Weekend Diversion: A Charity Challenge!

I was driving to work one day this past week, thinking about how to make some positive change in this world, while this song — Lochs of Dread — by Béla Fleck was playing:

And a great idea hit me. You see, all over my town, small, local, community-based non-profit organizations (such as museums, libraries, hospitals, parks, etc.) are facing huge shortages, both financially and in terms of workers. I give a little bit of money to charity, and I volunteer a couple of times a month at my local science museum on the weekends, but that’s really all I can do.

Until now. You see, I believe that if a lot of people get involved with something positive, even if it’s just a little bit, we can make a tremendous change. So I have a challenge for everyone who reads this.

Donate at least ten dollars (or ten euros, or ten pounds, or whatever’s the closest equivalent in your currency) or volunteer at least four hours at whatever charitable organization you choose.

When you do it, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, telling us:

  1. what you donated/volunteered to do,
  2. what organization you donated to/volunteered for, and
  3. why you chose that organization.

When I get 100 unique comments from people who have done this, I will shave my head. This is a big deal. I have had long hair since I was 19 and in college:

and I look like this today:

I only cut it short once (in 2005) to donate my hair to Locks of Love. I have never shaved my head. And I will do this — and post pictures — as soon as we reach our goal.

I’m also curious to learn about what all of your favorite charities are! Spread the word, because I would love to not just meet my goal of 100 donations of time or money, but to exceed it by as much as possible! Let’s see what we can accomplish!

Comments

  1. Bought a farmers starter kit for Uganda from Danish Red Cross, 175 DKK

  2. Sorry, I can’t seem to follow even simple instructions. I chose the Red Cross because of transparency and secularity. I chose exactly where my money should be spent, and I’m sure that they’ll deliver the aid without any religious entanglements.

  3. #3 Rob Lemmens
    July 18, 2009

    I was wondering if i was gonna collect for the animal ambulance in my neighbourhood, i was thinking about not doing it because it costs a lot of time. But as a long time reader of your blog im going to just to see you shave your head!

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    July 18, 2009

    Money? a hundred a week split between the Red Cross, medical research, food banks, and other local charities.

    How about those who don’t have money? Blood is always good. We need more blood donors — surest way there is to save a life.

    Time? About fifteen or so days a year as a volunteer emergency medic (National Ski Patrol).

    Props to Locks of Love. Some of my fellow patrollers have given up amazing head of hair for them. Good people.

  5. #5 Jogga
    July 18, 2009

    Donated £20 (GB) to the Richard Dawkins Foundation:

    Donation towards sending “Growing up in the Universe” DVD to schools and libraries – because education is the single most important thing we can give to our children.

    Good luck in reaching your target, Ethan.

  6. #6 Steven Tvert
    July 18, 2009

    A friend of mine, John Rubbo, is running for Councilman of the 4th district in Yonkers. I donated to him.

    http://www.Rubbo2009.com

  7. #7 Steven P. Tvert
    July 18, 2009

    I left out that the donation was $100.

    PS Had to throw my middle initial in this post because the system said I had posted too many times in a short period of time. I tricked you, silly computer!

  8. #8 Steven Paul Tvert
    July 18, 2009

    Since political contributions of this type wasn’t the goal of this Charity Challenge then I would like to submit a different donation. I donated $75 to the Friends of the Yonkers Animal Shelter, http://www.friendsofyas.com. This group is trying to raise money to help build a new animal shelter in Yonkers, which is desperately needed.

    Tricked you again, silly computer!

  9. #9 Duncan Ivry
    July 18, 2009

    More than 50 percent of my income goes to the department of the treasury. State institutions spend much more than 30 percent of this money for welfare payments. Does this count?

  10. #10 Sam L.
    July 18, 2009

    I volunteer 4 hours a week at the Carnivore Preservation Trust in Pittsboro, NC. It’s a great nonprofit that rescues endangered carnivores like binturongs, servals, leopards, jaguars, and tigers from abusive or unlicensed owners, zoos that are forced to shut down, etc. I give tours to student groups, construct furniture for the enclosures, and feed animals. I first volunteered there in middle school with my dad, and it was such an awesome experience I came back 9 years later when I had the time and freedom to give back. They need money more than volunteers at this point, it’s a really high-quality organization and your money goes directly to paying the bills and meeting veterinary costs, instead of being funneled through a bureaucracy like with the Red Cross.

  11. #11 Terry, AKA Adui
    July 18, 2009

    I donate time regularly to this dog rescue, and will give $10 to the local animal shelter as well this coming week. I dont even need to see you shave your head, but that could be fun too!!

    Terry, AKA Adui from Gameknot

  12. #12 Sili
    July 18, 2009

    Interesting idea. I never went that far (but could really do with a haircut, actually). Sean and Julianne guilted me into giving to Donor’s Choose last year with “The World’s Saddest Graph”.

    I’ll have to think about it – Iono what I’d donate to.

  13. #13 Sarabeth
    July 18, 2009

    I donated $25 to DonorsChoose.org to help supply a science classroom with supplies in my state. I donate to them because I can choose the project and the recipients give an update when the project is funded and used. I recently donated a huge chunk of my time to a fundraiser that collected $150,000 for the expansion of children’s medical services in the area.

  14. #14 söve
    July 19, 2009

    give tours to student söve groups, construct furniture for the enclosures, söve and feed animals. I first volunteered there in middle school with my dad, and it söve was such an awesome experience I came söve back 9 years later when I had the time and freedom to give back.

  15. #15 Dr. Free-Ride
    July 19, 2009

    I donated $79 through DonorsChoose.org to help buy microscopes for a classroom in a high-poverty school in Northern California. I’ve been a fan of DonorsChoose for a long time, and given the abysmal state of the California budget, public school teachers are likely going to have to make this sort of direct appeal to potential donors to secure even the most basic classroom supplies.

    Grrrr.

    But, while inadequate public school funding angers me, Ethan’s effort to get people to do what they can to help, in any of the many places where help is needed, makes me really happy.

    Are you gonna post a video of the shaving when it happens?

    Also, ping!

  16. #16 Comrade PhysioProf
    July 19, 2009

    I have many donated many hundreds of hours of my time to charities over the last decade and continue to do so, but I obviously can’t give you any details, being pseudonymous and so forth.

    Regardless, instead of shaving your head, how about you shave your nut sack? That would be much more hilarious!

  17. #17 D. C. Sessions
    July 19, 2009

    Regardless, instead of shaving your head, how about you shave your nut sack? That would be much more hilarious!

    You’re looking for a charity merkin?

  18. #18 Jenny
    July 19, 2009

    I will put in at least four hours of volunteer time teaching financial management (balancing a check book, why credit card debt is a bad way to start life, the magic of compound interest) to teenagers.

  19. #19 ScienceWoman
    July 19, 2009

    I just doubled the amount I’d already promised to donate at the end of June for Silence is the Enemy. I gave the money to the local charity that runs a battered women’s shelter and provides all sorts of advocacy services for families in crisis. Thank you for getting me off my butt.

  20. #20 Barry Leiba
    July 19, 2009

    I did an eight-hour shift with a local volunteer ambulance corps, and now I’m trying to figure out how to work EMT training into my travel schedule, so I can do more.

    Why? Well, read the post linked above. The short answer is that when someone calls for emergency help, and they’re scared, it’s just wonderful to see to it that they’re calmed and reassured, their condition is stabilised, and they’re taken to get the help they need.

  21. #21 DataJack
    July 19, 2009

    I donated $625.00 to the JREF, because I like what they do: supporting and promoting science, critical thinking, and skepticism.

    Though this was last week, as I was at TAM7, and won a bid on Phil Plait’s “autographed-by-everbody” book. Does that still count?

  22. #22 Scicurious
    July 19, 2009

    As Sci does not have $10, she will be giving four hours of time to her MRUs Campus Kitchen next weekend. They take the food extra food and components from campus food, and deliver and donate it to those in need. Sci’s Uni has some very poor areas around it, and many of those who are in need of food are also suffering addictions and psychiatric disorders, for which they cannot afford help. So while Sci looks for cures, she can take some time and make them a meal or two as well.

  23. #23 D. C. Sessions
    July 19, 2009

    I’m trying to figure out how to work EMT training into my travel schedule, so I can do more.

    What part of the world are you in?

    The EMT programs are mostly set up as professional training for firefighters etc., but the National Ski Patrol has an EMT-B based program (no, won’t get you national EMT cert) that’s oriented towards working adults.

    And I can pretty well promise you that working hills in the winter will get you lots of chances to splint wrists!

  24. #24 Lurker
    July 19, 2009

    I work for a charity at least 10 hours per week, does that count?

  25. #25 Isis the Scientist
    July 19, 2009

    Come on you posers!!! It can’t be stuff you’re already doing!!!!

    I suspect the spirit of Ethan’s endeavour is to generate novel charitable giving. Not offer you the opportunity to pat yourself on the back for the shit you’re already doing.

    I have made a >1$ 0donation to Hospice of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania who cared for my grandfather many years ago.

  26. #26 khan
    July 19, 2009

    I give $250/year to local no kill cat shelter (10th Life Alpha Ohio).

    I will send $300 this year.

  27. #27 khan
    July 19, 2009

    Heck, I sent $100 to the TAM7 Las Vegas vaccination fund.

  28. #28 Jude
    July 19, 2009

    I just made my 25th loan through Kiva.org, which isn’t exactly a donation because I theoretically get the money back, although in reality, I just keep relending the same $325 (minus the one defaulted loan). I volunteered 2 hours on Friday night and I’ll be putting in four hours tomorrow of working in my high school library off-contract (which is necessary because I don’t have an aide and I’m years behind). My mother and I organized the choir director’s music this summer, which took roughly 66 hours (thus far) with another couple of hours to go. I’ve purchased roughly $2,000 worth of books for my high school library out of my pocket this year because our budget is almost non-existent and believe it or not, kids *do* love to read if you have the right books for them. I’ve been volunteering since I was 4. But you know what, I like your hair; good thing it grows back.

  29. #29 Donna B.
    July 19, 2009

    I’ll have to think a bit before deciding on a charity to give to. Many of the local ones are on my SL because I’m too familiar with how they waste money, e.g. holding board meetings at private clubs at a cost of approx. $50/head.

    There’s a local biker’s club made up of Vietnam Vets who do a lot of good things at the VA Hospital. (One is providing coffee, water, and sandwiches to those waiting for an appointment in various clinics… 8 am appt, approx wait time 5 hours.) They have no overhead expenses, everything is volunteer, but they are not a 501c3.

    So… would something like that count? Does it have to be an “organized” charity?

  30. #30 Ethan Siegel
    July 19, 2009

    I want to thank everyone for their support so far! After less than 48 hours, we already have a lot of people who have done some wonderful new things.

    Everyone who’s doing any sort of charitable work or making any charitable donations has my praise and kudos, and any comment that gets left here that I can construe as being put towards this cause, I will.

    So far, I’d like to thank:

    1.) Andreas for the farmer’s kit,
    2.) Rob for the animal ambulance aid,
    3.) D.C. for the Red Cross, medical research, food banks, blood, and medic work,
    4.) Jogga for the Dawkins Foundation,
    5.) Steven for the Friends of Yonkers Animal Shelter,
    6.) Sam for the Carnivore Preservation Trust,
    7.) Terry for his animal shelter work and donation,
    8.) Sarabeth for the donorschoose.org donation for classroom supplies,
    9.) Janet, a.k.a. Dr. Free-Ride for donorschoose.org for microscopes (and the sweet linkage),
    10.) Physioprof for the extra four hours he’s going to volunteer on my behalf (thanks in advance!) and for the link on his site,
    11.) Jenny for the financial management volunteer work,
    12.) Sciencewoman for her donation to Silence is the Enemy,
    13.) Barry for his work with the Volunteer Ambulance Corps,
    14.) DataJack for his donation to the James Randi Educational Foundation,
    15.) Scicurious for her donation to MRU’s campus kitchen (and again, the awesome linkage),
    16.) Lurker for the extra four hours he/she’s putting in this week on my behalf (thanks in advance!),
    17.) Isis the Scientist for her donation to Hospice of Lancaster County, PA,
    18.) Khan for the extra donation to the local no-kill cat shelter,
    19.) Jude for his charitable loan through Kiva.org (one of my favorites), and
    20.) Donna, for her upcoming donation to her charity of her choice. Yes, it counts!!

    We are almost a quarter of the way there, and it isn’t even Monday yet!

  31. #31 Isis the Scientist
    July 19, 2009

    Alright, Ethan. I applaud your efforts, but I am slightly disappointed to hear people posting about stuff they are already doing. So, I will make you this proposition…

    If you’ll wax your chest on YouTube, PhysioProf and I will, each donate $500 to the charity of your choosing. Cash money, dude.

  32. #32 Comrade PhysioProf
    July 19, 2009

    If you’ll wax your chest on YouTube, PhysioProf and I will, each donate $500 to the charity of your choosing. Cash money, dude.

    DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. #33 Sheril R. Kirshenbaum
    July 19, 2009

    Very cool Ethan!

  34. #34 bioephemera
    July 19, 2009

    I chipped in $10 to a small-town scholarship fund that recently started a science scholarship!

  35. #35 Richard Helmich
    July 19, 2009

    Ethan,

    I’ll make donations for Carissa and myself. Probably to the American Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. I’ll let you know when. But, I thought I would make a suggestion to first let your hair grow long enough to donate it to locks of love, then shave it afterwards? Perhaps that will take too long. I haven’t seen you lately to know how long your hair is at this point. Let me know.

    ~Rich

  36. #36 Kevin Sooley
    July 19, 2009

    I’m not sure if this counts, but here goes.

    After the invasion of Gaza earlier this year, my friends and I decided that we would try to help the palestinian people (Disclaimer: The people we specifically ended up helping were in the west bank, but they’re in nearly as rough shape as the Gazans so I would say it still counts. This is a politically charged subject, so the lack of ties to Hamas in the west bank helped out too.)

    After some brain storming we eventually came across the aseela women’s cooperative, which is a group of 12-14 women who researched the traditional process of making soap from olive oil. They started this cooperative to feed their families in a time of soaring unemployment (~40% in some places!). They buy olives from local farmers and make the soap to sell. We began buying soap to sell here (Newfoundland, Canada) for the exact cost we bought it for (At a loss, really. Not surprisingly, shipping from Palestine is not cheap.) We managed to sell around 300 or so dollars worth of soap. We had a table set up at the international Women’s Day festival at our university and we also just carried some around to sell to people we knew. We’re currently off for the summer so it’s hard to get anything really going, but the word had been getting out (We were on both the campus radio station and the CBC morning show, and we’ve been featured in a free newspaper that all the kids are reading these days, or so I hear.) We plan to start it up again in the fall and maybe even get a regular table at the a flea market.

    Also, in March 2008 I shaved my 22 inch locks for an organization similar to Locks of Love!

    Anyway, hope this counts!

  37. #37 Barry Leiba
    July 19, 2009

    D. C. Sessions @23
    > What part of the world are you in?

    Westchester County, NY. Irvington and Valhalla are both running EMT classes from Sep-Dec, in prep for the NY state exam in mid-Dec. But business travel will make me miss six classes, and the instructor says they can’t accommodate more than one missed class, two at the outside.

    If you have more information for me, you can contact me at my full name at computer dot org.

  38. #38 ...tom...
    July 19, 2009

    I had mentioned at Isis’ blog that I hoped you would consider Locks of Love or a similar organization as an additional benefit of your challenge being met. How refreshing to see you are already familiar with Locks of Love..!!

    I am donating twenty dollars to Alex’s Lemonade Stand in memory and honor of the child of an online acquaintance/friend. Henry’s page can be found here.

    A wonderfully creative thought and effort.

    …tom…
    .

  39. #39 Joel
    July 20, 2009

    I just donated $25 AUD to Médecins Sans Frontières – I checked them out during the Silence is our Enemy campaign and they really do provide some vital humanitarian and medical aid. I also sent a link your way.

  40. #40 Suzanne
    July 20, 2009

    Let’s get this effort jump started. I want to see some scalp.

    My donation goes to Trickle Up, an organization that offers seed money for women in the third world to start small businesses. They are coached, must write a business plan and pay the money back which is then used to start up even more businesses.

    Trickle Up

  41. #41 Lurker
    July 20, 2009

    I’ll double up my donation if you do the chest wax; matter of fact I would do the 4+ hours per week for the month of august but I have a friend helping me find a job for my provincial government and if I get it, I would have to relocate to another city.

    L.

  42. #42 sean hogge
    July 20, 2009

    I bought a Galileoscope from galileoscope.org, and also donated another to be sent to a third-world or underfunded classroom. It’s only $15, and helps children learn about optics and astronomy.

  43. #43 Isis the Scientist
    July 20, 2009
  44. #44 Change
    July 20, 2009

    £20 (GBP) to SaveTheElephants.org

  45. #45 Change
    July 20, 2009

    I also regularly donate to and lend at Kiva.

  46. #46 Jamie
    July 20, 2009

    I just donated a flock of chicks ($20) to Heifer International. They provide livestock and training to people in poor areas around the world (including parts of the US) so that people can become self-sufficient. Those who receive donations must pass along the training and a portion of their animals’ offspring to other needy families in their area, so this one-time gift will help many times over.

    Looking forward to filming the hair removal,
    Your Darling Wife

  47. #47 Marty
    July 20, 2009

    I donated $25 to ‘Back on My Feet’ which is a running club that uses the sport of running to facilitate self-esteem and life skills for homeless people. Members earn ‘points’ for miles run that they can exchange for help with job training, finding a place to live etc. I chose them because they’re having a large impact on peoples’ lives for not a lot of money. Good bang for the buck.

  48. #48 Jeff
    July 20, 2009

    1) Gave 2 pints of red blood cells on friday.
    2) I regularly give to red cross, reeve foundation, amnesty and doctors without boarders.
    3) I’ll give an extra $18 to Médecins Sans Frontières for your haircut.

  49. #49 Shay
    July 20, 2009

    Ethan, does it count if I’ve been donating four hours per week (actually a bit more than that) to our local Red Cross chapter for quite some time now?

    I donate my time and when I can, my money, to the Red Cross because I agree with their principles and I can see their results locally, within my state, within my country, and around the world.

    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/p0513

  50. #50 Rob W
    July 20, 2009

    Folks, anything you’re *already* doing shouldn’t count. It’s too easy to find 100 people who are already donating more than $10 or 4 hours to charity this year, but that accomplishes nothing beyond saying “good work, keep it up”.

    If you only report *extra* donations, then Ethan’s haircut can be responsible for a minimum of $1000 donated to charity, which seems like a cool idea.

    I’ll chip in, anyway — I just contributed $40 to American Families United (https://americanfamiliesunited.org/), which is a small non-profit working to help families that are split up and otherwise suffering because of US immigration laws. I donated to them a couple of years ago, when I was hugely pissed off at the incredible amount of time my wife and I were wasting dealing with the “Department of Homeland Security”, as the INS is now known, and apparently they’re having a funds drive currently. A friend of mine used to work for them, and said they do some great work on a very low budget.

  51. #51 RC
    July 20, 2009

    I was inspired by Sean’s Galileoscope idea, so I donated two. Since today is the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, what could be a better way to celebrate than to give someone the power to see the universe at 50x.

  52. #52 Nat
    July 20, 2009

    As a result of this post, the wife and I just gave $20 to the National MS Society.

    Get your scissors ready Delilah!

  53. #53 becca
    July 21, 2009

    $25 to Kiva.

  54. #54 Aquaria
    July 21, 2009

    As a federal employee, I contribute through the Combined Federal Campaign. Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been the primary target of my funds for several years now. I usually try to give to a second source every year, and that one varies. It’s been Planned Parenthood, Catholics for Free Choice (and I’m not even Catholic!), NOW, NARAL, the ASPCA and the like. This year, it’s Freedom from Religion.

    I’m usually a top contributor, and often the person who conducts the fundraising for my work unit(s). Love those nifty gifts. The clock was actually pretty cool…

  55. #55 nichole
    July 21, 2009

    I donate $10/ month, every month, to WNYC New York Public Radio because I <3 Radio Lab. Or are you requiring a new donation? I’ll go give money to This American Life. Ira Glass has been spamming me. I guess he needs some monies.

  56. #56 ajo
    July 21, 2009

    25 beans to donorschoose.

  57. #57 nichole
    July 21, 2009

    comment fail!! sry. I gave This American Life $20. So that’s double donating for me this month. Shave that thing!

  58. #58 marie
    July 21, 2009

    I donated a pair of running shoes to Girls on the Run (http://www.girlsontherun.org/), which promotes self esteem in girls through running.

  59. #59 DPSisler
    July 21, 2009

    You have inspired me, and Isis has encouraged me to contribute something new. I have been thinking of supporting Medecins Sans Frontiers for the past two years. Therefore, I have donated $20/month to billed directly to my credit card. Since I am lazy and will not go through the cancellation process, this donation will be continued at least until the credit card expires in 2012.

  60. #60 Jon
    July 21, 2009

    I’m volunteering at my local hospital on fridays, 12:00-4:30.

    Yay, Medical Imaging!

  61. #61 mikka
    July 21, 2009

    I’m swimming for cancer!!

    http://www.swimacrossamerica.org/TEAMCSHl

    This organization supports our cancer research, so we thought it was only fair that we would put our shoulder to the wheel.
    Sponsor us! We’re fighting the good fight!

  62. #62 Jim Lippard
    July 21, 2009

    This will end up disqualifying you from membership in the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists:

    http://improbable.com/category/lfhcfs-hair-club/

  63. #63 ktbug ladydid
    July 21, 2009

    I’m donating my hair to Locks of Love. It’s the fourth or fifth time I’ve done this in my lifetime. Been growing my hair for over a year to do this again. If I ever (and I know I will) have a friend or family member that loses their hair during chemo/radiation, I will shave my own head.

  64. #64 Don
    July 21, 2009

    $20 (Canadian) every month to the finest NGO in the world today, Medecins Sans Frontieres.

    I have a friend who’s done multiple tours with them, and seen the pictures he’s brought back. My only question is how can anyone NOT support those wonderful people?

    Oh, and I’ve been bald (only partially by choice) for seven years. Welcome to the club!

  65. #65 Don
    July 21, 2009

    Oh, and rather than my usual $20 this month, in honor of this post, I’m pushing my contribution up to $50.

    Shave that thing!

  66. #66 DataJack
    July 21, 2009

    I agree with some of the other posters – since my donation to the JREF was last week, before I read Ethan’s challenge, I am withdrawing it. Instead, put me down for $100 to Kiva. That organization looks fantastic. My wife and I are going to set up the loan this evening, and make the donation tonight.

  67. #67 Stu
    July 21, 2009

    Okay, FINE. Twist my arm why don’t you.

    Since my regular contributions to FSTV don’t really qualify, I threw in $50 to Doctors Without Borders.

  68. #68 Barklikeadog
    July 21, 2009

    I volunteer as an Asst. Scoutmaster and also donate to the local BSA Council. Does that count? The camping and fossil collecting expeditions are the best part.

  69. #69 Anniek
    July 21, 2009

    Well I’ll not count my normal blood donations, so how about volunteering as an assistant at a local charity that lets handicapped people ride horses (as part of their fysiotherapy programme, or because they like the social contacts): Stichting Ariane de Ranitz.
    I choose this because I don’t have money to donate but an evening to spare, I like horses and I think people that want to interact with horses should be given the chance, even if they can’t keep up with the paces in regular riding classes.

  70. #70 Annapolitan
    July 21, 2009

    One of my favorite charities to donate to is to Heifer International (heifer.org). They give farm animals to farmers in third-world countries. The thinking is that even one animal, like a water buffalo can help to lift a family out of subsistence farming. The recipient family then has an opportunity to pass on the gift by donating the offspring of their livestock to another farmer; the gift grows.

    Heifer has expanded their scope to fund many different types of antipoverty initiatives worldwide.

    Every year instead of exchanging gifts at Christmas, my family and I purchase livestock for other families.

  71. #71 Nerdette
    July 21, 2009

    After reading this I donated $25 to the SPCA through a World of Warcraft blogger’s charity drive (link is in the name).

    I just cut my hair recently as well. It takes guts to change a constant like that :)

  72. #72 Jennifer B. Phillips (aka Danio)
    July 21, 2009

    Ok, since all my usual volunteerisms are done for the month and I’m not eligible to give blood again until September, I just donated $20 worth of supplies (dog food, chew toys and cleaning products, per their request) to the Greenhill Humane Society, our local no-kill shelter. Fire up those clippers, boy!

  73. #73 fly44d
    July 21, 2009

    I give:
    -18 per month to Save the Children
    -10 per month to Heifer International
    -10 per month to Greenpeace
    -50 for my gal to walk in the Human Race (Santa Cruz)
    -Give airplane rides to kids 8 times per year, ~30 so far this year
    -Numerous donations to Second Harvest food bank over the year
    -The vet with a cardboard sign at the stoplight gets a buck whenever I pass him

    Looking forward to the monocle!
    :-)

  74. #74 KaaSerpent
    July 21, 2009

    The Salvation Army is collecting school supplies at work for underprivileged kids in Atlanta. So I bought about $50 in school supplies (notebooks, paper, crayons, markers, a backpack) and added it to the pile. And I’m going to buy more tonight and add it in tomorrow. They also need calculators and other stuff I didn’t get.

    Why the SA? Well, they were here. :) But I also have donated to Multiple Sclerosis this year. $50 in honor of a friend’s father who had MS and recently passed away.

  75. #75 Andrew
    July 21, 2009

    Every year for the past three years, I have donated time to Adopt A Highway. I spend 2 to 3 hours with friends and family cleaning a stretch of Highway 151 outside of Ridgeway Wisconsin three time a year. I chose to participate for two reasons.

    1) Everyone here understands the importance of the environment, and I am trying to do my part to help.

    2) The stretch of highway we selected is in memory of a close friend who was killed in a tragic accident in winter of 2006.

  76. #76 Notagod
    July 21, 2009

    Twenty buck-a-roos is on its way to the Free Software Foundation.

  77. #77 Wouter
    July 21, 2009

    1. Shaved my head and donated R100(~12US$) along with a x amount donated by the university for cancer research. It is a annual event in the summer on our Campus. For every head shaved or spray painted if I recall the university donates around $5.
    2. Donated to cancer research, donated a lot to HIV/AIDS research, donated some more for animal welfare. Volunteered for teaching poor kids to swim.
    3. I can drink a bottle or two less wine a month so overs can get more out of life. Simple =)

  78. #78 scott philben
    July 21, 2009

    Does volunteering at the local Fire Station 1 night a week (12 hour shift) pretty much every week for the last 5 years count?

    OK, reading back it seems some people don’t count existing volunteering. Fine. I just sent a flock of geese to the heifer.org people. One goose can lay 75 eggs per year and they are good watch-geese.

    Get your hair cut, hippie.

  79. #79 marcus
    July 21, 2009

    1. 25USD, just now
    2. to a person on kiva.org to help them build their rice farming business
    3. because its sustainable and direct. and to see you bald :P

  80. #80 Andy
    July 21, 2009

    I am a member of ASPCA and donate $25 a month. I also have a shaved head and love it. Hope you join the club soon!

  81. #81 rehctaw
    July 21, 2009

    http://www.hephzibahhome.org/home.html

    $25

    Because the kids are amazing, resilient and fighting tough odds.

  82. #82 trog69
    July 21, 2009

    $20 to the Texas Freedom Network, an absolutely vital team of people fighting their asses off to keep religious revisionism out of the science/social studies classrooms.

  83. #83 Ethan Siegel
    July 21, 2009

    You guys are awesome! We are already up to 64 separate people who’ve donated their time and/or money for this; more than halfway there!

    Tell your friends and minions; only 36 more and I’ll be bald for you!

  84. #84 Jeremy
    July 22, 2009

    I just donated twenty five dollars to the James Randi Educational Foundation, specifically for MMR and Polio vaccications in Las Vegas.

  85. #85 Tara C. Smith
    July 22, 2009

    OK, I kicked in $50 to the American Cancer Society to mark my grandma’s 10 year survival following breast cancer surgery and chemo.

  86. #86 Carlos V
    July 22, 2009

    I’ve donated to St. Baldrick’s, which supports pediatric cancer research. This year I shaved my head for the first time, raising over $3500. In the past I’ve also contributed to medecins sans frontiers.
    St. Baldrick’s is incredibly efficient at passing along the funds raised directly to research, and pediatric cancer research is grossly underfunded compared to adult cancer.

  87. #87 Rod Gallant
    July 22, 2009

    Greetings:

    I would like two locks: I monthly donate $10.00 each to the Canadian Feed The Children and The World Wildlife Fund.

    I donate monthly $5.00 to Amnesty International and Volunteer for there Urgent Letter Writing Program (could that count as another lock :-))..

    I donate because these programs do good work and spend their money wisely and because I believe in a sense of justice.

  88. #88 Bev Roder
    July 22, 2009

    I have just donated $100 to KIVA in support of your challenge. Enjoy your shearing!

    Bev R.

  89. #89 Karendes
    July 22, 2009

    I just donated $35 to Canine Companions for Independence because one of the best ways to transform someone’s life is the gift of a cold nose,a wagging tail, and a warm heart. I’ve seen what these dogs can do for multiple sclerosis patients — not only assist them doing tasks, but also provide them emotional support. CCI provides assistance dogs for free to not only MS patients but other folks having arthritis, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities. Thanks for giving me the push to donate again. Looking forward to your new look.

  90. #90 Aronne
    July 22, 2009

    Great idea, Ethan!

    I’ve been meaning to make a donation to Medshare International (www.medshare.org) since I recently found out about them – they take donations of surplus medical equipment (which in the US, probably winds up in a landfill or incinerator), and distribute to under-equipped facilities around the world. I got off my butt and donated $25.

    And, in the spirit of giving extra, I donated another $25 to TrickleUp, which I just learned about from Suzanne in #40!

    Cheers!

  91. #91 DrugMonkey
    July 22, 2009

    In. Over $10 and Kiva (in support ofthe rug waxing) selected. I haven’t given to them in years so this counts as E-dog stimulated charity. Great idea holmes.

  92. #92 Vasha
    July 22, 2009

    $20 to the Nature Conservancy. They do a good job of preserving pieces of diverse terrain. I’ve been to several of their small preserves which are very interesting indeed.

  93. #93 Wyomingite
    July 23, 2009

    Thirty dollars to my local art council and a great deal of clothes and kitchen wares to the Salvation Army.

  94. #94 Joey
    July 23, 2009

    $100 to the Peregrinas entrepreneur group on Kiva. Thanks for the inspiration and the information about Kiva!

  95. #95 Ethan Siegel
    July 23, 2009

    This is huge, folks! We are 3/4 of the way there! Thus far, as of 9 AM on July 23rd, less than a week after I issued this challenge, we have a total of 75 donors. Between all of them, we have pledged so far:

    -51 who have donated specific dollar amounts to charity (some of which are ongoing/monthly; only the first month is included here) to organizations such as Donors Choose, Doctors Without Borders, Kiva, Animal Shelters, Donors Choose, Cancer Research, Heifer International, MS research, American Juvenile Diabetes, Hospice, the Red Cross, Trickle Up, Public Radio, Nature Conservancy, Silence is the Enemy, and many others, totaling (thus far, converted into US Dollars) $2,325 so far!

    -8 additional donors of volunteer time (not counting those who donate money and time as well) totaling at least 36.5 extra volunteer hours for causes ranging from animal preservation to the volunteer ambulance corps to hospitals to soup kitchens to volunteer teaching and horse riding camps for the disabled.

    -3 donations of material goods, such as hair for cancer patients (and yes, I will do that one, too!), running shoes, and clothes for the Salvation Army.

    -and 13 donations of unspecified amounts, including people doing their own fundraisers for a variety of charities!

    This is an awesome feeling, to be 3/4 of the way there and to have received such an outpouring of support! I am going to have the cleanest-shaved head of anyone for all of you when we get there!

  96. #96 Tamara
    July 23, 2009

    I decided to make four donations of $20 each.

    My ninth and tenth grade Humanities students each year understand what it means to be an autonomous individual and start caring about global issues when they read Nicholas Kristof’s series of Op-eds about Mukhtar Mai. So, first I decided to donate to the Mukhtar Mai fund through Mercy Corps.

    For my second donation, I chose the International Rescue Committee, an organization that fuses the efforts of people such as activists, healthcare workers, community leaders and educators to provide relief to people in crisis regions.

    For my third donation, I decided to respond to CHF International’s appeal for help preventing cholera in South Sudan by chlorinating drinking water at pumping sites along the Nile River. I will likely contribute to the Darfur fuel-efficient stove program too if CHF finds a way to start it up again, despite the Sudanese government.

    Lastly, I contributed above what I usually do to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, an organization that provides care to critically ill children and their families.

    I have also found out that Urban Pathways, an organization that helps the homeless in NY takes Metrocards that have change on them still, so I am sending the dozens that have accrued in my apt. to them.

    On an additional note, thanks for getting us off our butts to do this Ethan, and also thank you to everyone who wrote about giving to donorschoose. It makes such a huge difference in classrooms so thank you :).

  97. #97 Caitlin
    July 23, 2009

    I currently volunteer 6 hours per week at VIVA, our local cage-free, no-kill cat shelter.

    But in honor of your challenge, I am going to volunteer an extra 6 hours this Sunday at VIVA’s feral cat sanctuary. These are cats that are too feral to be adopted, and so often get overlooked.

    I’ve been meaning to get over to the sanctuary for a while now.. thanks for giving me a virtual push!

  98. #98 Ela
    July 24, 2009

    I am sponsoring two kids for their education through worldvision India (since I believe the best ever gift is the Hope and education is the way to attain it!) and two more (without family) through lifeline of hope.

  99. #99 Ela
    July 24, 2009

    Sorry.. just read that u want to know how much being donated also. 40 euros on a monthly basis goes from me and why: I believe that kids are the future and every child should get a proper childhood and a promise of a bright future. Eventhough my contribution is small right now I do believe it can mae a difference!

  100. #100 Jim Caserta
    July 24, 2009

    $50 to the American foundation for suicide prevention in memory of Wayne.

    I also donate blood as often as possible for a needle-phobe because of of a hemophiliac friend and all others who will need it.

  101. #101 Kim
    July 24, 2009

    OK, since I already dish out >24 hours of time each year as a non-retiree volunteer elections inspector for my town (where my huge $120 for my effort goes to local charity) and it doesn’t count as I’m already doing it, I’m going to pony up $100 on to our local animal shelter AND I’ve got some hand-me-downs from my kids that’ll be going to our local clothes donation bin this weekend.

    I’m having visions of the clippers coming out…..

  102. #102 Andy Bach
    July 24, 2009

    No biggie but – I’m doing 3 days (3.5 if you include crew day) as Ice & Water captain for the 3day Breast Cancer walk (60 miles for the walkers) in Chicago week after next and 25 bucks to one of the crew so they can walk in Denver. Alas, my hair growing days are over …

  103. #103 Sili
    July 24, 2009

    I’m sure it’s cheating to combine donations, but I’ve just pledged for http://blaghag.blogspot.com/ and http://pamelaperez.wordpress.com/ in the Blogathon.

    Of course, it’d’ve been nice if I coulda paid immediately, before I remind myself that I’m broke …

  104. #104 Nox
    July 26, 2009

    I just sent my $20 to charity:water. Clean drinking water availability is something I feel strongly about. Having a clean water source is the basis for decent sanitation and, well, life.

  105. #105 Justin S
    July 27, 2009

    Volunteered at my local blood bank last week (don8bld.org). I’ve been giving blood since I was 17 but after this year’s vacation to a malarial area I’m deferred for a year but still wanted to keep doing something for them.

  106. #106 Justin S
    July 27, 2009

    PS, for your stats, it was about 5 hours or so.

  107. #107 DPSisler
    July 28, 2009

    Ethan,

    I have already contributed monitairly to your charity drive, but I have decided to volunteer some of my time and computer skills to the Center for Missing and Exploited children based upon this news story posted on Ed’s “Dispatches from the Culture Wars” . Children really need help and protection from certain adults.

  108. #108 DataJack
    July 29, 2009

    Ok, Bang Gang, we seemed to have stalled here. Can any of you get family, friends, or co-workers to pitch in? We are only 15 or so away from hitting 100. I am going to ask my wife to pitch in.

  109. #109 DataJill
    July 29, 2009

    My husband just told me about this. Personally I like your hair, but I’ll still throw in $100.00 to KIVA. It’s a good cause.

  110. #110 Jogga
    August 1, 2009

    I’m staggered that you would make up the shortfall AND shave your head – I’m more surprised that we (the readers) couldn’t manage $1,000 in two weeks!

    So, on Mrs Jogga’s advice I tried to donate to the WWF but they want all my details (so they can SPAM me to death) as well as my money – so I donated another £20GB to RDF for “Growing Up in the Universe”.

    BTW, I make these donations via PayPal, so if you would like to validate my donations, drop me a line. Come on the rest of you, just a little way to go now!

  111. #111 dave weller
    August 1, 2009

    I’m hauling some canned goods to the local food bank today.

    Good stuff Ethan! You are a scientist, a philanthropist, and a pretty swell fella! Kudos,

    dave

  112. #112 Angie
    August 1, 2009

    I just donated $100 to Women for Women International because they provide women in war impacted regions with practical knowledge and needed resources so that they can, in turn, start to rebuild their communities.

  113. #113 Kel
    August 1, 2009

    Donated $25AUD to the RSPCA Australia.

    Supporting animal welfare in a non-extremist form. Probably should have given more, but there’s always Richard Wiseman’s social experiment in the coming days.

  114. #114 acı cehre
    August 2, 2009

    I’m deferred for a year but still wanted to keep doing something for them.

  115. #115 Sili
    August 3, 2009

    Fulfilled my pledges on the Blogathon (too late to meet the donation matching, unfortunately – I hadn’t heard of it in time).

    Donated four Gallileoscopes too, just in case you don’t want to chare the charity.

  116. #116 Mu
    August 3, 2009

    $40 for my local animal shelter.

  117. #117 Ethan Siegel
    August 3, 2009

    So close, everyone! By my count (as of 11:30 AM on August 3rd), we have 92 donations; only 8 more to 100!

    Who wants to help be a part of the final countdown?

  118. #118 Size
    August 3, 2009

    Ok, I’m in. I had been lurking here and to be quite honest, I figured you’d make it without my help (and in my defense, I already give to several charities regularly). But now that I see how close you are to the finish line, I’m throwing in too – $40 to Soldiers’ Angels!

    Thanks for doing this!

  119. #119 Sili
    August 4, 2009

    Just got an email from Donors Choose (whom I gave to last year when Cosmic Variance posted their saddest graph in the world):

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has set a challenge for our donors.

    They’ll fund 50% of any classroom project that prepares students in rural and high-poverty communities for college but only if citizens (that’s you!) take these projects the rest of the way.

    So give now and give double!

  120. #120 Michele
    August 4, 2009

    $25 to Michael Yon, an independent journalist who is currently reporting from the front line in Afghanistan.

  121. #121 Katie
    August 5, 2009

    Ok, I’ve been meaning to do this anyhow so you’ve provided me with a fun incentive. I just signed up to be a Constant Companion, for which I’ll make monthly $10 donations to the Dane County Humane Society here in Madison, WI.

  122. #122 Brian Shiro
    August 5, 2009

    Great idea, Ethan. I donate a few hundred $ every year to charitable organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, EarthJustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wildnerness Society, EarthShare, National Space Society, Planetary Society, and maybe a couple more I can’t remember right now.

    Volunteer-wise, does spending 5 weeks as a volunteer pretend astronaut operating and maintaining The Mars Society’s FMARS station on Devon Island count? I’m also the Vice President of my neighborhood homeowner’s association.

  123. #123 Jerry Harris
    August 5, 2009

    I will give $100 to Brian Shiro to support his research.

  124. #124 Jane!
    August 5, 2009

    Hey Ethan! Sorry it took me so long to get around to this…

    Anyway, near my house there is a colony of domestic rabbits that have been dumped. We stumbled upon it during a walk once and it was the craziest thing… oh look a rabbit… and another… and another… we must have seen 30 rabbits that night. I later learned the rabbits are being moved because people are using them for target practice as toys for their dogs. So I donated to a fund to go towards helping these specific rabbits. Yay bunnies!

  125. #125 Mary Houghton
    August 6, 2009

    I donated $100 to Windham Housing Trust (formerly Brattleboro Area Community Land Trust) because it creates and stewards housing for low-income people and its mission includes changing the way we (in the U.S.) view land as a commodity.

    And I’m telling you about it because I really like your blog.

  126. #126 Beth
    August 6, 2009

    Ethan, am I 100th? can hardly wait to see you on Monday!!
    I’m donating to the Oregon Hospice.

  127. #127 fizzchick
    August 6, 2009

    Don’t know if you made your target yet, but as a result of your inspiration, I made an appointment to give blood (haven’t done it in a while) and sent $40 to a Donors Choose book project for a needy classroom in Louisiana. A bonus is that the Gates Foundation is doubling donations right now for certain projects!

  128. #128 Ethan Siegel
    August 6, 2009

    This has been overwhelming!!! We have reached our goals, and if you would like to donate further, please don’t stop just because we’ve made it to 100!

    The hair comes off tonight; pictures and a post on Saturday, I promise!

  129. #129 Christina Pikas
    August 7, 2009

    I donated $25 to the Friends of the Louisville (KY) Free Library via Library Society of the World to help them recover from their flood (http://scienceblogs.com/christinaslisrant/2009/08/diasaster_at_the_louisville_ke.php)

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