Inspired by Betty Londergan's What Gives 365 and the Bible (not necessarily in that order!), I'm giving away $250 a week in 2011.

This is where I'm recording that journey, and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rules of the Game

So here's our plan:

Each Friday, I will make a $250 donation to something. One week per month, the money will go to an international cause. One week it will stay local. One week it will go to an inspiring individual. And one week (here's where you come in), the recipient will be chosen by you!

Here's how I'm hoping it will work:

You send me your ideas of worthy organizations, causes and/or people -- using the Comment feature or directly by e-mail. Your messages are posted, to inspire and educate others about exciting stuff happening out there. Then on the Friday of the 'vicarious giving' week (the 4th week of the month), I'll pick my favourite idea received in the previous month and the $250 goes there. And maybe I'll ask you to be our guest blogger that week. Or maybe I'll use your ideas to help inform the other weeks. We'll have to see how it goes.

If it sounds a bit arbitrary, it is. That's part of the challenge and fun of this whole exercise. I've been wondering how people choose where to direct their givings, especially when there are so many incredible initiatives out there. And at the end of the day, it's really hard to justify why one heart wrenching need or heroic individual is more worthy than another. You can do your homework, identify your values, make your pitch -- at the end of the day, you just pick. So that's what I'll be doing. (And I'll be asking my family to help, because partly this is about teaching our kids to be aware and generous citizens along the way.)

I may blog more often than each Friday, but some weeks maybe not -- I'm trying to be realistic about this new project, and am very prone to biting off more than I can chew. But please check in often and see how it's going. And do pass the link to your friends -- I'll need lots of ideas, and I'm anxious for this conversation to spread.

And for months with 5 Fridays? We'll have to wait 'til April to find out.


  1. Rebecca, fantastic idea and such a perfect match for your talents! Having been on the grant-writing side of things in my past life, I always wondered about the mysteries of why certain foundations give... I also love that you're using this as a tool to teach your kids... who says parents aren't involved? Here's a big, "You go, Girl!" from down South! -- Sony

  2. WOW WOW WOW!!! This is sooo exciting! Can't wait to follow along...

  3. Amazing Challenge project bud, Love it, Our Children learn from the examples we set, They are the future and todays children will lead the planet in the future. While the need is massive, we all have causes and outreach that touch our hearts and soles. I would love to be part of this process, in trying to be able to submit some causes, that that touch my heart. Thank you for the opprotunity.

  4. Amazing challenge, by one of the most inspiring people I know. Our Children learn from our example, they are the heart and sole of the future and the future or our planet. Would love to be part of this process and challenge, and would love to submitt some causes that touch my heart and sole. Thanks for the opprotunity!

  5. Fantastic idea, Rebecca - and I agree with Sony, it is a perfect match for your community-building talents. I will be following with interest but may also have an opportunity that would benefit from your support.

    In February, I will be participating in a "Habitat-like" build in Los Jasmines A de Upala, a rural community of 33 families in Northern Costa Rica, very close to the border of Nicaragua.

    The project is being organized by SOS, (http://www.studentsofferingsupport.ca )a vibrant, student-led, local (Waterloo-based) not-for-profit.

    The community we will be working with is fascinating - a small but very entrepreneurial group of primarily women and children who have built greenhouses to grow organic vegetables to feed themselves and sell to neighbouring communities and who are keen now to establish a sewing business.

    We are providing funds and assistance to help the community achieve their goals. To that end, we will be building an office, from the foundation up, to serve as the headquarters for the women and a venue for workshops, general development planning and the upstart of a small business. We will also help to outfit the office with sewing machines, tables, office supplies and additional support to help get the business up and running.

    And, then we will create a computer lab in the local school. Our goal is to outfit that lab with 10 to 15 laptops (we are looking for donations if anyone happens to have an older but functional laptop, please let me know!) plus the network infrastructure needed to eventually provide them with internet access - a huge benefit not only to the students and teachers, but to the whole community.

    In the spirit of your venture, Rebecca, I would be happy to provide a guest blog in Feb/March, regardless of whether you choose to support this particular cause. If you do choose SOS as a worthy recipient, you can either donate to SOS in general, the Quarry project in particular or me as a participant individually.

    Thanks, Rebecca, for the opportunity to introduce the SOS organization to the larger community!

  6. Sounds terrific, Sarah. We'll certainly keep it in mind for future international donations. In the meantime, I hope that lots of other people read about it here!

  7. I would like you to consider giving to a 3 year old girl~ Emma. she lives in Porterville, California and has leukemia. i met her grandma on facebook and have been following the ups and downs of her treatment since she was diagnosed last year. her parents are in need of financial assistance to get her to weekly doctors appointments etc. you can read more about her at our local paper's website: http://www.recorderonline.com/articles/club-48002-run-benefit.html

  8. Hi Rebecca,

    I just came across your blog from the blub in Whole Living’s April Issue. What an amazing thing you are doing!

    I would like you to consider Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey for your next donation. Make-A-Wish NJ is an organization that helps grant wishes for children with life-threatening diseases. I have been a volunteer for over four years now; and have seen so many families with their lives turned upside down and its heart braking. Your donation would go to granting a wish for a child. Please consider MAW! I know you won’t be disappointed!


    Thank You,
    Shannon Mulligan-Mayernik

  9. Thanks to both Charm and Shannon -- I appreciate your heartfelt suggestions and will definitely keep them in mind for future weeks.