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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » First Book Wins! Hatrack Annual Charity Drive 2010 (Page 1)

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Author Topic: First Book Wins! Hatrack Annual Charity Drive 2010
scholarette
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The votes are in and First book wins, with over twice the as many votes as the other charities!


Survey monkey link


This year Lyrhawn and I will be splitting the charity drive work.

Please nominate your favorite charity. On Sunday, November 22, I will have a poll set up (probably on surveymonkey) to vote on your nominations. Then the next Sunday, I will do a runoff poll if needed.

Charities nominated:

Care for Life
Central Asia Institute
Everybody Wins
First Book
Heifer
International Book Project
Reach out and Read
Reading is Fundamental
St. Jude's Hospital for Children
United Through Reading
Ayn Rand foundation


Survey monkey link

[ November 29, 2009, 05:28 PM: Message edited by: scholarette ]

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Tatiana
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I love Firstbook. I think we've done them more often than any other charity.

By the way, thanks for volunteering, scholarette and Lyrhawn.

My second favorite is Central Asia Institute, the organization of Greg Mortenson who builds schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan with particular emphasis on educating girls. Of course the best selling book "Three Cups of Tea" describes how he came to do that. It's an amazing story.

Here's CAI's website.

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The Rabbit
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I am going to recommend that we donate to First Book again.

While there are lots of great causes out there, books are what has brought us together as a community. If we are giving to something as a community, it should be a charity that reflects our shared values. I can't think of anything value we really share as a community more than a love for books and reading.

Also, First Book will facilitate this for us. We can set up a "virtual book drive" with them and they will tally the donations from hatrackers.

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Bokonon
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I'll put in a vote for Heifer.

And my thanks to scholarette and Lyrhawn!

-Bok

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Dobbie
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People sometimes stop me on the street and ask for money. I vote we give all the money to me and I'll distribute it accordingly.
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Uprooted
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Care for Life (www.careforlife.org). They are doing awesome things in Mozambique, and I have worked over there with them.

Their flagship program is the Family Preservation Program in which they go into a community, work with the people there to establish goals in areas from sanitation and nutrition to education and family relations, provide seed supplies (actual seeds, microloans, water purification tablets) and rewards for achieving goals (such as building supplies), and after 3 years of support they move out, with a healthier, more self-reliant community as the end result.

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Kwea
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First Book.
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Papa Moose
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I almost posted about an hour ago, because I didn't want it thought that nobody's interested in this. Since this thread is for nominations rather than voting, it's not really necessary to mention a charity already listed, but I didn't want scholarette or Lyrhawn to be discouraged.
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Belle
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I know we're not in the voting stage, but I believe in First Book's mission. I teach at a school where when I talk to students about reading at home tell me there is "nothing to read" at their house.

None of us here experienced that - I feel confident all jatraqueros grew up in a literature-rich environment. So many people don't have that chance.

I will however nominate another charity just in case we decide to go in another direction. I vote St Jude's Hospital for Children. They do wonderful work in childhood cancer, and they never turn kids away if their parents can't pay.

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Papa Moose
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www.stjude.org

And the link for CAI in the first post doesn't work correctly.

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scholarette
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Thanks! Fixed it.
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DDDaysh
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I agree with Rabbit. There are SO many worthy charities that it's hard to pick just one. Yet, we are all together because of our love of reading, so it makes sense to choose a charity with that theme. We've done first book several times already. While it's a great charity, and I certainly wouldn't mind doing it again, I ran a Google search to see what other charities with the same theme we might donate towards. Here is a small list. I've done a basic check up on all of them to make sure they're legit, but if anyone has the time/energy/knowledge to run a more thorough check and comparison, that would be cool.

1) International Book Project (www.intlbookproject.org/) - It provides books to needy areas in country and even needier areas abroad. They also have a program through Americorps that partners Kentucky school children as pen pals with kids in areas where books are donated. According to their scale, if we can gather $500 we can "equip a classroom". It meets 18 of 20 requirements for recommendation by the BBB, and the two it missed were for rather stupid reasons. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like it's as easy to set up a "charity drive" with them. We'd all have to donate separately, or send our money to one person and have them make a lump sum donation. Of course, maybe if we called them, they'd be willing to set up a paypal site or something.

2) Reading Is Fundamental (http://www.rif.org) - We've all heard about them on PBS. They give books to kids and they also fund other reading programs that makes them a little less focused than First Books (could be both a good and bad thing). Again, this doesn’t seem as well set up for private funding drives as first book, and seems a little more standoffish, but they might work with us.

3) Everybody Wins (www.everybodywins.org/) – This organization seems interesting. They get adults to volunteer to go in and read to low income kids. While obviously money donated here is probably more for overhead of the program, not books directly, it still seems worthwhile. Unfortunately, the same practical limitations for organizing donations applies.

4) Reach out and Read (http://www.reachoutandread.org/) - Reach Out and Read (ROR promotes early literacy by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud in pediatric exam rooms across the nation. While they don’t seem to have any “book drive” sort of thing set up, they do have online auctions and so might be able to arrange for us to make individual donations that are tallied as a group.

5) United Through Reading (http://www.unitedthroughreading.org) – I thought the name of this charity was particularly apt. They provide books to kids in order to try and strengthen families. They seem to have three programs. One is for kids whose parents are in jail, rehab, or a psychiatric facility. One is for kids whose parents are on deployment in the military. The last is for grandparents who are far away from their grandkids. In each situation, a DVD is recorded of the family member reading the book, and the DVD can be sent to a child. This is supposed to help encourage the child to read while forming emotional bonds with the family member who cannot be physically present. The books and shipping are provided in the transitions (incarceration) program, and often in the military program as well. While it seems like the only immediate way to donate is individually, they have an e-mail address on their website that “service clubs” can use, so they’d probably be able to set something up for us if we asked. Also, when giving individually, you can make the donation “on behalf” of another person, and send an e-card at the end. We could all put “Hatrack” there and send an e-card to one of our wonderful volunteer coordinators to track.


BBB Certification:
First Book - all 20
International Book Project - 18 of 20
Reading is Fundamental – all 20
Everybody Wins – Not Rated
Reach out and Read – Note Rated
United Through Reading – all 20


Charity Navigator Rating
First Book - 62.2 (4 stars)
International Book Project – unrated
Reading is Fundamental – 46.46 (2 stars)
Everybody Wins – Not Rated
Reach Out and Read – 61.02 (4 Stars)
United Through Reading - 65.57 (4 Stars)

Ok, that’s all I have. I didn’t intend to spend this long on it tonight, and I’m tired now! I’m sure there are tons of other worthwhile projects out there, but I wanted to spit out a few new ideas. Sorry about the hyperlinks. I couldn't get them to work. :-(

By the way, I think this is really cool. Hatrack is the only online community I’ve ever belonged to that does a charity drive!

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Belle
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Wow - United through Reading looks really interesting...as do the others. Thanks for putting all that work into it!
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The Rabbit
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The first couple of times we did these, lots of people sent their donations to me and then I made one big donation. It was really an incredible experience to have so many people who I've never met send me money with the faith that I would actually donate it. I posted all the receipts, but still its one of the things that has endeared me to hatrack. This has been such an incredible community.

That said, I don't think that was a good way to do it. One of the things that is good about First Book is that they will allow us to set up a virtual book drive for hatrack which means that everyone can contribute directly to First Book but is still gets counted as a community effort and a community total. Its worth considering whether some of the other charities have that kind of option.

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Kama
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While it's a cool feature, i don't think we should choose a charity based on whether it offers a "community drive". I'm sure keeping the count by Lyrhawn will provide a similar sense of community as well.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Kama:
While it's a cool feature, i don't think we should choose a charity based on whether it offers a "community drive". I'm sure keeping the count by Lyrhawn will provide a similar sense of community as well.

I'm sure it was not your intent Kama, but to someone who has done the job many times in the past, it seem rather impolite to be so indifferent to the burden we are placing on Lyrhawn.

I don't think it should be the sole factor in the decision, and I wouldn't want to give to a bad charity just because they had a good fund drive mechanism. But unless it doesn't matter at all to Lyrhawn, I think its something we should consider.

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Lyrhawn
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Pick your favorite charity.

I don't want to limit Hatrack's donating potential based on a poorly designed website. If we end up picking a website that makes my job easier, then neat. If it ends up that I have to sort through emails and keep a tally, well hey, that's what I volunteered for. [Smile]

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DDDaysh
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I'm not sure if you were talking about my nominations Rabbit or not, but I definitely wasn't trying to say we SHOULDN'T do first book. I tried to keep "methodology" in mind when looking at them. While none of them seem to have quite as easy a setup as First Book, I think many of them have work-arounds, or might be able to help us out.

However, since I'm not the one doing the actual work, I absolutely can't say it doesn't matter. I'm well aware of the fact that it does matter, but I was sort of hoping that if something proved too difficult one of our volunteers would just nix it because it turned out it wasn't really feasible after all. I absolutely agree that feasibility must be a consideration when we are choosing a charity.

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malanthrop
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National Rifle Association....the only org I give to....other than 10% to church and 50% to the US Gov. [Smile]
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scholarette
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I am assuming malanthrop is joking as I really don't see a way to argue that the NRA is a charity. Since I am thinking it is a joke, I am leaving it off the list. I am also leaving off the give the money to Dobbie suggestion. If there are serious objections to this, I will add it in.
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Boon
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Is, too. Just sayin'.
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malanthrop
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Ayn Rand Institute is a good one. "Atlas Shrugged" is second only to the Bible for life influencing reads.

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

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Kwea
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lol
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
Ayn Rand Institute is a good one. "Atlas Shrugged" is second only to the Bible for life influencing reads.

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

[ROFL]

We nee a "squirting water out of your nose" emoticon.

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Strider
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I agree with the responses, but if it's a legitimate charity it needs to be added to the list and made available to vote.
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scholarette
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
I agree with the responses, but if it's a legitimate charity it needs to be added to the list and made available to vote.

If it was suggested as a legitimate suggestion, I will add it. I am often wrong in reading tone on the internet, but I read it as a joke. If malanthrop wants me to add it, if he could post and say he was serious in his suggestion, I will.
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Strider
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from what I've read of malanthrop's postings in the past I'm assuming he meant it seriously, but he can better answer that question.
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The Rabbit
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From what I've read of malanthrop's postings, I think its pretty safe to assume he was trolling.
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CaySedai
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I know we're not in the voting stage, but I believe in First Book's mission. I teach at a school where when I talk to students about reading at home tell me there is "nothing to read" at their house.

None of us here experienced that - I feel confident all jatraqueros grew up in a literature-rich environment. So many people don't have that chance.

Belle: can we send you books to distribute? Maybe have a bookshelf where kids could take books home to keep? What age group? My email is caysedai (at) gmail (dot) com.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
I love Firstbook. I think we've done them more often than any other charity.

By the way, thanks for volunteering, scholarette and Lyrhawn.

My second favorite is Central Asia Institute, the organization of Greg Mortenson who builds schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan with particular emphasis on educating girls. Of course the best selling book "Three Cups of Tea" describes how he came to do that. It's an amazing story.

Here's CAI's website.

There's an article by Greg Mortenson in today's Parade.
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Belle
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Cay, actually I'm in a Title I school, so I'm going to talk to my literacy coach about us getting a shipment from First Book. We are eligible to receive free books.

I teach 7th grade - my kids are all 12 and 13 or so. It's really sad...I've sat in parent-teacher conferences and tried to show parents something and it's obvious the parent can't read. So naturally there are no books at home.

At any rate...thanks for the offer. I did get some money from Title 1 to add to my classroom library so I am working on that now. I also spend a lot of time shopping at thrift stores for YA books and if I can find them for 25 or 50 cents I put them a box that kids can take home if they want.

I am getting my master's in ESL so I am definitely wanting books in Spanish as well.

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CaySedai
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Richard Paul Evans is offering a shipment of "The Christmas Box" for only the cost of shipping (20 paperback copies for $15). I don't know if you would be interested ...

And, yeah, my idea was to visit our local Friends of the Library bookstore, where they sell kids' books for a quarter. But you teach older kids, so adult books may be appropriate (depending on content). Younger books could still be good, though, if the kids need basics or have younger siblings.

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Tatiana
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Is there a way to see the results on Survey Monkey? I just get a screen asking me to make my own survey.

Also, how many votes do we get? Is this one of those first choice, second choice, etc. polls? Or should we just pick one? To test I voted for two but don't disqualify me if that's not correct, just put my one vote toward firstbook. Thanks!

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Tatiana
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Dobbie, here's the link to that article in Parade today.

http://www.parade.com/news/2009/11/22-fighting-terrorism-with-schools.html

A young girl raised her hand. “Will you ever go back and try to climb K2 again?” she asked.

“No,” I replied. “I’ve found a better mountain.”

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scholarette
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I allowed for multiple votes, but each vote is weighted the same. So, if you can't decide between two, you can pick both. Or three or all but one or whatever. I can see the results and post daily. I don't know how to show them after you vote. I have never used survey monkey until now, so I am pretty unfamiliar with it.

For Sunday:
41.7% First Book
25% Heifer
16.7% St Jude's and United for Reading
8.3% Care for Life and CAI

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malanthrop
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Ayn Rand Foundation
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The Rabbit
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Troll
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scholarette
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I added it on the vote, just in case it is serious. I added it yesterday, I just was lazy and didn't add it to the top post or post that it was on.
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scholarette
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For Monday:
53.3% First Book
20% Heifer
20% United for Reading
13.3% St Jude's and
6.7%% Care for Life and CAI

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T:man
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Heifer.
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Kama
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T:man, you have to vote by survey monkey [Smile]
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scholarette
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50% First Book
15% Heifer
20% United for Reading
25% St Jude's
5% Care for Life and CAI and Ayn Rand and Reading is Fundamental

For people adding up, that is more then 100%. Because people get multiple votes, when I put 50%, I am saying 50% of the people voted for First Book- not that First Book got 50% of the total number of votes.

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The Rabbit
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As an historic note, when we first started doing this we agreed to avoid charities affiliated with a church or political cause. The objective was to find common ground so everyone (or nearly everyone) could join in.

For example, we changed the name from "Christmas charity drive" to "holiday charity drive" so our Jewish members would not be discouraged from joining. We then changed it from "Holiday charity drive" to "Annual charity drive" so Jehovah's witnesses could also participate. The point being, that we went out of our way to find common ground for as many hatrackers who wanted to participate as possible.

I think we need to consider this spirit of inclusion and common ground as we select a new charity and I would encourage anyone who has yet to vote to vote in that light.

Also, if we have any people who want to participate but would find it morally objectionable to give to one of the charities on the list -- please speak up and explain. For example, do we have any vegetarians that who want to participate but would find it morally objectionable to give to Heifer? Are any of the groups on the list affiliated with a church (or other group) that people would not be comfortable supporting.

I for one would find it morally objectionable to give to the Ayn Rand Foundation but that's mostly irrelevant since it doesn't seem to be garnering support any way.

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scholarette
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Rabbit- I had considered that and was discussing it with my husband last night. If Ayn Rand did well, I figured that would be a problem and I would ask the community what they wanted to do about that. However, while there is no chance I would donate to it, the Ayn Rand Foundation does encourage reading and provides scholarships. So, I figured not listing it would be overstepping my authority. Since right now, it is doing bad, I figured not a big deal.
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Strider
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though I'm a vegetarian, I have no problem with Heifer. I voted for first book, but realistically Heifer addresses a more fundamental problem. All the books in the world won't make a difference if people don't have their basic health needs met.
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malanthrop
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Scholarette, thank you for adding it to the vote. I'm not holding my breath. [Smile] For the minority, there is no greater tyranny than a pure democracy.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
As an historic note, when we first started doing this we agreed to avoid charities affiliated with a church or political cause. The objective was to find common ground so everyone (or nearly everyone) could join in.

For example, we changed the name from "Christmas charity drive" to "holiday charity drive" so our Jewish members would not be discouraged from joining. We then changed it from "Holiday charity drive" to "Annual charity drive" so Jehovah's witnesses could also participate. The point being, that we went out of our way to find common ground for as many hatrackers who wanted to participate as possible.

I think we need to consider this spirit of inclusion and common ground as we select a new charity and I would encourage anyone who has yet to vote to vote in that light.

Also, if we have any people who want to participate but would find it morally objectionable to give to one of the charities on the list -- please speak up and explain. For example, do we have any vegetarians that who want to participate but would find it morally objectionable to give to Heifer? Are any of the groups on the list affiliated with a church (or other group) that people would not be comfortable supporting.

I for one would find it morally objectionable to give to the Ayn Rand Foundation but that's mostly irrelevant since it doesn't seem to be garnering support any way.

You should stop doing this online. Instead you should print out many copies and distribute them nationwide. That way the Amish would be able to participate.
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scholarette
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Internet is being a little funky and I can't access my survey monkey account. I will try to post them tomorrow, but if I get too busy, I am sure everyone will understand. I also am going to be gone all day Friday (Ren Fest!) so I apologize now if I miss then as well.
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malanthrop
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
As an historic note, when we first started doing this we agreed to avoid charities affiliated with a church or political cause.

You mean politically neutral organizations like ACORN, NEA, SEIU, Rock the Vote or any group with "commuity", "social justice", "equal". "women's", "gay", "urban" or "green" in their names? Pseudonyms for democrat? [Smile] I would send my money to a truly non-partisan get out the vote organization.
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The Rabbit
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mal and Dobbie, If you don't understand the point of trying to find common ground on which to build community, then don't participate.

mal, Where is the tyranny? No one will force you to participate if you or anyone else to participate if you don't like the charity we choose. No one will stop you from contributing to Ayn Rand or the NRA. No one will stop you from trying to persuade others to do the same. Where is the tyranny in declaring I can't in good conscience give to the Ayn Rand institute and won't participate if the rest of community prefers that charity?

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