Goodbye? Perhaps

Edited to add: 2nd place and no one died!

I’ve officially lost my mind and may have to call in dead on Monday.

That’s the message I just sent my boss. Yes, he was just as confused as you are.

You see, I just registered for a 5K.

I don’t run.

It’s taking place tomorrow.

There’s a decal.

HftH2015

Have I mentioned that I don’t run? Ok, there was the one time with the silver medal*.

Yeah.

But it’s for a good cause. You can support my madness here.

You’ll find my body somewhere near Lake Hefner. It has been a while since I’ve made an entry into the injuries category.

*I found the medal. I’ll add a picture later.

Hotdogs for the Homeless

As I warned you yesterday, I’ll be highlighting some charities in the coming weeks. Obviously, since we start our 24 hour game-a-thon tonight to benefit Hotdogs for the Homeless, they are the focus for today. Here’s a word from one of the founders of the Retro Gamers Society about the mission here.

A personal appeal from me, BCP, founding member of the Retro Gamers Society

In 2012 our little video game group adopted the Hotdogs for the Homeless organization as our charity of choice. In the first year, our 24-hour game-a-thon raised $350 for this important community organization. In our second year, we raised a whopping $1200 for this amazing charity. We followed it up with a charity silent auction at our video game convention, SUPER Bitcon, that raised another $1000 for HftH. For this year’s game-a-thon, we’ve already raised over $1800 and the stream hasn’t even gone live yet! That’s incredible. So unbelievably, amazingly, humblingly incredible.

But we’re not done.

It costs HftH an average of $300 per week to fund its operations. This means that at last year’s game-a-thon we funded a whole month of their work. This feeds the homeless, but also impoverished unwed mothers, hundreds of kids, veterans — many of the disadvantaged in our community.

We are on track to double last year’s fundraising. That would be a full two months out of the year that Rick and his volunteers don’t have to worry, wonder, and pray about where their funding will come from.

Many people depend on these meals. $3 feeds a family on a Sunday afternoon. Can you spare $3? What about $15? What about $60?

Most people have never heard about Hotdogs for the Homeless or their mission. But those who rely on this weekly meal (as well as the toiletries, socks, and even bike repair that HftH offers) will truly appreciate the small sacrifice you might make to give them the gift of food.

Please have a look at our page dedicated to this year’s fundraiser:http://retrogamersociety.com/hotdogs

And also look through the HftH website at:http://hotdogsforthehomeless.com

Aimee and I will be very grateful for your gift, as will the rest of our RGS friends. All proceeds donated will go directly to HftH. Donations can be made via Paypal (bank transfer or credit card) to: hotdogs@retrogamersociety.com

Any amount helps.

It’s not just about the hotdogs. Sure, they need a meal. But it’s really about hope. It’s telling these people they are not invisible. Someone cares. What makes this charity truly special is the human connection. Rick isn’t throwing money at some think tank to try and solve the problems. He and his volunteers are meeting people where they are and making a connection, even if just for a moment.

And hey, you can tune in tonight and watch a ragtag group of gamers do what we do and do it for a good cause. There will even be stupid human tricks for your dollars.

On Charity and Stupid Human Tricks

For better or worse, the viral ice bucket challenge has everyone talking. Sure, people are annoyed. It was a publicity stunt using a silly challenge and peer pressure to attempt to do some good. And regardless of how you feel about such things, it drove a lot of money to an organization that wasn’t getting much attention previously. Overall, I call it a win.

Will some of that money be mismanaged and wasted in administrative costs? Possibly. Non-profit corporations do have legitimate administrative costs, but they are most certainly not immune to greed and corruption. And yes, many of the charity behemoths are overseen by overpaid administrators. I don’t expect the CEO of a non-profit to live in abject poverty just because managing a charity is their full time job, but I also don’t believe they should be getting rich off the kindness of strangers either. It’s reasonable to expect that the majority of the dollars I give to a given charity actually go towards the stated goal of said charity. (The ALS Association is rated B+ by charity watch. It has also been evaluated by the BBB and Charity Navigator.)

I had never given to The ALS Association prior to the ice bucket event. I may or may not give to them again, but some of their new donors will likely be repeat donors. This is a good thing, and I hope they continue to manage their proceeds well. For them, this stunt is a wild success that should rightfully be celebrated.

But what does it mean for other charities? There are a few that are very near and dear to my heart that will be hurt by this stunt. Many people, including yours truly, only have so much that can be budgeted to charitable giving. Every dollar I give to charity ABC is a dollar I can’t give to charity XYZ. I wish I had more dollars to go around, but my mortgage company insists that they get a good chunk of the dollars I’ve got.

And then we run into charity fatigue. Sure, they are all good causes but I just get so tired of everyone asking for my hard-earned money. Heck, I’m about to ramp up to ask you for even more with this weekend’s game-a-thon to benefit Hotdogs for the Homeless. Then we will jump straight into Kilted to Kick Cancer (now a bonafide 501c3) for the month of September. Not to mention I’m doing a marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network (sponsor me?). All before the whole world turns pink and talks about boobs.

I get it. I’m tired too and dammit I want to spend some of my cash on ME. Because sometimes I’m selfish, and I have every right to be.

But I’m also a believer in these charities and what they are doing. Yeah, I want to feel like I can be a part of something great, something that makes the world a little brighter. There’s enough strife and misery to go around. The outlook may be bleak and depressing, but I simply must believe there is hope. The alternative is unbearable.

Yes, I and others like me will continue to do silly, crazy stunts for charity. I hope you get a laugh out of it. I hope it makes you smile. I’d love for you to contribute, but only because you want to be a part of it too and not because I’ve guilted you into it. Or give to win a prize. Or give to see me do something ridiculous (I lack shame and love attention, if I can channel that into something good, everyone wins). Or don’t. We can still be friends.

In the next few weeks, I’ll obviously be highlighting the charities linked above, but I’d like to hear from you. What charities or causes are near and dear to your heart and why? Or maybe it’s not a charity. I will always be proud of the way we’ve banded together to help out one of our own even without the fancy tax documents. Go ahead and give yourselves another pat on the back for that, by the way. But I’d love to hear about your passions. Do you make blankets for newborns? Pick up trash? Feed the hungry? Scoop poop at the animal shelter? Go ahead, toot your own horn in the comments.

Hotdogs for the Homeless!

You guys, we are a quarter of the way there! Donations overall are going well. We are only $75 away from my humble goal and getting some long overdue justice against that snickering dog. Honestly, I’m kinda being smoked by the other members of the group, but it’s all for a good cause.

There’s a funny thing about gamers. In spite of what some writer at Tor thinks (link goes to Larry Correia’s excellent fisking of the Tor piece), we’re a pretty diverse and inclusive group. Just take a look at the Retro Gamers Society promotional video for our gameathon.

We didn’t hire any actors or make any special calls. These are just the regulars that show up to our monthly get togethers to hang out, play games, buy/sell/trade, and just generally have a good time. We aren’t spending our time lamenting any micro-aggressions. We’re having FUN. And hey, trying to do some good for our community while we’re at it.

Donation link is here. You’ll be able to access the Twitch stream from there too starting August 29th. If you want your donations counted towards snickering dog justice, please email me (jennifer AT injennifershead DOT com).

 

Hot Dogs for the Homeless!

Here I go again! It’s time to do something ridiculous for a good cause!

The donation link is now live

So, what silliness will inspire you to donate? Just $5 gets you a chance at a prize. What other madness would you like to see? I’m not a skilled enough gamer to get you a speed run on anything. But I could be convinced to take a life-sized cardboard cutout of the duck hunt dog we all love to hate out to the woods and show him some 12 gauge justice.

duckhuntdog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know you want to see that happen, right? If my readers can drum up $100, we’ll make it happen. (email me your receipts jennifer AT injennifershead DOT com) I’ll keep a running total.

Ideas for additional goals? Drop them in the comments. I may even have a couple of things I could auction off for the cause. Stay tuned.

ETA: Hot Dogs for the Homeless is a registered 501c3. Information available by request.

$15 $20 $100 so far! Boom! It is done.