A Good Cause

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When I first started thinking about doing an online project, I envisioned it partly as a way to get everyone who told me I need a website to stop telling me I need a website and partly as a fundraising idea for The Scrap Exchange.

Here’s how the fundraising thing came up…

There was a customer who had been coming in to the store on a regular basis who does chinchilla rescue (seriously, I am not making this up). She would buy the textile tubes for the chinchillas to play in and she said she also uses the tubes to collect spare change as donations.

She puts on the outside of the tube a form with every amount between $.01 and $5.00 and a small space for a check mark. Whever someone gives her that amount, she checks it off — so for instance, if she has the tube on her desk at work and a colleague comes back from lunch and drops in $.13, she puts a check mark next to the $.13 to show that someone donated that amount.

If you get a donation in every amount on the form, you’ll raise $1,250. (At first this didn’t seem possible, but then I did the math — 500 donations with an average donation amount of $2.50 is $1,250. Most of the money comes from the $4+ donations, which are probably a lot harder to come by than the less than $1 donations, if you’re collecting spare change. Plus you need to get 500 donations, no mean feat.)

I thought this was a cool idea, but I work out of my house, so the only person who would be able to drop in spare change on a regular basis would be me, and that didn’t seem likely to get anyone very far.

So I thought about doing a website where at the bottom of every post, I would put five numbers, from less than a dollar to between four and five dollars. If you liked the post, you could click on the amount to make a donation in that amount. And if all of the amounts were clicked on, I’d raise $1,250.

(People I told this to said, “And who will be reading this website?” I said, “My friends.” And then, ever hopeful, “And maybe their friends.” I think most people saw the idea as being of limited utility.)

Then I got distracted by other things and temporarily gave up on the idea of doing anything online.

But now I’m back, and have been up for two weeks but have been remiss in getting anything set up so people can donate to The Scrap Exchange.

So I finally managed to take care of the details and added a little icon in the sidebar that you can click on to go a PayPal page and make a donation using PayPal or a credit or debit card. (Which I haven’t actually tested so I’m not positive that it works.) And also a link that goes to The Scrap Exchange website so you can look at that if you don’t know what The Scrap Exchange is.

And up soon will be a post about The Scrap Exchange and how it is directly related to this project, for those of you who don’t get the connection.

3 Responses to “A Good Cause”

  1. megan Says:

    That is awesome, Rebecca. And the piece on tv last night was great!

  2. supergrover Says:

    I love the “adds up to $1250” thing. There are tons of children’s books with stories along that line – like demanding one grain of rice (or a penny or whatever small thing) as payment for Day One of something and then doubling it each day for a month’s work.

    I know this is completely beside the point (it’s actually a minor question about a minor point of a story that’s kind of off the point) – but what is a textile tube??

  3. lessisenough Says:

    Textile tubes are the colorful tubes that thread is wrapped around that are used in making textiles — they’re like big, thick, wide paper towel tubes. Textile tubes may not be the official name, but I’m not sure what else to call them.

    Here’s a link to a picture. (Not the best picture, but the only one I could find quickly. Hopefully you get the idea.) [And I tried to get the picture to show in the comment but it didn’t work the first way I tried it and decided to let it go. Just hit the back button on your browser to get out of the picture.]

    Everyone asks why they’re decorated (they have all different patterns printed on them — stripes and poka dots and little cars) but no one I’ve talked to about it at events has given me an answer yet. I’ve been meaning to look it up online, but I’m not sure what terms I would use to search on, and then I decided I should find a historian who studies the history of textiles in North Carolina and they would probably be able to tell me all about it. In excruciating detail. And be completely thrilled that I asked. But I haven’t looked into that yet.

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