Community Spotlight: Giving

I've never been one to stretch out holidays, with the possible exception of a forgotten decorative candle tucked behind a lamp. I've already taken exception to a few conversations and TV ads that presume that holiday gift shopping should have begun by now. But that doesn't mean that Goodjers aren't already in the giving spirit.

I know a handful of Goodjers already participated in Extra Life earlier this month. Still others are gearing up for Movember next month. Momgamer reports that she's "up to her overloaded safeties" in Child's Play activities, and McChuck and I are about ready for our own Chicago Loot Drop's second annual fundraiser to benefit Child's Play, this time featuring minibosses on top of the Rock Band 3 competition.

And that's just the beginning. GWJ is full of wonderfully charitable people, and I can't get hear enough about it. It warms me up when the wind blows cold.

I'm awfully proud of the community we have here at GWJ treats each other, but the fact that we also go out of our way to help others really overclocks my love for you folks. So I'm opening the floor here today to spread the love. Are you active in a charity, or do you know someone on GWJ who is? Spread the word and brag about your friends!


I'm contributing to child's play and Movember among other things this year.

I'm looking forward to supporting the Loot Drop! I'm also just generally impressed at the generosity of gaming communities online, and glad to live in an age where people can mobilize and do good things around the world through technology.

I've started and deleted a comment in this thread a few times. Talking about my own generosity is extremely uncomfortable. Can't find a way to say anything without it feeling like I'm bragging about what a good person I am. Do other people feel this way as well? Is this a cultural inclination or am I just being weird about it.

I think I maybe I'm just being weird about it.
So, here goes.

I'm adverse to donating around the holidays since that's such an expensive time of year. Funds to a particular charity are spread out through the year as anonymous, automatic deductions from each paycheck. Also, I donate to some cancer research funds on the anniversaries of passed loved ones. I sporradically donate to Planned Parentood because, for a lot of women, it's the only healthcare they can get for themselves and their children. It certainly was the only healthcare I could afford when I was young, and it's the least I could do to express my gratitude.

I also throw my money at GWJ, SOMAfm, SGU, and whatever seems to tickle my fancy if you can text-donate, apparently. No wonder I'm still in debt. But hey...feels good man.

I am sort of active in a charity called Cleaning for Cancer. Full disclosure, they are one of my company's clients, but I absolutely love what they are doing, and if I had to pick just one client to work for, it would be this one.

Basically, Cfc is a nonprofit organization that provides free cleaning services for cancer patients who are too exhausted from their cancer treatment to take care of their own home. Anyone who has ever had cancer or knows someone who fought cancer can testify to the excessive fatigue that these patients experience.

My most recent project for Cfc was to create three online surveys asking (i) cancer patients, (ii) the people who care for them, and (iii) their doctors how the quality of life of cancer patients is affected while receiving treatment, and what they need to improve their lives during this time.

Healthcare professional survey
Patient survey
Caregiver survey

Even though they are a client, it is such a refreshing change from dealing with drug companies all the time. True, these companies are unjustly vilified a lot of the time (sometimes justly), but they are in the end profit-seeking businesses. It's great to have a client that just wants to help and get the message out to everyone. I just got back from an oncology conference last night, and all the doctors and nurses were really impressed about what Cfc is doing, and it feels good to do my part.

Well, I'm not really donating any money this year as funds are kinda tight, but just last night I volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club of America for a haunted trail doing build and acting, and I'm going to be running a 5K next weekend raising money for pancreatic cancer research.

Certis has started a Movember team.

I don't really want to seem like I'm bragging either but yeah, I did Extra Life for the first time this year. Thanks to the awesome generosity of people here and from my work, I not only met what I thought was a pretty crazy goal of $500 but it ended up going over $700! The actual 24 hours of play wasn't as bad as I thought, especially given that I'd had trouble sleeping for over a week beforehand. The last 3 hours or so was really tough but I persevered and having a bunch of Goodjers to play online with during the day helped a lot. I only needed 5 coffees throughout the whole thing which is a lot less than I expected. Extra Life also sent us all an e-mail in the middle of the night to tell us that not only did they crack $1M for the first time ever but that this year's combined total was greater than the other 3 years combined! I think they've cracked $1.4M now which is badass. I was really happy with the result and definitely plan to do it again next year.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I don't really want to seem like I'm bragging either but yeah, I did Extra Life for the first time this year. Thanks to the awesome generosity of people here and from my work, I not only met what I thought was a pretty crazy goal of $500 but it ended up going over $700!

That's awesome, great job!

It always feels like bragging to me, too, but how are we supposed to praise you if we don't know what to praise you for?

Anyway: WOO!

Being a new immigrant in a foreign country and more than likely in poverty is always hard, which is why I focus on helping those who, like me have immigrated, don't know the language, and are far from any friends or family. I immigrated twice and I'm sure my parents didn't find it easy with two small children. But we were the lucky ones. My parents were college educated, spoke English enough when needed and we lived in an area that didn't really need English too often. We immigrated the first time to escape the violence that my home was engulfed in and I did it the second time to escape economic hardship. But I'm college educated, married to a local and fluent in English. My fellow demographicmen(?) are not so lucky and need help. Money is not always an option so time, and knowledge are next best thing.

This is why I support Casa Latina.