As many of you know, I am raising money and volunteer time for charity by shaving my head. Yes, I’m nervous about it, and yes, I’m definitely going to do it once we get 100 donors. If you’d like to donate, some fantastic charities that I can recommend are:
- Heifer International: providing livestock and training in poor areas around the world, helping people to lift themselves out of poverty, while requiring them to, in turn, train others and donate some of the animals’ offspring.
- Kiva: providing no-interest loans to entrepreneurs in impoverished areas, allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty. They repay these loans, and you can then re-loan the balance out to another entrepreneur. You can learn more about them here.
- Doctors without Borders: also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). They provide aid in over 50 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.
- Donors Choose: an online charity that allows you to choose what you donate to classrooms in need. Allows both local and remote donations, and you can choose which supplies you want to donate as well.
Some other suggestions can be found at Sciencewoman’s blog, Ethics and Science, and Scicurious. Any charity of your choosing is just fine, of course. If you donate, just leave a comment on my charity challenge page, and tell me where you donated, how much, and why. When we get to 100 (as of this second, we’ve got 32 unique donations), I’ll shave my head. And, of course, I’ll donate the hair to Locks of Love, which anyone can do by ponytailing the clean, dry hair up, cutting it, and mailing it to 234 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405, USA.
But on the heels of this, two sciencebloggers, Physioprof of DrugMonkey blog and Isis of Isis the Scientist challenged me to do them one better. The challenge? Independent of the head-shaving, they want me to wax my entire chest. That’s right, this chest:
Not only that, but they want it videotaped and uploaded to YouTube. The reward? $1000 to whatever charity I choose. Isis, Physioprof, in addition to my own charity challenge, I accept your challenge, and I choose Kiva as the charitable institution to donate to.
Kiva has everything I look for in a charity. They’re a non-profit, the funds go directly to an individual in need, the individual is responsible and accountable for the money, it gives them an opportunity to not only achieve their own success and self-sufficiency, but they pay it back, allowing you to donate that money over and over again to whatever individual projects resonate with you. They partner with a myriad of developing countries and national/international organizations to fund these people, who are looking for an opportunity — not a handout — to achieve their goals. It’s the kind of charity that everyone, regardless of your politics, can get behind.
So, Isis, Physioprof, and anyone else who chooses to be a part of this, I will find a place that is willing to take on the challenge of waxing my entire front torso and will allow me videotape it, and I will upload the video to YouTube. You will donate $1000, over and over again, as long as the money continues to be repaid. And we will see how many people we can assist by allowing them to help themselves.