10 stories
·
2 followers

Final Day: Touching Stories

1 Comment

Well folks, this is it. The final day of the fundraiser.

One of my favorite traditions of the fundraiser is the final day. We’ve already showed off all the prizes we’re giving away (over $200K of geeky swag.) We’ve told you about Heifer International in great detail, explaining why they’re the best at what they do.

What’s more, this year we partnered up with a bunch of cool folks this year. People like Rat Queens, Acquisitions Inc, Critical Role, Team Non-Compliant, Team Brimpers, True DungeonRevival, and Team MBMBaMBinos have all offered up their own special prizes and let their geek flags fly on their individual team pages.

As I write this, we’ve raised more than $2,250,000. So I’m declaring this our most successful Worldbuilders ever.

In order to celebrate, today we’re sharing stories and comments that y’all have left for us in the comments on the blogs or on the donation pages pages themselves. We do really read them all. They keep us going.

I love hearing how people get creative raising funds for Worldbuilders, like Saskia.

For our wedding, my husband brewed and bottled beer, and we offered it at the reception in exchange for cash donations to give Worldbuilders. It was a small, costumed wedding in the middle of nowhere, so not many people brought cash, but we’re contributing what we got!

Or Catherine:

I was struggling this year with Christmas present ideas that were meaningful for my family. I frequently check your blog to see what awesome things you might be up to next, and was so happy to discover your charity fundraiser for the first time (better late than never right?). This year my family will be receiving cards with a story inside. Heifer’s story. The end of the story will inform them that I have donated $30 each on their behalf, and that together we have bought another family a goat, or several families ducks, chickens, rabbits or bees, aka a positive start to a new chapter in their lives.

Susan has been supporting Heifer for years, and is enthusiastically joining up with our little shindig:

I love this!  As a 73 yy (years young) person, I have given all my relatives bees and chickens and trees and shares of animals as Christmas gifts for years – Heifer is a wonderful organization, one that you know will see allotted donations reach those that the donations are intended to reach!  Thank you for furthering Heifer’s mission!

And folks like Ann-Christin set aside a specific day’s pay to donate:

Tonight was pretty great. I just worked a 9-hour shift at a restaurant and this is the tip I got. I made the plan to give it all to Worldbuilders before I started working and was really motivated. It felt so great, because I knew with every table I’m waiting, I’m doing something good. And it helped me through all the stress and the long hours of running. So worth it!

It’s a worthwhile reminder that there are lots of ways to get donations together, and that every little bit helps. Chandler put it really well in his comment:

I think I don’t have much. But Worldbuilders always reminds me that I don’t have not much, I have some. And some is better than not much. And after I give some, I still have some. In fact, I have some plus feel goods. And that’s nice.

And Matthew had some great perspective as well:

I don’t have much to give, but if I can help people with a flock of ducks for 20 bucks, I can absolutely forgo eating out this weekend. Thanks as always, Pat.

People like Kurt made significant sacrifices in order to donate. (You’re a better man than I am, Kurt.)

Sold my book collection to donate to world builders. Hope I can win something nice :) . Everyone keep up the good work.

Or like Karen:

I was thinking of buying a new video game today, then I read your blog. Now today I’ll actually (instead of virtually) try to *save the world*. Well, maybe not *save the world* but at least make it a better place for those who truly need it! Brb, donating.

Lots of people have been around for a while, but haven’t had the means to donate, instead spreading the word on our behalf, which we always appreciate. And sometimes, when they finally can donate, those people do so with interest, like MeepleMinion:

As this year I am financially in a position to make a difference – and in order to let you know that your blog DOES inspire – I’ve just donated water. Which will be doubled, yeah! I’ll drink to that.

Or M the Record Keeper:

I’ve been living off of friends and family’s generosity for a few years, and so have only been a spectator to this wonderful fundraiser before… but now that I have a job, it makes me insanely happy, not just because I work in a bookstore (which is awesome), but because I finally be a part of this! Hurray! Bees and chickens for everyone!

And some people have really taken the time to put things into perspective, like Phillip:

I recently lost my home in the Louisiana Floods this fall. My entire family was hit by it and our community. I can count on one hand the amount of people i know that have not lost their house. It’s been a rough couple of months, but I know that even throughout all this that there are still some that struggle everyday to eat. I cannot give a lot, but as Pat said, this is a time when the world needs love and generosity more than anything. I wish everyone happy holidays and bright days ahead.

Or Kaye1 here on the blog:

I’ve always wanted to comment but part of me has always been too afraid. So here I am, my first post. It’s my girls 10th birthday. 10 years ago, we were both in big trouble. I was only 32 weeks pregnant and my baby only weighed a few pounds. We were both fading. I had a rare problem with my pregnancy.
Reading this blog hits me like a ton of bricks. If I had lived in one of the countries that Worldbuilder helps, we would not have made it.
However awful I feel about that time 10 years ago, how many tears we cried, we still made it. And I am blessed with daughters who are truly a blessing to us. So I will make my donation today in the name of my perfect girls.

And really, who better to put things into perspective for us than the kids. So many children got involved this year, whether it was through a group like the story Matthew shared:

From our Piggy Banks for Piggies Campaign, donated by The Gingerbread House Kids! Twenty eight kids ages 18 months – 10 years old donated their own money at our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party to support this amazing charity!

Or decidedly on their own, like this comment here:

Hi my name is Antonella and I am 3 years old. I like to do good because it makes me feel like hugs and kisses. I would like my donation to go towards 3 flocks of ducks.

Lots of kids left their own comments, as a matter of fact. Here’s one from Evan:

I’m Evan.  I’m 10 and I want the world to be a kinder place.  It’s scary out there. Everyone deserves a chance and I want people to have chickens to help them have a better life and survive.

But most chose to donate after hearing about it from others, like Matthew’s boys:

Just sat my boys down (ages 7 and 5) and spoke to them about the family with the chickens from Pat’s last blog post.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give them a little lesson about how charity isn’t just about giving money but also helping people to help themselves.

Or Johanna’s kids:

This donation is from my wonderful kids – they received some money from their grandma and decided there were people that needed it more. Once I told them about what Worldbuilders, they were so excited.

Or Judy’s son:

I’m making this donation at the request of my son, Quinn Gaddy, in lieu of a Christmas gift for him, because he is awesome and requested this specific donation instead of presents. Yay for the next generation!

Or Elyssa’s daughter:

We used your blog to explain the concept of charity to our 5 year old tonight and allowed her to choose the donation level (a chorus of goat! goat! goat! was heard ringing immediately around our house). Hopefully it will get a little girl full of light to share her light with others. Thank you.

We have kids like Charlotte and Maggie, who started a concert on Youtube to promote our cause, or we have kids like Julia, who has truly taken things to heart:

Thanks for everything you’ve done on the fundraising drive this year.  You may (or may not?) recall that my 8 year old, Julia, sent in a picture of her bank last year along with her donation.

img_0739

I thought you might get a kick out the attached photo, a snapshot of her 2016 Heifer catalog.  She has read every word “at least 5 times,” and sleeps with it in her bed.   Julia will contribute $20– 1/3 of her savings– to purchase a flock of chicks.

Everyone. I cannot thank you enough. You’ve warmed my bitter old heart, and made this our best year ever. Your kindness and generosity will change the lives of many people in the years to come.

Today’s our final day. And because of a generous donor’s support, we still have funds to match *all* donations coming in. So if you want to come in now, here at the end, rest assured that your money will be doubled.

Here’s the link one last time.

I’m sure you know what to do with it.

pat
Read the whole story
zeeblet
545 days ago
reply
<3
Share this story
Delete

It's going to be okay.

1 Share
It's going to be okay.

View
Read the whole story
zeeblet
949 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

A love letter to libraries

5 Shares

I just found out that Furiously Happywas chosen as one of the 10 LibraryReads for September.  That means that librarians around the country nominated it as one of the top books they can’t wait to share with readers.  That nod is one of the most poignant honors I have ever received and I cried when I heard it, although not everyone would understand why.

When I was little my favorite places were libraries.  You weren’t expected to speak, which was heaven for a shy girl with an anxiety disorder.  Thousands of small secret stories were hidden in plain sight all around you, just waiting to be held in your hands and discovered.  As a small girl in rural Texas, I knew that the best chance I had of seeing worlds that would never be open to me, and meeting fantastic people I’d never be bold enough to speak to was through books.  I was able to see places that exist (or that had existed, and or that would never exist) through the words of the storytellers whose worlds had been bound up and shared and protected through generations of docent-guardians who called themselves “librarians”.

I don’t remember my mother ever playing with my sister or me, but she read during any spare second she had.  She read to us.  She read to herself.  She had us read to each other.  A few times a month we’d get dressed up to drive into town to visit the nearest library.   I still remember the reverent hush as we walked through the doors – the quiet hum of the air conditioner…the feeling of reverence that others may have experienced in churches but which I found in the quiet awe that was the library.  I remember breathing in the welcoming smell of the dust of the books.  The soft sounds of the drawers of wooden card-catalogs that had slid open and closed so many times that they became a velvety hush.  The clean white slips of paper and tiny pencils waiting there (for free!) so that you might look up something wonderful and write down the secret code that would lead you to treasure.  I remember the hunt for the book.  For adventure.  For magic.

And sometimes you’d get lucky and there would be a special librarian there.  Of course, all librarians were special when you were little.  They were the guards and they were larger than life.  They knew the secret codex of books.  They were good witches and wizards who kept small keys around their necks, keys to special, sacred artifacts you had to know the secret password to see.

The librarians were all magical in their own way, but some had a special gift, as if they could see behind your eyes.  They could look at you, measuring you in their heads, and say:

“Let me see your hands.  Ah.  Yes.  Today is a day for adventure.  Would you like to see Mars?  Let me introduce you to Ray Bradbury.”

“Today you look like you need magic.  I think a dose of Ruth Chew will fix you right up.”

“I know you may feel lonely sometimes but I have friends I think you’d love to meet.  This is Francie Nolan and Celie Harris and Laura Ingalls-Wilder.   Ingalls-Wilder.   They will never, ever leave you.”

They knew the secret spider-web path from one book to the next.  They knew when it was too early for Melville.  They knew when to turn a blind eye as you furiously devoured the Stephen King books your mother didn’t think you were old enough for.  They knew when to pull out the special key and gloves and let you see their first edition of Alice in Wonderland, or the hidden-from-light, brittle, handwritten histories of the bordello that had done booming business next door to the library until the Texas Rangers shut it down.  They knew all the secrets that had ever been whispered and you hoped – in time – they would share them with you.

Librarians are how libraries speak.  Theirs are the small faces behind a million stories and facts.  Theirs are the simple hands that introduce you to the people who will shape you, and the ghosts that will haunt you, and the ideas that will drive you, and the friends that will never leave you.  They know the science of knowledge and beauty and laughter, and – though you can’t quite imagine it – they’ve cried over the same books that have broken and rebuilt your heart.  They’ve ridden in the same sleigh with the snow queen.  They’ve flown over London and sailed on pirate ships and visited Shangri-La and watched the world be destroyed and created and destroyed again.  And what they want more than anything else is to share those impossible journeys with you.

Librarians are magic – In every sense of the word.  And that’s why this particular recognition is one of the greatest things I could possibly imagine.  Because it feels like – in some small way – I’m giving back.  That I’m becoming  part of the tapestry of writers who reach out through time with their words to say, “Let me tell you a story.  Let me tell you about us.  You are not alone.”

One of the greatest gifts I will ever get is to imagine that one day soon, in a faraway town, a librarian may look down at searching eyes and say, “Yes.  You look like you need something special today.  Let me introduce you to my friend – Jenny Lawson.  She’s slightly profane and highly irreverent and I believe she may have exactly what you need.  I think you’ll be great friends.”

“Honored” doesn’t quiet seem like a strong enough word for what I feel.  I need a better word.  I suspect a real writer would probably know that word immediately, but I’ll give it time until it comes to me.  And if it doesn’t come, I’ll do what I always do.  I’ll ask a magician.   I’ll ask a librarian.

Read the whole story
zeeblet
1038 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

The final tragedy will be posted next week. In the mean time, I...

4 Comments and 11 Shares


The final tragedy will be posted next week. In the mean time, I hope that if you have enjoyed the series, you will consider supporting my efforts by pre-ordering the complete collection. I’ll see you all soon at emerald city!

Read the whole story
zeeblet
1195 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
4 public comments
tante
1194 days ago
reply
Apuglogies
Oldenburg/Germany
Courtney
1195 days ago
reply
If I'd just done the dishes we wouldn't be in jail now
Portland, OR
ryanbrazell
1195 days ago
reply
"Sorry I was late today and you had to fight Dracula alone"
Richmond, VA
smadin
1195 days ago
reply
APUGLOGIES
Boston

Jaden Smith's Nonsensical Tweets Actually Make Perfect Sense As "Garfield" Comics

1 Share
Read the whole story
zeeblet
1497 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

When the shouts of the fishmonger, bootblack and hansom cabbies...

1 Share


When the shouts of the fishmonger, bootblack and hansom cabbies ring too loudly, you need time to finish your symphony celebrating the cetaceans or simply mean to pine for halcyon days as they fade fast into the oblivion of memory… retire to your chambers and post this helpful tag around the entry mechanism; in this way, your fellow hominids will know that you’ve grown grim about the mouth and/or require solitude to improve this maddening orb.

Follow these simple instructions and make your needs plain: 

1. Print out on sturdy stock at a scale of 11 X 8.5 inches
2. Separate the tag (seen on the right) from the inserts be means of common shears, sever the cards from each other.
3. Cut out the central circle and make small incisions on the black corner frame lines by means of a razor.  
4. set in whichever miniature placard best describes your private task.

Read the whole story
zeeblet
1501 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories