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Home » Donors Choose and Contests

Update: 10/1, 3 PM

Submitted by on October 1, 2008 – 6:15 PM62 Comments

1. A few of you have asked how you can be sure you donated to the TN Challenge and not just willy-nilly. Well, whatever you donated to, it's still awesome, but if you entered the Challenge through the little widget down there, or through the main TN Challenge page, it counts for TN. In other words, don't bookmark the challenge and then go back and search it later; go through the Challenge page. If you saw me in my tomato outfit in that picture, you're set.

If you're not sure, forward your information to Zach at zach at donorschoose dot org; he'll straighten it out.

2. Not sure I got your email/have a question/asked about a prize donation? I'm a little behind on email at the moment, mostly because of the insane clown ASS-KICKING you guys are doing today, but I will get back to you by tonight.

3. Speaking of that: over $9100 already! Well done, lads and lasses.

4. Thanks so much for fulfilling the "Relentless Readers" project; I will contact the winners shortly.

I'd like to do another mini-prize drawing now. This one honors Paul Newman's charity organizing — three (3) winners will each receive a copy of any Paul Newman movie they'd like, on DVD or Blu-Ray. To qualify for this mini-prize, please donate to "A People's History" and forward me your receipt. (That link is connected to the TN Challenge; no need to reroute.)

If you enter for and/or win a mini-prize, you're still eligible for the main-contest prizes.

***This just in! Generous reader Keira has offered to add Hole In The Wall Gang t-shirts to the mini-prizing for this round! Paul Newman founded the HitWG charity, so let's hope our work pleases him. Thanks, Keira! Buy some Zinn, peeps!

5. There's baseball on. Go get you some.

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  • Jenn says:

    I assume we are supposed to email you our DC email receipts like in past years?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    We just thumped this one, I think. Folks who donated to this one, watch your inboxes for prizey fun times.

  • Jaime says:

    This was one of the projects that I suggested to Sars — thank you all so much for making it happen! I can't imagine what it must be like to be a teacher staring down one of these deadlines without having received any donations, and then suddenly seeing that a bunch of awesome people knocked it out in a day! You guys are great.

  • SteveL. says:

    5. There's baseball on. Go get you some.

    Cubs aren't on until 5:30 CST, so I still have time to act like I'm working.

  • Val says:

    This is a bit off-topic and while not too much, sorry all the same Sars.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd let people know that Donors Choose made it to the top 5 in projects to get funded by the American Express Members Project. (I think it was mentioned on TN in July or so.) Out of over 1,000 charities, DC is still up for the top prize.

    I don't know how to tiny url, but the website to vote is:

    You have to be an American Express card member to vote so if you don't have one, just go spread the word instead. DC's project is called "Help 100,000 Children Thrive in the Classroom".

    This one is free y'all. Go vote!!

  • RJ says:

    I put in my $10 and hope to put in more in the next few weeks (or however long the challenge runs – I need to double check that).

    Sars, I just have no words for what you do with this site and Donors Choose.

  • Nomie says:

    I might have to sell some stuff on eBay to make my donation happen. Time to go closet-diving.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @RJ: It's what YOU guys do. I keep tellin' youse.


  • attica says:

    Over 10K at 4pm et. Awesomeness is a speedster!

  • Barb says:

    Can I put in a word for "Fun With Fractions, Decimals, & Percents"? The project expires on Tuesday and so far there's only the $20 that I could kick in.

  • Margaret in CO says:

    18 projects fully funded.
    Already. In less than a day.
    We are so mighty! GO TN!!!

  • cayenne says:

    OMG, you guys – $10K in what, 10 hours? Only the IRS can beat that take.

    I've posted the link in my facebook update & hopefully that'll bring a few new people over, plus I'll pester all my North Jersey cousins to cough up.

    Keep it up, y'all!

  • Jackie says:

    All right, I'm in for "To Kill a Mockingbird." And I'm talking this whole thing up at my book club tonight, so hopefully I'll get some other converts to the cause.

    Back in 1988 (yeah, I'm that old), I hung on the gates of the White House screaming "Can't wait till you're gone!" at Ronald Reagan. But you picketing the White House in a tomato costume, so SO much cooler. I'm sure the pic will look great in your FBI file.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Make that 11K. And we've now helped more than a thousand kids. On…the first day.

    The honor is mine, my friends.

  • jct says:

    I'm a little bit confused, because when I go to the "People's History" request it says only $110 has been donated, but the comment from Sars at 12:42 seems to indicate that it is fully, or almost fully, funded. I know there was a similar issue last year where many requests were showing up as unfunded when they were, in fact, completed. Am I misunderstanding, or am I actually seeing a problem? I'm reluctant to bother tech support unless I know I am not just being dense.

  • Julianne says:

    Is there a list somewhere of the projects that we have completed?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @jct: It's at $170 donated now. When it's fully funded, it will go to the end of the list, which should answer Julianne's question. Go to the last pages; that's where the completed projects live (we've finished two pages' worth so far).

    If you have questions about functionality, you should absolutely ask the DC team, keeping in mind though that 1) sometimes the site/projects take a few minutes to update, and 2) other challenges can "share" projects, so sometimes that wonks things up.

  • Go Amie says:

    @jct – I think that's a comment from when Sars challenged us to fulfill the Relentless Readers project. This post isn't a new post, it was modified from that one, so that's a leftover comment.

  • KellyEMca says:

    Over $13K on the first day? Dude. I'm honored to be a part of this with y'all.

  • Maria says:

    @ Barb – I just added to the "Fun with Fractions, Decimals, and Percents," and I'd wager it will be funded by the weekend.

    "A People's History" got my dough because: 1) It's a great and important book; 2) You'd be hard pressed to find better role models for philanthropy than Paul Newman and Sarah Bunting; and 3) the proposal expires on my birthday – clearly the universe is telling me something.

    I'll be shocked if the total isn't over $20k by tomorrow morning.

  • Alyce says:

    My second favorite part of the TN Challenge is coming back here and seeing the updated contribution #s in comments.

    My first favorite is watching the page for completed projects. Teary-eyed every time.

    Rock it, Nationers. (Nationals seemed off-putting; Tomatoheads?)

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    No pressure or anything, Maria. Heh.

  • Barb says:

    The Colbert Nation has nothing on the Tomato Nation! Also, I just got an email from Donors Choose offering me a $100 credit because they didn't get a thank you package for an old project. I asked them to kick it in for Fractions and to make it in Sars honor.

  • EJI says:

    Barb, same here (except I chose a different project to give it to). Pretty cool of them, huh? Like getting an unexpected bonus…which cheered me up, since it's probably the only bonus I'll be getting this year. (Thanks, economy!)

  • Lauren says:

    Just a comment to let you know you're awesome, Sars. The work you do with this every year is incredible. I've unfortunately donated more than I can afford to charity this year, but I linked you on my new website, so I'm hopeful we'll both be getting lots of traffic. :)

  • Rachel says:

    I just donated to the "Westward Expansion and Little House on the Prairie" project. There are no words for how much I loved these books as a child, and how much I still love them now. I was just lazily re-reading the series this weekend when I was bored.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Thanks, Lauren.

    Just $300-ish to go on the Zinn, which is neat.

    And we're at about 15K right now. Which is breathtaking.

    It's always hard to describe what I feel during contest moments like this, but primarily I'm proud of my association with all of you, who are doing a really impressive job and being psyched about it. I hope you're as proud of yourselves; you should be. [raises bottle of Sam Adams Oktoberfest, the beer to drink when you're almost too tired to drink beer]

  • Diane says:

    "A People's History" is fully funded!

  • Emily says:

    @ Diane – That was me, I couldn't resist! I hope those kids learn to love history just as much as I do. I love being a part of this project – keep the awesome going, everyone!

  • Ms. B. says:

    As a teacher who wrote a proposal on, I just wanted to say thank you to TomatoNation for promoting, and I also wanted to thank anyone who has found it in their hearts to give. It is such an amazing site that truly allows for education to take place through the kind hearts of people like you. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Danielle says:

    Wow! Thanks for promoting my project! These donations make a HUGE difference in the lives of our students!

  • Musgrave says:

    What a great blog! Thanks for featuring Donors Choose and especially No Non-fiction in the classroom.

  • Gina says:

    I was just notified that one of my DonorsChoose proposals was being promoted on your blog. I checked it out, and that one is now fully funded. Thank you soooo much! I hope that donors know that we appreciate your generosity (more than you can imagine)! The children benefit a great deal from the projects we are able to bring to life because of you! Again, thanks!

  • Geri says:

    We at Brooklyn Collegiate rely on donations and grants to supplement our library collection. We inherited a poorly stocked middle school library that does not have materials for our 9th through 12th graders. Thank you so much for supporting us

  • Teacher says:

    I just got notified that my DonorsChoose project was funded due to your website. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You cannot imagine how much my students are going to benefit from your generosity. As a first year teacher in a low-income neighborhood I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart. You truly cannot imagine how my students are going to benefit from your generosity. Thank you !!!

  • Susy S. says:

    Thank you TOmatoNation and all of the wonderful donors that help children of our USA! I am honored to have my proposal selected for your site and the children in my urban school will be thrilled when we are funded. The majority of the children in my school have never visited a zoo and it would be wonderful to bring Zoobooks into the classroom to share with them. Thanks again to all the big hearted people- I am proud of you!
    The video on YouTube is awesome too!

  • Ms. H in Austin, TX says:

    What a beautiful surprise it was to learn that you're promoting my Donors Choose project and so many others! On behalf of my students and the thousands of others you're reaching with your cyber-efforts and generous donations, THANK YOU!!! You're putting invaluable materials directly into the hands of the people who need them. You're investing in our children's future…and ours, really. With your help, I hope to get my Autism Awareness project up and running. Telling my students that it's been made possible through the generosity and kindness of strangers will only reinforce our purpose. Mil gracias te Tejas! Si Se Puede! So NOS PODEMOS!!

  • Mrs. Hamm says:

    Thank you so much for blogging for our classroom set of books. We are one of the very few counties in the United States who does not have a library. This will actually be shared between myself and another teacher – at least 120 students. It is doubly wonderful as we are lacking in literature textbooks as well.

  • Silvestri says:

    Wow! What a wonderful group of people you all are!
    On behalf of my students, I want to thank all of you for funding the Boggle Jr and Scrabble Jr. for my first graders! Spelling is a tough challenge for first graders and these 'hands-on' games are fabulous for the visual and kinesthetic learners. Thank you x 1,000,000 times!
    You should feel warm and fuzzy all over- you are kind and generous!
    Love ya!

  • Linda J says:


    Thank you so very much for supporting the effort of getting an organized system established to get parents involved with the use of take home bags to promote the home/school connection. These bags will help foster critical thinking skills for my wonderful students, in addition to draw parents to the school. Again, I appreciate your interests in reaching out to all children. May God bless all that you do.

  • Angela Smith says:

    FUNdamental Problem Solving
    You will make it possible for my students to be "Problem Solvers", and to achieve a better understanding of applying math computation skills in the real world.

    Thank you for your generosity!

  • EB says:

    I was so pleasantly surprised and thankful to hear that you are promoting so many DonorsChoose proposals…including my own! Speaking from the heart, I must say that it is people like you that truly help our children, who are in such great need, during these difficult times. Coming from a school with most of the children living in poverty, I know what it's like to see students soak up literature and knowledge when it's offered to them through a source like this. Any help you can offer is so greatly appreciated by me and my students who will truly benefit from it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Ms. Flood says:

    Just wanted to say Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much for including my proposal, "Elementary Students Seek Physical Education Equipment" in your blog. It's so great to see people so dedicated to helping children. I've used DonorsChoose in the past and it's always so touching to see how truly kind and generous donors can be! And I love reading comments that the donors leave supporting my cause! On behalf of myself and my students, thanks for being so caring and wonderful!

  • Ms. Bejarano says:

    How refreshing! They didn't talk about education enough on tonight's debate, but it is so nice to see that people still care!! As a teacher, I get rewarded seeing my students every day in the classroom. I can assure you all that your good deeds are so very much appreciated! $1,000 for my proposal on the first day?! You are amazing! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I recall Biden grumping that Bush had left *every* child behind, or something like that. Which, seriously. That's the very antonym of "awesome."

  • Kathryn says:

    Sars, thank you so much for making this happen. These are crazy times, and it feels very refreshing to be part of something that has everything to do with hope. Yay!

  • Kara Vona says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find an email this morning from Donors Choose, telling me Tomato Nation is supporting my project! Please — keep giving! You have no idea how much it helps when we receive grants from Donors Choose. ESL students are a small population at my school, so the amount of resources available is small compared to what they need to compete with other students. Your gifts are so appreciated!

  • Rebecca says:

    I am a teacher that has seen the benefits of first hand. People I have never met and will never meet have been able to impact my classroom and my students. This is such a great thing to help out our schools. There are several things I really need for my classroom and have asked to help me get funded. Thank you so much for spreading the word about the website and encouraging people to donate. You really are making a difference in a kid's life.

  • Jana says:

    Thanks for helping with your donations! My students are always so touched that someone who doesn't even know them takes the time to donate.

  • Mrs. O says:

    Thank you so much for promoting my proposal. I have had two donors contribute already. My proposal is on its way to being funded. Thanks again for helping to impact my students' lives.

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