Thursday, October 2, 2008

Making a dfference: Join the Challenge!

I'm always up for a challenge, so when I was asked to participate in the Blogger Challenge, I jumped right in and then realized I should have asked how deep the water was.

DonorsChoose.Org got its start in a Bronx high school due to the ingenuity of teachers witnessing their students going without the very materials they needed to learn. Today, public school teachers post projects that range from a $100 classroom library to a $1,000 trip to the zoo. Bloggers like me choose projects we are interested in funding, and readers like you can then choose the ones that are closest to your heart to help with even a $5 donaton. Donors even get a sweet thank-you letter and picture of the classroom they contributed to.

For those of you who don't know (like me before this morning, so there is really no need to feel bad) last year's Blogger Challenge raised $420,000 toward classroom projects benefitting 75,000 students in low-income communities. And the cool part is that the funds were all raised through the generosity of blog readers like you!

I had no idea that today I'd open my emails to find a request for little ol' me to participate in something so big and so very, very important. But there it was. And I'm honored and excited and ready to do my part to make a difference in the lives of public school children here in Michigan and across the state.

Now, for those of you who ate your Wheaties this morning, you'll notice that this is indeed a challenge. The goal of course, is to try to raise the most funds, with cool perks like press from Fortune magazine for the bloggers whose readers help the most public school students, a Technorati "generosity ranking," and even a special Blogger Challenge for Mommy blogs! It's all just great incentive to try and rally the most funds, which (and most importantly)will come to make a difference in a child's educational experience.

As for that deep water? Well, the Blogger Challenge started today, Oct. 1...and that's when I got the invite to participate! I may be a bit behind the 8-ball here, but I'm more than ready to step up to the plate for the month-long Challenge!

Ready to help?? Great! Just check out my Challenge Page and choose which project you'd like to donate to!

And just for a little extra incentive, every reader who donates a minimum of $5 will be automatically entered into a random drawing I'll host at a later date for a surprise giveaway. I'll come back and edit this post when I have the details ironed out, and anyone who has already donated will be entered retroactively.

As always, extra entries will be available for those who:

* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about the Challenge and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Challenge Widget and place it on your blog page. You can get that here. Easy, right?
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

And that's it! So who's ready to give up one morning latte to help make a child smile?


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