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Home » Donors Choose and Contests

Save The Day: April 21

Submitted by on April 21, 2011 – 9:36 AM30 Comments

11 AM update

$111,214. That’s the stuff.

In keeping with the arithme-theme of the day, I’ve got a $50 gift card — and if you give to a math-related project today, you could win it for your very spendy own! Donate to any math or math-adjacent project on the Superpage and you’re automatically entered; no need to forward a receipt this time!

We don’t have a “Geometron” superhero yet. Might want to get on that. Just saying.

9:30 AM update

$110,816 — that’s rad!

Let’s do a little arithmetic this morning. According to my hosting company, Tomato Nation gets about 30,000 individual users a month — sometimes more, sometimes fewer, but generally around there. Of those users, 5,000 probably came looking for information on actual tomatoes; another 5,000 got it confused with Rotten Tomatoes; and a few thousand got here searching for stuff like “home for christmas nsync” (…seriously) and didn’t stick around after that, so I’d love to claim all 30K of those uniques, but realistically, it’s probably more like 16-18,000 regular or semi-regular readers.

The Tomato Nation leaderboard is currently showing 1,024 donors. You can see where I’m going with this, right?

Now, the leaderboard doesn’t show the folks who gave prizes in lieu of donating, and it certainly doesn’t show your mortgage, or your elderly and expensive pets, or the third retainer your kid accidentally threw away at lunch and your insurance is like “nope!”, or the flat tire/bent rim/student-loan balloon trifecta you hit in February, or anything like that.

Nor does it show the annoyance some of you no doubt feel that the contest means I don’t post as many 21JS write-ups (it’s on the list, swear), or pull it together with the NC Double Shot cocktail bracket like I said I would (brainstorming with Keckler tomorrow), or schedule as many read-alongs (go get you the Pozner). That bums me out too.

But you can fix that right now, if you see what I mean, and here’s the math: we’ve got 139K left until goal, and (I would like to believe) 14,000 of you who haven’t donated yet. $10 a head and we’re done. Done! Kids get books and DNA models and iPads and whatnot; you get gift cards and handmade jewelry and signed books from Pamie; I get to drive somewhere with a cold beer in the cup-holder; we all get on with our lives. Maybe you give $20 and cover the nut for another reader who’s only got $3 to spare. Maybe $ and the Mysterians show up with a match and cut the per-plate to $9.50.

Maybe you could donate as a favor to me. If you’ve ever liked anything on TN — the GBC, Joe vs. the Roomba, Shoplifting Jack — or laughed until you cried, or found a cool book on Ask The Readers, anything in 15 years of content (…Jesus H.) that you want to do me a solid for, now is the time. Even if you only read the site to make fun of it because I kicked you off the TWoP forums back in the day and you hate my ass — fine. Donate to spite me! Whatever gets the job done!

This is the point, the thing, the amazing wonderful thing that people ask me about at DC cocktail parties that I can never explain the “how” of, “How do you do it?” — I don’t do it. YOU do it. Each one of you does it, and all of you together do it.

So. Let’s all of us together do it. Please. Start here.

Mini-prizing to come; stay tuned.




  • Elizabeth_K says:

    Guilt Trip: Successful. I haven’t given yet this year, for all the sorry reasons, and waiting for the right time … and today was it. Helped a project in Texas with a few bucks … thanks for all you do, Ms. Nation.

  • AnnD says:

    FIRE! FIRE! GP – We have 3 projects EXPIRING TODAY and more in the next few days! PLEASE HELP!

    Everyone has been AMAZING about helping projects that are expiring during the campaign!! We have loaded qualifying projects that are set to expire in the next 10 days. WE WILL DONATE $10 to this page for each of the next NEW 10 PEOPLE that donate. Our family is ALL IN to complete these projects before the end of the campaign. Let’s BE A HERO TO A CHILD and SAVE THE DAY!

  • Debby Guardino says:

    From Element Content FB Page – We have a $10.00 DonorsChoose Giving Card up for grabs just check out the projects below, tell us which you’d give it to and why for a chance to win. You have to post to their FB site to win. Thanks Tori for choosing us as your Tomato Nation Site!!!
    Growing A Victory Garden – For Our Nation’s Tiniest Tomatoes!

  • Debby Guardino says:

    Sorry I pasted the wrong url address

    Trying to do too many things at once!

  • Jenn says:

    My suggestion: Tell your kid the Easter Bunny isn’t real. Donate the money you would have spent on an Easter basket. Your kid may hate you, but another kid somewhere in the country will love you.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    No no no no no. Tell your kid the Easter Bunny IS real — and he’s been kidnapped, so unless Junior sends his allowance as ransom, it’s lights out for the rabbit.

    But don’t mess with the basket. No jellybean left behind!

  • Debby Guardino says:

    Sarah, I sorta love your mad thought process…You should check out Element Content on FB…I think you and Tori (CEO of EC) would get along great! She is a young entrapranuer who is just starting out, but giving back already with Donors Choose. How about filling your child’s Easter Eggs with Donors Choose Gift Cards and letting them pick out the projects they love!!! And a few goodies too!

  • cayenne says:

    Cocktails? Awesome! But what happened to the cookies bracket?

  • Carrie Ann says:

    Sars, I think you have one too many “https” in the spreadsheet link.

    I gave this year, but my husband hasn’t! So I’ve tasked him with finding a project today. And who am I kidding – I know I’m going to give again. It’s the pictures of the kids, all happy and cute and learning stuff. Too much to resist.

    Also, I know we can’t control what annoys us. But if anyone recognizes themselves in the description above – being annoyed about not getting more 21J writeups or whatever their fave feature is – I hope they will take a moment to donate a little, because I swear it will make the annoyance die down. It’s the most fun donating experience there is, in my opinion. You read about a bunch of projects until you find one that you think is awesome. Then you give money to it, and the teacher is stunned and overwhelmed, and the kids are excited, and then you get a little thank-you note and/or package. It’s a really powerful feeling.

  • Jamie says:

    Thanks for the wonderful things you have done in helping public school teachers, like my self!

  • Sarah says:

    I kicked in some money to a graphing calculator project, and then to a literacy project. And then I saw this one. It expires TODAY and still has nearly $1,000 to raise.

    Let’s get ‘er done!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Carrie: Fixed!

    @Sarah, that link isn’t working — can you re-post?

  • ferretrick says:

    Hee, Shoplifting Jack…gets better every time I read it.

    Donating to kids’ education? A MERE BAGATELLE!!!!!!!!!

    Also, 18,000 readers? Damn.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @rick: In theory. I know at least 5 who only read the baseball stuff; several dozen others may not be aware that there’s anything besides The Vine; it’s like that, which is kind of fun.

  • Sarah says:

    Sars, I probably coded it wrong. Here it is, uncoded –

  • Denise says:

    I was floored and extremely grateful when our class project was funded this week through Tomato Nation. I was happy to pay it forward and fund a project for another teacher. I can assure you there will be many very elated students and teachers because of your kindness. Thank you all!

  • Anna says:

    The books that Tomato Nation helped to fund for my classroom arrived today! I’m in heaven! This more than doubles the amount of guided reading books I have to use with my ELL students! A few of them were with me when the boxes came and got to help me open them. We were all jumping up and down together:-) Thanks again to everyone who is donating!

    My current project:

  • Mariam Farhat says:

    Just donated to one of the math projects on the page plus a bunch of other friends’ projects…GO TOMATO NATION!

  • AnnD says:

    Fire! Fire! A new project just came up that will expire in 5 hours and another in 24 hours. PLEASE HELP! A great way to START DONATING to the Tomato Nation “SAVE THE DAY” campaign if you haven’t had the chance!

    Visit Please Help My Special Education Students to help now.

    Visit Digital E-Reader; Connecting Readers to Technology to help now.

  • KJ says:

    According to the spreadsheet, there are also 2 other projects expiring today. This one – – needs quite a bit, but The Nation can knock out this one – – easily since it only has $36 to go!

  • Alicia says:

    One of the projects running out today ‘Please Help My Special Education Students’ has now been fully funded. Others and I gave to this today. Yay! The other two need several hundred dollars each to be funded — in less 5 hours.

  • Robin says:

    When my cats cough up, it’s a hairball. When I cough up, it’s dough for the projects on my giving page. >>hack,hack<< 1 project completed, 1 started.

  • Kathy says:

    I gave to
    The music class is looking for a Bose sound system so they can hear the music… seems like a pretty important thing for a music classroom!! Project expires in 5 days!!! Eeek!!

  • AnnD says:

    New to the Tomato Nation “SAVE THE DAY” campaign…CHECK OUT T-Nation Jeopardy <$50. Now 15 projects less than $40. IN HONOR OF THE NEXT TWO NEW DONORS OF $10 or more contributions we will make a $10 donation to the giving page in your honor. 98 donors so far and looking for more!

  • Peggy S. says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the donations to my math project! It was a great surprise to come home and see all the new donors and donations!

    Making Math Magic

  • Vanessa says:

    In the spirit of Earth Day, I will MATCH every donation until tomorrow 12am EST to, a project to help students learn about environment and to make PSAs about community issues. Double your impact and help some really deserving kids. With only 20 days left, every dollar is important!

  • anotherkate says:

    Another $50 in the pot, and I think I get paid again before the end of the contest. The cats v. Roomba story is one of my faves.

  • AnnD says:

    BLOWOUT LATE NIGHT PROJECT SALE on the FIRE! FIRE! Help or we will Expire! Giving Page. There are 12 great projects available from $29-$67 to complete. We have 1 project left that expires in 1 day with only $45 left to fund. BE A HERO TO A CHILD! Check them out tonight!

  • Elyse says:

    The Tomato Nation has been very generous and helped fund some of my classroom projects – thank you! I donated to two math projects today…since that was our theme!

  • Cait says:

    Fiiinally got around to donating. Wish it could be more than $10, but being a poor grad student will do that to you. Thanks for all your hard work Sars, and to the many members of the Nation who have been donating so generously.

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