I'm trying something a little different before we get back to the retro-related posts, and I hope my readers will hear me out and read this. When it comes to charitable causes and helping organizations out, I don't often do as much as I could. It's been a few years since I've volunteered my time anywhere, and during the time I was out of work I didn't donate any money to a cause. But now that I am working again, I was inspired by an idea last night and thought I might have a little fun with it. What if I donated a month of my advertising revenue to a charity I care about, and better yet, what if I let my readers choose the charity?
Here's how this will work -- below is a poll of five Boston area charities that are near and dear to my heart. I will leave the poll up for the rest of April, and will announce the winner at the start of May. Then, any advertising revenue I make during the month of May will be donated to the charity with the most votes. There's a few things readers can do to help drive up that advertising revenue, but I'll mention them in May! (And no, I'm not going to ask you to click on ads, which goes against the advertising network rules anyway.)
Here are the five charities to choose from...granted, none of them have a retro-related theme (although the first one shares theirs with a Simon & Garfunkel song) but they all do really awesome work.
Bridge Over Troubled Water -- one of the few shelters in the Boston area for homeless teens and young adults. They provide food, water, clothing, shelter, showers, and medical and dental care for homeless teens and youth between the ages of 14 and 24, and provide services to help them develop their lives and get off the streets. A good portion of America's 1.4 million homeless are teens and young adults and when you think about it, sharing a shelter with adults can be a scary concept. Bridge Over Troubled Water has a wish list on Amazon.com, so depending on how much money my advertising raises, I can purchase items such as a backpack, sneakers, and clothing directly on the site.
Dress For Success -- they help disadvantaged women look and feel their best in job interviews by giving them suits and work attire as well as classes to help them develop work skills and get a job.
Ellen Gifford Cat Shelter -- a no kill, no cage cat shelter that not only takes in homeless cats, but provides them veterinary care, food, comfort, and human companionship until they can be placed in their forever homes. It was started by a woman in the early 1900s that rescued all kinds of animals. A few years ago I attended their annual fundraiser/auction and they do wonderful work, and will keep a cat for as long as it takes until they are adoptable and find the right loving home.
The Greater Boston Food Bank -- I've done the Walk for Hunger, a 20 mile walk through the city to raise awareness of hunger and funds, three times and all of the money raised goes to The Greater Boston Food Bank, which provides food for families all across Massachusetts that need it. I can't make the date this year, but if this charity is chosen you'll be helping to prevent hunger in the state of Massachusetts.
Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund -- even if you're not from Massachusetts, you may have heard of Colleen Ritzer; she was the Danvers, Mass. high school teacher that was brutally raped and murdered by one of her own students. She also lived literally a few houses down from mine. The Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is awarded annually to one high school student planning on pursuing a teaching career.
Which one should I give to? Which one would you give to, if you could, and lived in the Boston area? Please cast your vote below before May 1st! (You can only cast your vote once.) Thanks so much -- I can't wait to see who I'll be donating to!