Dig out yer walletses

I'm fundraising. Here's the good news: you don't receive any cookies, candles, popcorn or wrapping paper. You just give money and that's it! No stuff will clutter up your life--except maybe a nice tax deduction.

My brother-in-law, a cabinet maker, is on his way to Pearlington, Mississippi to help rebuild homes. "Hey, Kate," my sister said. "Carter has to raise $2,000 bucks so he can help people. I'm doing the fundraising."

So now I'm passing the buck that he passed to her and she passed to the people on her email list. Yes, I'll shell out some dough, but I thought maybe I'd nag you lot too.

It seemed pretty odd to me that a volunteer would have to pay. Hell, they should be delighted to get the services of a professional carpenter like Carter. So I called Building Goodness to find out why he had to pay for his own food and supplies.

Brenda Yordy, the friendly director of the organization said that, no, the volunteers aren't required to raise money--though when Building Goodness does international work in places like Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti and Guatemala, the volunteers pony up for their own travel. The volunteers are deeply encouraged to find money--because we're not talking big pockets like the Red Cross. The Building Goodness office is located above a coffee shop. The staff consists of Yordy and a part-time worker.

"We figure that the food and travel costs for one volunteer is about $400, and then it costs about $1,600 for materials to build one of the shelters," Yordy told me.

They're getting a good deal with Carter. He's a fantastic carpenter and has plenty of energy and enthusiasm and brains.

Here are more random bits lifted from the website about the organization, which is based in Charlottesville, VA--my sister and brother-in-law's home town:

Building Goodness sends teams of volunteer craftspeople to international projects more than ten times per year.

At the heart of Building Goodness are the volunteers: skilled tradespeople--carpenters, electricians, masons, plumbers, cabinet makers--and construction professionals who share their hard-earned abilities and experience to help communities escape poverty and fashion better lives.

Building Goodness works alongside Habitat for Humanity and other organizations.

You can donate by mail:
Building Goodness Foundation
P.O. Box 4325
Charlottesville, VA 22905

and use the donation form here: http://buildinggoodness.org/donate-by-mail.pdf

or if you're lazy like me, you can donate online through http://www.networkforgood.org/ -- just type in building goodness, and it should work. I hope. Yordy said she hoped they'd have a direct donation form available on the Building Goodness site soon.

No, of course you don't have to donate. You can just turn the page. (Gawd, remember those ads? Does Save the Children still run them?)


  1. Do we need to designate the donation so that it goes towards your brother's project?

  2. Oooo Good question. His name is Carter Smith, in case it matters.


  3. My sister worked all summer for Habitat for Humanity. Next year she's off to Guatamala for the same thing, I think. (do they go to Guatamala?)
    My parents are worried but put on a brave face. LOL

  4. Okay, I'll put in some cash. But when we meet in person, you have to sing for me Spinal Tap's Gimme Some Money.

  5. how's about this one?

    Big bottom
    Big bottom
    Talk about bum cakes,
    My gal's got 'em.
    Big bottom,
    Drive me out of my mind.
    How can I leave this behind?

    okay. . . fine.
    Stop wasting my time
    You know what I want
    You know what I need
    Or maybe you don't
    Do I have to come right
    Flat out and tell you everything?
    Gimme some money
    Gimme sone money
    I'm nobody's fool
    I'm nobody's clown
    I'm treating you cool
    I'm putting you down
    But baby I don't intend to leave empty handed
    Gimme some money
    Gimme some money
    Don't get me wrong
    Try getting me right
    Your face is ok but your purse is too tight
    I'm looking for pound notes
    Loose change
    Bad checks, anything
    Gimme some money
    Gimme some money

    thank you. thank you very much.

  6. Yes, Big Bottom is my favorite, but it seemed wildly inappropriate, given the circumstances.


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