DC/10: The Power Of Ten
[Sophia Petrillo voice] Picture it: the day after Election Day, 2004.
George W. Bush had won re-election, and…well, "election," I guess, since he kind of thugged his way into the victory the first time around in my opinion, but anyway, I sat in my office in the single district in Brooklyn that had a Republican Congressman and listened to a before-all-that John Edwards at a podium, urging progressives in his honey-bourbon voice not to give up, and I thought, sure, but how. How do we not give up? What is there to prove that we count?
I wrote some Vines about love and weird felines and how to keep living blue in a red state. I answered some emails whose authors threatened to move to Canada. And I remembered a New Yorker Talk Of The Town item I'd dog-eared about a non-profit started by a former NYC teacher that let other teachers file requests for supplies they urgently needed. Books. Chalk. Air purifiers. Field trips to the ballet. I linked to it on the site (did we have blogs yet? I still had to update the totals by hand in .asp files, I know that much).
I don't have that first contest page anywhere; maybe the Wayback Machine could find it. I remember the $50 minimum donation, and how I had to gather up PayPal donations from y'all and send them in in bunches. I remember that I'd finish updating a project's status and have to redo it because Tomato Nation readers had polished off another one while I was writing. I remember a puzzled email from a lady named Charlotte at Donors Choose: "Hi! You guys are doing great! So who…are you guys, exactly, again?"
I remember it was the absolute best thing that could have happened and I remember that it just kept happening, for ten years. We didn't give up, because of each other — and because Donors Choose is a now a thing you can do for a single dollar, in a community near you, right now, and make a difference. The brilliance of the basic DC concept is a big part of it.
And then there's the brilliance of you guys.
So! Here in 2014, let's go back to basics, to what got us here — not the "THAT guy?!" despair part if we can help it, but the part where everyone pitches in where they can. Give $10, or one dollar 10 days in a row. Find a project that speaks to you with 10-year-olds or 10th-graders, and email me; I'll add it to the page. If you can't grow a mustache, celebrate Nov-ten-ber instead of Movember. Tweet the page 10 times; ask 10 friends to help out; give up 10 lattes, Ubers, or cocktails for the cause.
Questions? Concerns? Origami projects you can't resist? Email me, bunting at tomatonation dot com. And watch this space.
THE DC10 PAGE IS RIGHT HERE. First goal: 10 students reached. We have the power of ten. Go.
Tags: Buntings put a bird on it literally (oh shut up) DC10 Donors Choose George W. Bush John Edwards The Golden Girls you can't spell "readers" without "rad"