:

I still have a bone to pick with those.

No, I'm talking about the (drumroll, please)...

Christmas Charity Countdown!!

Or, if you don't like "Christmas," you could go with the...uh... Charitable Charity Countdown!!

Either way, it's a reason to smile...

...and pour a jar of sprinkles on your face.

Many of you remember this crazy thing I did last year, when John and I skipped gifts and decorations and instead donated to a different charity each day for two weeks. I asked you guys to recommend places to give, and invited you to join us by giving a single dollar each day to the featured charity.

But the really crazy thing is that a lot of you did.

Talk about the cherry on top!

Or the airbrushed pimple perched precariously on the perimeter, as the case may be.

The response was so great, in fact, that our little catch-the-spirit campaign helped hundreds and even thousands of people and animals in need. We were also flooded with e-mails & comments from you readers, telling us what a positive impact giving those dollars made on your lives, too.

I love it when a good plan comes together.

So this year, we're doing it again. Twelve days, twelve charities, and (hopefully) twelve of your hard-earned dollars.

This time each charity will be set up with either Paypal or First Giving, so you'll only have to enter all your information once, as opposed to twelve times. Most of you probably already have a Paypal account, and First Giving is a similar set-up (completely free to you to use) that only gives to charities.

Now, I know times are tough. I know many of you are out of work, or just scraping by. John and I lost our painting company because of the economy, and now rely on this blog to pay the bills. So, believe me, I know.

I also know that giving a dollar, and seeing that dollar combine with thousands of other people's dollars to feed the starving, heal the sick, rescue the needy, or just put a smile on a sick kid's face can be the key to a much more meaningful holiday this year.

"Success!!"

It's a buck. Four quarters a day. Let's pool our pocket change and see what happens.

Only not in a "hey, why don't we smash these extra cinnamon buns together and make a big ol' green gaping maw of nastiness" kind of way:

The Bog of Eternal Stench gets "festive."

So, starting today, there will be a short addendum on each day's post listing the name of a charity, a one sentence summary of what they do, and a link to give. Give your dollar to those you like, and then spread the word! Talk to your kids about it. Maybe go volunteer somewhere. Bottom line: do whatever it takes to remind yourself that there's more to this season than shopping, annoying renditions of "Jingle Bells," and edible snowman crime scenes:

(Hawwwww PaTOOie!)

There must have been some magic to
that hundred gallon jug.
For when they dropped it on his head
he became an accent rug!


Many thanks to Victoria W., Holly G., Elizabeth S., Karen, Emily N., Claire G., & Amanda G., who prefer their door mats unfrosted.

--------------------------------------

Our kick-off charity is Give Kids the World, which provides children who have life-threatening conditions and their families absolutely *amazing*, dream-come-true vacations to the theme parks here in Orlando, Florida. (Check out the photo albums of the GKTW Village. It's awesome.)


Click here to give your dollar.






Clarification from john: Firstgiving doesn't work with PayPal. However, it is the only site that we found that allows people to give as little as a dollar and for us to track it. Plus, it's super easy to use. A couple of the charities will be set up with PayPal, though, and we will link to those pages when we have one. Thanks so much everyone. You guys are the best. -john
Jenniffer said...

Awesome! I'm So glad you guys are doing this again this year! I hope that you will consider Icing Smiles as one of your picks - they bring birthday cakes to critically ill children... definitely a worthwhile cause!

metzdarling said...

If I may suggest another Charity,
Response of Suffolk County.
They're a 24/7 Crisis Hotline staffed by volunteers. This time of year can be a really busy time, and they man the phones every day, including hotlines. They're a part of the national Lifeline Suicide Hotline Network.
www.responsehotline.org

Anonymous said...

FIRST COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahem. i think it's really nice that you're doing this again, because I wasn't introduced to your blog then. (don't worry, I caught up)

-Sarah

Sara Pierce said...

Holy cupcake MESS!
Sara from splifeinthesetimes.blogspot.com

Jan said...

Wonderful idea. I'm not seeing how to donate though PayPal, though...help?

knittingnut02 said...

Thank you for choosing this charity. Our family spent a week in Florida at Give Kids the World for my daughter's Make-a-Wish trip. It was amazing at how effortless they made the week for us. Not to mention unlimited ice cream from 7:30am - 10pm every day. One of her greatest memories of the trip is eating ice cream for breakfast.

Joseph Hayes said...

GKTW is an amazing place. I've written about the work they do and the unswerving commitment of the staff and the dynamo that is Pam Landwirth, president of the organization. Your readers should feel no hesitation in donating to such a worthy place. Cheers!

Karen in Hammond said...

How do I do it with PayPal?

Trevor said...

Seriously what IS #3? I've been looking at it from different directions, and I'm STILL not sure what it is.

Abigail said...

I am so glad that you are starting off with GIve Kids the World! My family spent a week there in 2007 during my daughter's Make-A-Wish trip, and we all had an amazing time! We give back to them regularly, and if you have a Perkins in your area, go there for lunch or dinner today- they support Give Kids the World by providing all of their wonderful food free to the families.
Thanks again! And many Holiday blessings to you all!

Anna said...

I've been looking forward to this all year!!!

Julie the Nerd said...

I love how you do this, it fills my nerdy bitter heart with hope.

I do have a suggestion for a charity, too! The Dream Center in Los Angeles helps thousands of homeless and disadvantaged people in the city everyday. If you have the time, look into it! I have spent many hours volunteering there and it is utterly life changing.

Kalani said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks so much for doing this every year. Not everyone has an army of dedicated blog reader minions that they can activate to be able to donate thousands and thousands of dollars to be able to make a real difference, so thank you for activating yours and I'm proud to be part of that army. Hope you and John have a good holiday season.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see the good CCCs are back! If you're still looking for charities, I'd like to suggest Medshare International (http://www.medshare.org/). They take unused hospital equipment (everything from bandaids to surgery equipment and beds) and ship it to countries in need. I've volunteered with them before, and they do amazing work!

Greekmom said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. I pledge to donate every day. I hope all your readers do the same.
Reading the GKTW website made me cry at the amazing things they are doing for these families.
I hope you don't mind if I share this info on my blog.
Happy Holidays!!!

BADKarma! said...

Congratulations, John and Jen. You have again "succeeded" at making me glad my co-workers aren't in the office yet today... Heheh.

WV - corys: These CCCs are nearly as huge a trainwreck as the "reality" series "The Two Corys"...

Donna said...

Love the Labyrinth reference! Me thinks some of those CCC pictures smellllll baaaadddd!

Awesome charitable project again this year! That's only like one Starbuck's a week we're giving up to help people and animals!

Laura said...

That cake with "Success" on it looks like a side ways Stewie Griffin. WTH?

I love that you do this! So awesome :)

Anonymous said...

Just donated $5:)

Phouka said...

I'm so glad you're doing this again this year--it was amazing how $1 could make such a big difference when we all give together.

I'd like to suggest the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (www.ccvi.org). They accept Paypal donations, and their mission "is to prepare children with visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities, to reach their highest potential in the sighted world."

Cara said...

What a great way to get people together and giving!

I recommend Heifer International as a charity. One cow can literally save an entire village.

My other favorite charity is the Austin Boxer Rescue. It's an entirely volunteer organization that saves boxer dogs from kill shelters and place each dog in a loving foster home until it can be permanently adopted. This year has been really hard for them due to vet bills and an increase in dogs needing homes due to foreclosure. www.austinboxerrescue.com

Rachel Whitten said...

Wow, excellent idea guys. If I may recommend a charity, how about wounded warrior project? They helped my husband so much after he was almost killed in Iraq, and they're doing the same for other families across the nation.

Anonymous said...

We LOVE Give Kids the World! It's an absolutely amazing place that has been wonderful to our family.
Another charity to consider, is HelpMitoKids.org It helps families with children with mitochondrial disease, a progressive disease without a cure.

Robert said...

interesting?

Cristina said...

long time reader, first time commenter. just wanted to say thanks for doing this again...christmas has lost a lot of its shine for me in the last five or six years (right about the time i had to start acting like an adult) and things like this make me all warm and fuzzy again.

Akuma said...

Donating now!
I love this blog, but never post.

If I may can I suggest an awesome charity I've had the fortune to help with before. The Joejoe Bear Foundation- They give kids with cancer and other life threatening diseases teddy bears to comfort them since thier parents can't always be there due to work or other reasons and can not go into the rooms during testing/ chemo.
http://joejoebear.org/

Mary Connealy said...

He became an ACCENT RUG???


LOL

Seriously, I'm laughing out loud and it's embarrassing because there are witnesses.

Rachelle said...

This is awesome! I love that you do this and I promoting philanthropy is so important. If I may, I'd like to suggest a charity: WestSide Baby in Seattle, WA. They take gently used baby and children's clothing, toys, car seats, cribs, etc. and redistribute them to children who need them. They also provide diapers to families who need them. Their overhead is very low, but they serve over 400 childen every month. It's an amazing organization that is green and making a difference for families in need. www.westsidebaby.org Thanks for considering them.

kristen said...

Paypal is not worth it anyway for small amounts as they take too much in fees.

Shannon G. said...

I'm not loving that FirstGiving has a 7.5% service fee. If we could donate through PayPal then all of our money would go to the charity. Any way to do that?

Anonymous said...

You guys are wonderful!! I'd like to suggest another charity, too.

Angels Among Us

It's a pet rescue that takes animals out of high-kill shelters, usually just before they are to be euthanized. They spay or neuter, and chip the animals, then put them in foster homes until they are ready to be adopted. The group is extremely dedicated to these animals, but their funds are always a little short and they could really use a Christmas boost! Anyway, I hope you consider them for your Charitable Christmas Charity Countdown.

As always, your blog is exceptional!

Nicole said...

You guys are awesome. Thanks for being such a good example of what humanity should be.

spyderqueen said...

If I can suggest a Charity, I'd like to call attention to Days End Farm Horse Rescue (www.defhr.org). They care for and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses for a number of states. These horses come to them in appalling conditions - malnutrition, matted hair, rain rot, overgrown teeth and hooves and a number of other medical problems and these volunteers work incredibly hard to get them to the state where they are healthy, friendly and adoptable where possible.

If you go to their site, read up on the Berkeley County, WVa case (aka The West Virginia Seven). These are horses that had to be rescued from a so-called rescue where they were found in worse condition than when they were surrendered. The progress Days End has made on these animals is outstanding.

Bridget said...

GKTW is the greatest place on earth!!!! I lead volunteer groups there from my school FGCU. It was so much fun, everyone loved just being there, especially helping such a great cause. I highly recommend volunteering there for anyone in the Central Florida area!

Rachel said...

I actually HAVE seen a good cupcake cake. If they do it again, I'll have to take a picture. It was in the shape of a watermelon slice with a bite taken out of it. They made the shapes work together.

The above, however, are clearly not it, though.

omniscience said...

I love the blog and have been an avid daily reader for a while now. Thanks for all the entertainment and for the good you are doing now.

If you are still taking charity suggestions. Not For Sale is very close to my heart. It is an organization established by my college ethics professor. They are dedicated to searching out and ending human trafficking and slavery in America and across the globe. The organization trains people to help in the efforts on a local and global basis. Anyone can help! http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

Stephanie said...

1. Yay! This is such a good idea. Thanks for doing this.
2. I am sorry. Really sorry for being a pedant here. But: the 12 days of Christmas start on December 25th and end on January 5th (Epiphany starts on Jan. 6th)

Bryna said...

I've sent my donation and am happy to do so! Thank you for doing this again this year!!!

I would also like to suggest a charity... Every Little Bottom which is through Huggies and provides diapers for families who cannot afford them.
http://www.huggies.com/en-US/promotions/everylittlebottom/get-involved

THANKS!!!

john (the hubby of JEN) said...

Hey guys,

Sorry I'm just now getting on the boards. Let me answer a couple of concerns.

Stephanie,

Yeah well.

Kristen and Shannon G.,

Sadly, unless you send a check directly to a charity, there will always be fees. Credit card processing, website maintenance and so on. First Giving and Paypal work out to about the same for small donations. Even giving directly to a charity's website costs them money. The great thing is that after all the donations come in, First Giving sends a big check and the charity doesn't have to do anything.

Jen and I looked for a long time for alternatives but there really are no other sites that are set up as well as First Giving and take donations of only a dollar.

I hope this answers some questions. Thanks for being awesome.

john

Craig said...

#1 I don't even know what to do with that -- with that red outline, it looks like an ASPCA investigation in progress. A giant bone with dog heads? Someone's seriously disturbed take on a throw (up) rug?? Now that's spooy!

#3 A scrambled-egg cone with a cherry on top -- now there's a cold-weather treat if ever there was!

#6 Cinnamon rolls should not be green. Ever. Green is the universal warning color which in nature means, 'do not put this in your mouth, lest your tongue, in an effort to get away, jumps down your throat and chokes you.' This is why many vegetables are green. Green beans are safe if combined with sufficient bacon to placate the tongue.

#7 Ok on the color of the icing, but the amount...? There is a fine line between 'enough' and 'too much', and these are just over the limit. ;-)

Love the charity idea -- hopefully I can contribute soon.

Ironica said...

I work for the Weingart Center (weingart.org). We're in Los Angeles, in Skid Row, providing housing, meals, employment preparation, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and whatever else is needed for people who are homeless. It's basically ground zero for homelessness in the United States... but we're committed to turning it around and working ourselves out of a job!

I already have $5 taken out of every paycheck to go back to the organization... about half of us do, and another 30% did one-time gifts, and we're on track to raise $4,000 just from our staff this year! A board member has pledged to match the first $5,000 of this It Starts With Me! campaign. Join in... we're doing awesome work!

Anorejko said...

Please consider Sanctuary for Families as one of your charities this year. We are the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Each year, we help thousands of victims and their children build safe lives through a range of high quality services including shelter, counseling, legal services, and economic empowerment.
http://www.sanctuaryforfamilies.org/

Analise said...

Yay! So glad to see you guys are doing this again this year!

If I might suggest a charity (again, actually), I'd suggest the one I volunteer with: Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, located in Mt. Airy, MD and 100% volunteer-run. There are many horse rescues out there, but there are very few that are strictly devoted to rescuing draft horses (and drafts, due to their size, are in particular danger of being sent to slaughter in Canada and Mexico). They are funded through a combination of adoption fees and donations (and can be found on Guidestar) and rescue horses from local low-end auctions where they bid against the "meat man", take owner surrenders, and assist various animal control agencies when horses are seized out of neglect and abuse situations. The horses are rehabilitated and retrained to be riding and companion horses and have competed in local shows, ridden in parades, gone on trail rides and camping trips, and performed in various meet-the-public events.

Laurie P said...

Awesome first charity. My family had a wonderful time there for my son's Make A Wish trip to Disney World.

May I suggest another Charity? Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). My son has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is a degenerative muscle disorder that will cause my son to slowly lose his ability to walk, then live. Most boys with Duchenne do not live past their early 20s. PPMD is a wonderful charity and has really helped our family and all boys with Duchenne. They are dedicated to saving the lives of this generation of boys.

Sara said...

I love that you guys are doing this again!

I think one charity that definitely deserves some attention is the Trevor Project. It helps LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out of their homes to find places to stay, and discourages suicide among the community.

NICOLE said...

I've been waiting in anticipation for this year's CCC to start. I followed along and gave last year, and was very excited to see that you decided to do this again. I'm looking forward to the charities you spotlight this year and I love your first pick of GKTW. To anyone visiting or living in the Orlando area - you can volunteer at GKTW for as little as a few hours.
Now about those cakes, what even is the one that says "Success"? Is it a key...?

Crystal Pistol said...

Woo Hoo! I'm glad you're doing this again this year! GKTW is awesome. I'm on their mailing list from your charity tour last year. Makes me tear up every time I get a newsletter!

Pauline said...

Are you going to have St Judes hospital on the list?

wv: imped - like impaled, only they aren't paled yet.

Anonymous said...

If I may suggest a charity, how about the Sophie Lancaster Foundation?

Ceci said...

Glad you're doing this again--it brought a lot of cheer to me last year.

Only one comment: you might want to consider rephrasing the last paragraph, because the first thing one reads about the charity is:

"Give Kids the World, which provides children with life-threatening conditions..."

andrea said...

When was the deadline for submitting charities? I donated what I could today and love you guys for coming up with the idea. There are so many worthy recipients, but the one I want to promote today is Zuma's Rescue Ranch in Colorado. They are a well-organized and totally legit horse rescue, but that isn't all. They have a well-educated and qualified staff to work with children in foster care and help them develop a bright future. zumasrescueranch.com

Chris said...

For any other international readers (go Australia!), I've found on the GKTW website that they do help kids from countries other than the US too. This pdf shows what countries they helped in 2009, and the total number they've helped from other countries worldwide. They team up with other wish giving organisations, like the Make A Wish Foundation, when kids say they want to go to the American theme parks.

They've only helped 42 Australian families, so I'm still deciding if I'll help them or another Australian charity in lieu, but at least they are open to families from around the world!

Agent Honeywell said...

I suggest the Central Asia Institute. They build schools and communities in rural Pakistan and much of Central Asia where people live in extreme poverty. Boys and girls get schools, women learn skills and are empowered, and people get much-needed medical assistance, farming equipment, etc. You can read more about it in the book "Three Cups of Tea".

http://www.ikat.org/

Brooke B said...

I have two charities to suggest:

1. The Trevor Project: Their mission is to offer support to LBGT teenagers who are struggling with who they are. They mainly focus on suicide prevention and run a 24/7 emergency hotline for those who are contemplating suicide.

2. To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA): This organization's focus is to raise public awareness about depression and the various ways that people deal with this disease: addiction, self-injury, suicide etc. I know from experience that this organization helps because it helped my sister when she was cutting herself and when she contemplated suicide. They are not an emergency hotline, but they want to bring depression and its effects to public attention.

Kimberly said...

Hey, Analise,

I just Bought the horses a bag of apples :)

It's not much, but it's something I can do for them, and you.

mladybright said...

This blog and Christmas is the only time I will associate warm fuzzies and CCC's...

thankfully.

Awesome job, happy glowy feelings abounding.

~~Di

Is it just me, or are those Muppet eyes on the Flat Frosty?

dee said...

Thank you so much or doing this. I wish I could donate a dollar for every time I've laughed out loud on this site!

Anonymous said...

What was that cupcake cake supposed to BE anyway?!?

Anywhoo, I LOVE the fact that you guys are doing this charity deal! Disney World is THE BEST place EVER for people with disabilities, allergies, anything. The children this helps should be donated Cake Wrecks T-shirts.

Seriously.

Yota Armai said...

I love that you do this. I'd like to suggest Engineers Without Borders-USA. Local EWB-USA chapters plan and implement sustainable engineering solutions to support community driven programs worldwide.

The Ghana Project is an EWB-USA University of North Florida project. They project plans to mitigate water borne related illness and condition at the Tamale Children's Home by providing the home with a reliable source of potable water.

Also, any donations made between now and the 31st are matched, until the matching funds are used up. So you're $1 becomes $2 with $1.50 going to the project and $.50 going to EWB-USA.

Doctor Tarr said...

Oops. Used my real name instead of my witty Blogger name on the donation. I'll fix that next time.

jillb-ilslp said...

I almost asked last week if you were going to do this again this year. I'm so glad that you are.
And as long as we're making suggestions...I would like to again recommend HOPE for Louisville, which helps homeless persons, not only providing for immediate needs, but also job and life skills.
http://new.jeffersonstreet.org/about/homelessness-in-louisville-ky/

Thanks for all you do - and for teaching us the third verse to Frosty the Snowman! I'll be singing it all night.

joyce said...

This is such a wonderful idea, I will be sure to participate. We tend to do our charity in February, that is when the polar bear plunge happens around here. We jump into a frozen or (Actually we do it twice). It is a fund raiser for Missouri Special Olympics.

Freezin' for a Reason!

http://somo.org/nerdsiclesMH

Yes our team is called the Nerdsicles .. this will be our 5th and 6th plunge!

Julie said...

Jen,

I'd like you to consider featuring Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford, MI - www.equestcenter.org or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Equest-Center-for-Therapeutic-Riding-Inc/489584740175

Equest offers therapeutic horseback riding for the handicapped. We serve a multitude of disabilites for ages 3+.

Nothing brightens my day like watching the riders reach new heights. Autism finds a voice by asking in a different way; the wheelchair bound find freedom at a trot. The blind learn unshakable trust. Some forever shed their crutches and walkers because of their horses.

I've given almost 20 years as a volunteer and I wouldn't trade that time for anything else.

Anna B said...

Any way you could also post the AFR (annual fundraising rate, or the percentage of income that the charity spends exclusively on administration and fundraising and NOT going to the cause they support?)for each charity? Hate to be the bah humbug, but I like to know how funds are being used (I work in the nonprofit field, so this is familiar territory for me).

Elisabeth S. said...

I was scrolling down, got to #3 & said "That looks like a CCC I submitted!" Ran around the house yelling for all to look at my 15 minutes of fame!! LOL. Thanks for making my day!! :)

Sarah Little said...

John and Jen- thanks for doing this! I've been religiously reading your blog for over a year now and absolutely love it! I laugh myself to tears! I'd like to recommend a charity... Hearts for Hearing in Oklahoma. My son was born profoundly deaf, and with their help, along with cochlear implants, can listen and talk. H4H provides life changing therapy and the best hearing aids available to children in need and are changing the lives of so many!their website is www.heartsforhearing.org, and I wholeheartedly recommend them! Sarah Little,

Bakin' and Bitchin' said...

I'm happy that you're doing the charity thing again....but I'm uber excited that you made a 'bog of eternal stench' reference!!!!

Caitlyn Pagenkopf said...

Even if not there aren't enough days for it this year, I suggest Autism Speaks, a charity for people on the autism spectrum, a behavioral disorder that affects social abilities, and their families.
http://www.autismspeaks.org/

Kate said...

Thank you SO much for choosing Give Kids the World as one of your charities. My four year old son has a terminal disease. He is brave and he is a fighter, and it is such a gift that he is with us for one more Christmas this year. He had his Make A Wish as soon as he turned 2 1/2 (the minimum age) as we weren't sure how much time he had/how much quality of life he had left. He went to Disney to "meet Chip and Dale) and we stayed in GKTW. It was a truly magical time for all of us. My son got to get away from all of the scary medical stuff for a little while, and his brothers and sisters got to play and be children without worrying about their little brother. My husband and I made memories that will last a lifetime.

Heather said...

I just want to say thank you SOOOO much for doing the charity days again. Really I am so excited to be part of it again this year!

I am also going to drop a charity name, Backpack Buddies. My cousin set this up and runs it and it really is an amazing cause. You can check it out at http://backpack-buddies.org/

She fills backpacks with food for kiddos so that they can eat at home, not just at school. She helps out over 300 kids, and could really use the support to grow her cause!

No matter what charity you all choose, I will be happy to share my $1 or more each day!

Take care!
Heather

Aliza said...

@Dee, now there's an idea. If a dollar was raised for every laugh from every reader of this blog, can you imagine the fortune each year?

Great idea for supporting charities. I don't know that many American charities, but the United Way is always a great way to make such a difference in a community. Medicine Sans Frontiers, WaterCan, CARE, Red Cross-- so many great NGOs who work internationally (Red Cross will also help in a local disaster, of course). Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (and Ovarian Cancer Canada) have special meaning to my family, but helping any national organization that helps individuals and their families fight cancer and/or funds research sounds great to me. And is there a big literacy charity that works with underprivileged adults? That'll give the gift of being able to enjoy your blog-- and drastically improved employment opportunities.

I've just run our workplace campaign for my branch, so I've seen how individual contributions can REALLY add up. Now to figure out PayPal...

juli said...

Another long time reader, first time commenter! My funds are low this year but I will try to donate as much as possible!

I'd like to suggest Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a fantastic organization that helps raise money for musicians in need. They recently helped out my cousin's band, Madina Lake, and their bassist Matthew Leone. Over the summer Matthew was nearly killed after trying to stop a man who was beating his wife. The man turned on Matthew, beat him, then left him on the street. Thanks to Sweet Relief and Through the Pain(www.throughthepain.org), we have been able to at least make Matthew's enormous hospital bills a little less for him and his family. Not all musicians are well off with money, most struggle day to day but still manage to do what they love. Check them out! www.sweetrelief.org

Arlene said...

What on earth did those wreckerators do to that poor dalmation CCC? It looks like it got run over by a steam shovel 100000000 times and only a small lil plastic head survived the massacre lol. Scary but I kind of liked the green cinnamon role/wreath thing. I need some sweets bad lol.

emedoodle said...

Thank you again for supporting GKTW! My niece made her Make-A-Wish there, and seriously that place is amazing! :)

Susannah said...

Since the international transfer fees would eat up a lot of my donation, I'm donating £2 to Make-a-Wish, who are one of the UK charities that send kids to GKTW via their JustGiving page. There's a list of these on the GKTW page if this is useful to other non-US people.

Ainomaria said...

Nice one with the charity drive! I don't have a specific charity to suggest, but as an international reader I'd be interested in seeing some money and attention go to a cause outside of the US.

Anonymous said...

Aww what a sweet kid, and what awful CCC's

Liz said...

This is incredible. Hilariously funny and generous too.

I would like to suggest an organization for your consideration: The organization is the Coalition for the Advancement of Student Activities which sponsors the Student Leadership Training Program (www.sltp.info). This organization is dedicated to empowering student leaders so that they can change the world. It is an entirely volunteer organization. The staff is committed to the program. It provides the cheapest overnight leadership experience for students in the country because it only charges for the costs and not any additional salaries, etc. I first attended when I was 13 years old. I was bullied in school and was having a hard time figuring out why to keep living. I attended this program and it changed my life. I am now 31 and still actively engaged as a staff member for this amazing program. 18 years later it is still changing my life and the lives of many students.

This is a great thing you're doing.

Kimberly Alsperger said...

This is such a wonderful idea, and I'm so happy to be apart of it! I hope you don't mind [and I'm sure you don't], I posted this link to my facebook, inviting my friends to check it out and donate as well!
Merry CHRISTmas!

Kara D said...

I am one of the lucky ones that gets to call GKTW their employer, but I'm also a long-time follower of CW! I have chills scrolling through these comments as well as the ones on your fundraising FirstGiving page. We are truly honored to be a part of this, and I'd like to share that I see the difference this money will make in these families' lives each day. Like so many others have said, it's all about giving these special families one week where they don't have to worry, where they can be normal and where they can make lasting memories that will inspire hope in their lives.

I thought I'd back up John on his comment about being charged a small fee anywhere where credit cards are used for fundraising. This is the case everywhere and actually, to my knowledge, FirstGiving has never charged us more than 4%, it's usually a 3-3.5% fee. I've also had to work closely with the FG staff in the past, and they are truly amazing and absolutely not out to carve into our hard-earned funds. Also, to answer Anna B's question...GKTW was recently ranked the #1 most fiscally responsible charity by "Worth" magazine because we maintain an extremely low admin rate of 7%. Of course, I encourage anyone planning a large donation to any organization to do some research beforehand.

What Jen & John are doing is phenomenal; just look how the spirit of giving has been shared on this first day! And there are 11 more to go! Almost $3k has been raised for GKTW so far, and most of that one dollar at a time. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you!

Kate Halleron said...

While I'm not donating to your charities, you did prompt me to go donate to my favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

Crap. I WASN'T the first commenter.

-Sarah

Anonymous said...

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-Ikierpjghvnhf G. Yjsdgfucui

TRANSLATION: Oh my goodnes THIS LOOKS AWESOME and so fun! Just one question, why does that blob say "success?"

Dana said...

This is such a great idea!! Love it!

Mrs. B said...

Just in case you need charity ideas, may I recommend legalizeferrets.com. We Californians are fighting for the right to own the pets we love.

Selky said...

I highly suggest the Cleftline organization, especially their teddy bear program.
http://www.cleftline.org/features/bears_for_the_kids

My son was born with Pierre Robbins sequence. He received a teddy when he had his cleft palate surgery and he loves his bear! It goes on every hospital trip! :)

Girl who read all CW posts said...

Haha, I loved your "Bog of Eternal Stench" reference! Love that movie! It's one of my favorites! And yes Cupcake cakes still are horrid!

The Chocolate Lady said...

Love your site!

We stayed at Give Kids the World 11/05, and are thankful that we were recently able to go back for a day visit. It is a magical place!!

I have fun desserts on my site, check it out, although, hopefully none are "worthy" of your posting :)

http://www.thechocolateladyblog.blogspot.com

Melinda said...

I have reservations about Autism Speaks, and the way they percieve autism. Many in the autism community feel they're going about things the wrong way by looking at it as something needing a cure-it's viewed by most as a part of who we are, rather than something needing to be fixed.

http://autismcrisis.blogspot.com/2008/06/epidemiology-of-autism-speaks.html

I'd suggest seeing if there's a better autism charity out there to support.

As for one to consider, how about Operation Iraqi Children, which gives school supplies and other things to children in the middle east?
http://www.operationiraqichildren.org

I also like Smile Train and Save our Soles.

15%Gratuity said...

The fact that the founder of GKTW is a Holocaust survivor and founder of several other charities just blows me away.

The sheer power of his good should be enough to remove at least a fair bit of evil from the world! If only...

Anonymous said...

How about this little cupcake cake?

http://heavenlydelightcakes.com/gallery/Cupcake%20Cakes/03%2022%2008%20Butterfly%20cupcake%20cake.JPG

I think its as cute as a button~