My Unusual $100,000 Birthday Present (Plus: Free Round-Trip Anywhere in the World) 384 Comments
33. I’ll turn a glorious 33 this weekend.
It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Repeating numbers (born in ’77) are good luck. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too: in this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world and more.
But back to that strange birthday gift…
Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for.
It’s not entirely true. I love handwritten letters, home-made brownies (like Fred Wilson), girlfriends dressed in next to nothing, and–most of all–when people do something nice.
Before we move on (wait for it, wait for it), please watch this super-short movie trailer:
In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to help high-need kids in public schools take field trips.
Can you imagine never having the chance to go to the aquarium or natural history museum? “Never” as in, literally, never in your life?
Since I am turning 33 this year, please help choose a field trip to support here with a tax-deductible $33 donation (or any other amount). Feel free to give from $10-$10,000 in the “Give to the most urgent project” field, whatever you can afford.
If we run out of field trips (which would be awesome), we’ll focus on reading projects. Literacy = the most fundamental path out of poverty.
Beyond the good karma and thank-you letters you’ll receive from the kids:
Incentive #1 – The trip: Donate before this Sunday at 12 midnight PST, and I’ll pick one of y’all randomly. You’ll get a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world that Continental or Star Alliance fly, whether Rome, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, or hundreds of other awesome locations. There is no expiration date on the trip, so you can take your time.
Incentive #2 – How it becomes $100,000: I will match every dollar donated, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 total. That means that if the field trip gifts (donations) total $50,000, I will write a check for $50,000, all of which will go to public school kids in need. Remember, it’s tax-deductible.
Please go to this page and look around. Seriously, take a peek.
The goal is to get approximately 1,500 donors at an average of $33 each, which will add up to $50,000 and, matched, add up to $100,000.
Incentive #3 – If you want to get some goodies, please help spread the word. Tell people I’m matching donations and get them to this post or this DonorsChoose.org link (same as above). Leave a comment below telling me what you did to spread the word (Facebook, Twitter, e-mail blast, add to your e-mail signature, encourage employees/friends to do the same, etc.).
The three most die-hard promoters will get pairs of my favorite sunglasses on the planet: Maui Jim’s. Grand winner will get a VIP gift card (good for any pair, including $300+ models) and two runners-up will get a pair of $200+ sunglasses of my choosing.
Beyond the bribes, you’ll feel awesome about yourself for doing some real good for little ‘uns who have so little. Trust me.
Superman is not coming to help these kids, nor is the government — will you step up for even two minutes?
I hope to help with the bigger policy changes, but, as one politician said, “Show me a movement first and then I can respond.”
I think that’s doable, and this little experiment could be exhibit A.
Note for Non-US readers from Baahar:
“For people from outside the US: during the checkout process on donorschoose.org, it asks for your address. I couldn’t proceed at first because my postal code was too short, and there was no message to indicate what the problem was. Type a 5 digit number to pass that stage.”
Posted on July 22nd, 2010