I just found out about something cool for which the window of opportunity closes in eleven days:
Through November 26, the One Laptop Per Child project has a Give One Get One deal (in the U.S. and Canada) wherein you can donate a spiffy new and super-cool XO laptop to a child in a developing country and get one to give to a child in your life (although, presumably, your inner-child might persuade you to keep it for yourself if you aren’t acquainted with any kids).
The XO laptop is an impressive feat of engineering, and distributing these beauties is part of a plan that really speaks to me:
OLPC’s mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. While children are by nature eager for knowledge, many countries have insufficient resources to devote to education–sometimes less than $20 per year per child (compared to an average of $7,500 in the United States). By giving children their very own connected XO laptop, we are giving them a window to the outside world, access to vast amounts of information, a way to connect with each other, and a springboard into their future. And we’re also helping these countries develop an essential resource–educated, empowered children.
The Give One Get One offer won’t fit everyone’s budget — it’s $399 to donate an XO and to get your own (although $200 of that is tax deductible), which means that you’re actually paying for two of the laptops rather than magically scoring a freebie. But, in the event that it does fit your budget, it strikes me as an opportunity to help a kid’s possibilities get bigger while (paradoxically) making the world a little smaller and more interconnected.