It's October regardless of that a few days have passed before I got this post authored. Things have been incredibly busy with just about everyone feeling overextended and over-committed. But it's October still the same, and thus, we have seen the opening of one of my favorite blogosphere events: the Donors Choose Social Media Challenge.
Last year I learned about Donors Choose through SciWo and Alice at Sciencewomen on ScienceBlogs. Donors Choose is an online charity that allows teachers to request supplies they deem absolutely essential to learning experiences. And some of the proposals really are about essentials like desks, pencils, and paper. Other proposals are about essentials like books, experimental supplies, and frogs. Some proposals involve a hot new idea that a teacher has to really make learning come alive for their students but require some more resources to make it happen. There's something at Donors Choose for everyone.
This year, SciWo and Alice have decided to fund projects that get science books into classrooms. Last year, I saw what was going on at Sciencewomen and sent an email to my favorite laboratory goddess Dr Isis. This year, Dr Isis seeks worshippers at Dr Isis's Sacred Temple of Giving.
But last year as I got engaged with the month long challenge, I stumbled across another blogger, Sarah D. Bunting, who challenged her readers to raise $100,000 with the alluring prize of a tall woman in a tomato suit going to see the sites in Washington, DC. This year, Tomato Nation is attempting to bet red and raise $210k (the Tomato will go to Atlantic City and play blackjack). But following the contest on Tomato Nation is incredible as they currently have 550 projects waiting to be funded... and a team of incredible readers that have already pitched in to reach over $21,000 in less than two and a half days (and fund 81 projects).
So it's awesome, it's a lot of fun, and it's a way to feel like maybe your $5, $10, $20 matters a bit more. I don't have much of a readership, but every little bit helps. Click around and see if any of the projects strike your fancy.