Well folks, we’re about eleven hours away from the end of this year’s Worldbuilders fundraiser, and I couldn’t be happier. As I type this, geeks of all creeds and nations have banded together to raise $651,000 dollars for Heifer International.
Simply said, that’s a lot of goats.
I’m not going to make any sort of pitch today. I’m not looking to nudge anyone in the direction of donating. You’ve already done so much, asking for more at this point would feel weird to me.
Instead I’d like to share some letters people have sent us over the last year. Stories about Worldbuilders.
Like Brian’s creative fundraising idea…
Hello Pat and Team,
I wanted to share a quick story about the donation I just made on behalf of Worldbuilders to Heifer International. I was thinking this year I would take a little more of the Pat approach to my donation.
I am a part owner of 8 Record stores in Arizona and Nevada. (Well, we actually sell all kinds of stuff including two of our stores now have full book sections!) I decided for the month of December we would give customers the option of choosing to take a bag for their purchases or donate the cost of that bag to charity. I also added that for every person that chooses Worldbuilders I would personally match the donation this year.
Now, our bags cost us about a nickel so this year over 11 thousand people in one month choose to donate to Heifer International. That’s 11 thousand people that hopefully learned about the charity for the first time and their collective effort equaled over $550, a full heifer plus some!
I was thrilled to personally match their efforts from my own pocket. So that”s over $1100 bucks from us music and book geeks out here in Arizona and Nevada…a lot of it was one nickel at a time. Keep up the good work! My mind is already thinking of ways to do more next year!
Brian (Zia Record Exchange)
Thanks so much, Brian. This is a brilliant idea. Not only does it show how a lot of little donations can really add up, but each of those 11,000 people heard about Heifer International, even if it’s just briefly. Talk about spreading the word….
And I see you have a store in Tuscon. I’m hoping to swing through there later this year. I don’t know how big your store is, but I’d be happy to do a signing there if you’d like….
* * *
Amie won the tuckerization that Adam Casalino put up for auction last year. After she won, she sent us the following e-mail:
Thank you for your quick response and I look forward to working with yourself and Adam! I have four children and my 14 year old thinks this is the uncoolest thing I have done to date–which means it has already paid for itself! :)
(I feel obliged to mention that in our handful of remaining auctions, Adam Casalino, has put up another tuckerization.)
Amie also came with us to the Heifer Ranch last April, too. So it’s pretty certain we’ve continued to embarrass her 14 year old as thoroughly as possible. Which, from what I understand, is the best thing to do with 14 year olds. Other than get them started playing D&D….
The story has a happy ending, too. These days, Amie stops by Worldbuilders headquarter once a week and helps us out with packaging orders in The Tinker’s Packs.
* * *
Here’s a poem from Sky Corbelli. Some of you you might remember the Song Review of Name of the Wind, he did about a year ago.
Hey Pat, seems Worldbuilders is just ’round the bend.
Last year was so great, didn’t want it to end!
Then I thought to myself, why end it at all?
I may be an indie with sales quite small
But I’ve flagged each dollar my books have brought in
And set them aside for a Worldbuilding win.
Now straight out the gate, I am happy to say,
I’ve over a thousand that’s coming your way
Plus, all further profits I’ll kick in with pride
And see what I can’t russel up on the side.
So keep being awesome; we’re cheering for you!
And I’m sure that the world cheers right along too.
Sky Luke Corbelli
Mathematician, Zookeeper, Placer of Poems with Purpose
* * *
Some folks told us how they’re forgoing gifts in favor of donations:
My birthday is coming up next week and instead of gifts or birthday wishes, I’ve asked all of my friends to donate to Heifer International, and set up a page for it. I’ve got enough stuff; what do I need with more stuff lying around, just being stuff? Other people could use what the money can buy far more than I could.
Thank you for advertising for such a great cause. I doubt I would’ve happened across it without you. I feel fantastic about doing this, and I hope that everyone who donates on my behalf does as well. It’s a far more worthwhile cause than I am, that’s for sure!
Cheers, and thanks again,
Thanks for being awesome, Craig.
Along similar lines, Javan and Emily forewent giving wedding favors, and even used Worldbuilders as their wedding theme. At their reception, there was the following note as the centerpiece on their tables:
We wanted to give you a little present to thank you for sharing this day with us, so please help yourself to the sweets that are on your table
(If you can’t find them, look in the teacup).
We also bought you a water buffalo.
We know, we know – you don’t have room for a water buffalo, you haven’t got the time to take it for walks and you don’t have a swamp for it to wallow in.
Don’t panic. We bought your water buffalo through Worldbuilders, a yearly event founded by one of our favourite authors, Patrick Rothfuss, in order to use the collective power of readers, fellow authors and book lovers to raise money for Heifer International. That means your water buffalo is going to help fight poverty and hunger by providing a family with milk and helping them plough their fields.
We hope you won’t mind that you can’t take your wedding favour home with you.
Emily and Javan
25th May 2013
P.S. Their wedding photos were pretty great.
I could share stories all day, but the blog would be so long nobody would read it.
Just one more:
Hi Mr. Rothfuss,
My name is Colleen and I am 15 years old. I am writing to tell you about my day.
Today I woke up, got out of bed, ate breakfast…just kidding. I am writing to tell you about the most important part of my day. Today I gave $30 to Heifer International with Worldbuilders. I am very, very, very, sorry that I couldn’t give more-I wanted to give hundreds. But as I said, I am 15, with no job, no car, no income. My family does not have much extra money so I have saved up for months to get this much. I apologize that I can’t give more, but I hope that this small amount can make a small difference.
I want you to know how much I admire your work with Worldbuilders and Heifer International and I hope that when I grow older, I can give back to the world as much as you have. With your magical words (your books are my absolute favorite and you are my favorite author ever) and wonderful work with this charity, you give so much back to the global community. You are my hero and I admire you so much. I hope you always keep doing what you”re doing, and never stop!
Best wishes, your biggest fan,
And now I’m a little weepy.
We get a fair number of letters from people telling their stories. And I love reading them. But one of the unfortunate things that I’ve seen crop up several times is people expressing regret that they weren’t able to donate more.
So let me say to you, Colleen, that thirty dollars will change someone’s life.
But more than that, Colleen, the fact that you were willing to donate thirty dollars means the world to me. It fills me with joy and makes me hopeful for the future.
Here’s the truth. If Bill Gates walked into this room right now and gave us a million dollars, it would not make me as happy as your donation. I would want to shake his hand. But you I want to hug.
While I’m glad we’ve raised $650,000 for Heifer this year, what makes me really proud is how we did it. Many of our donors have never given money to charity before. Many are students without much money. Many of them have money troubles of their own.
You see, I want to make the world a better place. And while your donation is a piece of that, a much bigger part of it is you. The fact that you genuinely care and have gone out of your way to help…. *that* makes me like the world more. Above and beyond what you do, the fact that you *exist* makes the world a better place. Not just for me. For everybody.
So thank you, Colleen. Thank you Emily and Javan and Brian and Sky and Amie. Thank you corporate sponsors. Thank you authors and publishers, actors and vloggers, musicians and game designers. Thank you donors.
Thank you geeks of all creeds and nations.
P.S. If you’d like to share your story, you can do it the comments below. Or you can email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing the stories, and might use them in future blogs or newsposts.
P.P.S. Just in case you need it: one final link to the Worldbuilders Team Page.