The Final Day….

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

Well folks, we’re at the final day of the fundraiser. As I write this, we’re about 24 hours away from the finish line.

The last couple days have been amazing. A lot of folks have chipped in with last-minute donations. Others have come back to donate a second or third time. A lot of people have been spreading the word, blogging, twittering, and shouting out of windows at unsuspecting persons on the street.

The end result is that we’ve raised far more than I’d ever hoped this year, far beyond the 250,000 dollars I expected to be our high water mark.

I just have a few things to mention before everything’s done.

First: In the last blog I accidentally said that the ARC of Redshirts that John Scalzi donated was going into an auction. That was a typing mistake brought about by lack of sleep. Redshirts is going into the general lottery so that anyone who donates at least 10 bucks has a chance of winning it.

Second: Since I did the post that talked about the odds of winning something from the prize lottery, we’ve had a lot of donations.

So, in the interest of keeping this a prize-rich environment, I’m going to donate another 100 books to the fundraiser. I tend to be a book hoarder, and I have duplicates and triplicates of some books that I’m very fond of. I have extra signed copies that I keep tucked away for a rainy day, too. And some limited edition stuff.

The upshot is that even though you don’t see any pictures of it here, there’s now officially more cool stuff to win. Because I love you.

Third: For the last couple months, I’ve been getting e-mails from people telling me stories about their donations.

I’ve heard from parents who have talked to their kids about Heifer International, then later had their kids write to Santa asking for a goat that they could give to someone who needs it. There have been families that exchanged animals instead of presents this year. Book clubs and church groups have done fundraisers of their own, pooling their resources then donating to Heifer through Worldbuilders.

There isn’t space to share all their e-mails with you, but I thought I might share one….

Hi Pat!

I love, love, love Worldbuilders, but as a broke law student I can’t afford to donate much…So this year, my fiance and I had a fun idea. We agree with your take on Valentine’s Day, so this year as our “Valentine’s Day present” to each other, we donated in our name to Worldbuilders.

We thought setting aside money for goats was way more important than setting aside money for unnecessary trinkets, and what better way is there to celebrate loving each other and wanting to spend our lives together than by making the world we want to live in even better, and honoring an author whose work we adore?

We put it on facebook too, here’s hoping more people might follow the lead!


I like your style, W. Thanks for thinking outside the box and helping to spread the word….

Fourth: There’s only one auction left: the Golden Ticket. Bidding has already topped 4,000 dollars, and I’ll admit to feeling equal parts curiosity and anxiety when I wonder what the winner will ask of me….

Fifthly and Lastly: Ever since I posted up the 150K blog, people have been e-mailing me, asking me to share the video that I made of me reading Beatrice’s Goat to little Oot.

I still feel self-conscious about the fact that my voice gets higher when I read to him. And because we had to cut together a couple of different readings of the book, my voice back and forth between my reading-to-Oot voice and my regular voice, which makes it seem like I’m flirting with puberty….

But people asked for it, so here it is. Not posting because I’m a little vain is just silly.

Plus I figure Oot’s natural cuteness will eclipse any shortcomings on my part….

So there you go, folks. If you didn’t get it before, now you do. That’s what Heifer International does in a nutshell.

If you’d like to make a donation, the Worldbuilders Team page is over here.

If you’d like to read more details about the fundraiser or browse through the thousand odd books donated by authors and publishers, you can head over to the main Worldbuilders page.

Thanks for being awesome,


This entry was posted in Oot, videos, Worldbuilders 2011. By Pat76 Responses


  1. Hecuba
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this, and spending all this money, energy and time! I could donate much less than I would like to this year (I’m Greek, so money is tight at the moment…) but I’m really happy it’s going so well!

    • Hecuba
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

      Just wanted to add that your reading brought tears to my eyes. Oot is a very lucky boy. :)

  2. Cinnamon
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for posting the video Pat, it means a lot. I am going to play it for my niece and nephew this weekend. And just so you know, you sound completely natural reading the story to Oot!

    • rjleduc
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

      I agree.

      The reading sounded great, and natural. You have nothing to worry about.


  3. Holmelund
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

    1. You “reading to Oot voice” is not at all a “goofy-ass voice.”

    2. I am amazed (in a good way) at the sheer generosity of all the fantasy readers out there (and you)

    3. Emptying a small piggy bank on my table it contained excactly the Dansuh equliant of 10$. I´ll call this fate and donate them :)

    4. You got one cute kid there :) Not as cute as my daughter, but then again I may be slightly biased ;)

    • Holmelund
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:57 AM | Permalink

      Seem´s like The Typodemon paid my post a visit.

  4. Kay
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Oot is the cutest thing! Its fantastic watching him listening to you. I know alot of kids who don’t care about reading but you can see Oot following the sentences. I only recently got my first full time job so I am pleased to say I donated this year. It was only $30 but its better than nothing. Your fans may not know you personally but were so flipping proud of you.

  5. Knightrous
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    Nothing like stepping up at the last minute, especially as I got a raise/promoted at work yesterday; not sure if I did it right, though. Chose to “Join This Team” and then made $30 donation during registration, I’m showing up on the team members list but as $0.00; I’m assuming it just takes a while to confirm payments and stuff.

    • Knightrous
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

      Okay, maybe not, if I click on my name it shows a “goal” of $30 and “raised” $30, but showing $0 on the team page when you click through “My Team”. Does anyone know if this counts against Worldbuilders team properly?

      • Knightrous
        Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

        It looks like the contribution I made whilst joining the team is being classed as an individual contribution; I’ve submitted a question via the FAQ trying to clarify the situation, but it says 1 to 5 business days for a response…

        I’ve pointed out it’s not exactly clear during the registration, if this is the case, and also it would be better transferred to the Worldbuilders team as they contribute an extra 50% towards donations made.

        • lizzylizletitgo
          Posted February 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

          It still counts. You don’t have to join the team to make it into the general lottery or match the 50%

          • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

            What he said.

  6. Job
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Only people who never read to children and don’t know anything about it can think your reading-to-Oot voice is anything but an excellent reading-to-a-child voice!

    My two sons (4 and 6 years old) listened attentively, even though English isn’t their first language and they understood only half of it.

    Thanks for posting the video and thanks for everything else!

  7. pjmintz
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    Your reading-to-Oot voice is just the voice of a daddy that loves his little one, and loves reading to him. Thanks for sharing the video despite your misgivings.

  8. Susan
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    I have resisted posting comments on many occasions because your other fans are so concise in conveying the feelings I have, but on this one I had to register.

    Your reading of the book was superb. It was delightful and comforting, taking me back to curling up on my father’s lap, being cuddled and having his attention on only me. It was so much more personal than your “narrator” voice. It was as if you were reading to each of us, individually. You, sir, are too modest in all aspects of your talents, and far too hard on yourself.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us, and for your hard work on behalf of people worldwide. You inspire awe at every turn.

  9. mr_meaney
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    I’m still curious about the final $250,000 mark blog post “A Taste of Things to Come” so tantilizingly promised on the Worldbuilder’s page.

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

      Don’t worry. That’s still coming, I haven’t forgotten….

  10. Lord Periwinkle
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the golden ring be a bone ring? You could even make it by growing your own bone syntheticaly if i understood this article correctly which would weird in an awesome way.

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

      Wow. That would be weird-awesome. Plus creepy.

      If I did that, I could say I’d sold a part of my body on e-bay.

  11. Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    What are the chances I can still donate in the wee hours of the morning, which are technically February 8? My tax return should come in tomorrow, and assuming the feds have their act together, my bank will have it by like 4 or 5 am….. and I’d love to donate more. If that’s too late for the prizes I’m totally cool with that, I just want to know if I’ll be able to give more at all.

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

      Since you asked, I’ll be fine with that.

      We won’t be fiddling with the spreadsheet and distributing prizes until the 8th anyway, so donations that come in later that night/early morning will still be counted….

      • Thunderborn
        Posted February 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

        Hey Pat I havent seen any kind of list of prize winners or even that you are giving things out for the donations. I am not even quite sure if my donation made the list……….

  12. AmusedToDeath
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    At $433 867 after Worldbuilders have matched 50% of the donations. Plus auctions. Plus web store.

    Close to £500.000?


    • AmusedToDeath
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

      As far as i can tell the auctions have raised a total of $27 465,23 so far. The Golden Ticket is currently at $4 450.

      So the current total should be $465 782,23. Plus web store.

  13. DraccusPlum
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Your “reading-to-Oot voice” is not jarring whatsoever. I may not have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out, and I feel that the video would have seemed weirder if you were reading to him without doing the voice.

  14. jaimo
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Worldbuilders ROCKS!

    Also, happy birthday Charles Dickens. (I know today is his birthday, thanks to my AWESOME Lee Moyer literary pin-up calendar. I hope Lee does it again next year.)

  15. D_
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    I want the thermometer to read $300,000 for the donation pool! I just put in my very very very last donation. I Know I’m not the only one, because the numbers are climbing fast!

    ps. Your reading voice is perfect. My dad would read us The Hobbit from the time I was 3. He had two voices, hissy voice for Gollum and squeaky voice for almost everything else. Those are among our BEST memories.

  16. FatherTime
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    if we get up to $333,334 in donations Pat can say he rose over half a million dollars for Heifer, that is awesome.

  17. IvoryDoom
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the video! I’m glad you decided to post it and am excited to get to listen to it when I make my way to my personal computer!! (Mostly just can’t wait to see you with a haircut :P )
    I’m assuming you do this auction/lottery every year (this is my first) so I’m wondering, does next years start tonight after this one ends? I’m looking forward to donating to world builders all year next year, which leads me to my next question, would it be better to donate in $10 increments all year, or just save up and do one big donation at the end? Wasnt sure if it mattered, hopefully someone can help me out on this!

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

      The fundraiser usually starts sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year and goes through January-ish. If I were you, I’d save my $10 a month (or whatever) and use it next winter if you want to donate specifically through Worldbuilders for the prizes (and camaraderie). But I would say that donating to Heifer all year round is a good practice too!

  18. DrFood
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    Love the video. When Beatrice said “School?!” I cried. Even though I knew that was coming. Yeah, I’m a crier.

    I’ve been a fan of Heifer Project for ages, but I chipped in my first serious “I’m a grownup with a good job” donation yesterday.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

      I’m with you, we didn’t show the first take of me reading the book where I get weepy at that point.

      Thanks for making us your first grownup donation. I still remember mine from back in 2007. I remember thinking, “I have money, I can actually help!” It was a strange thought after years of being a poor student….

  19. charlotte
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t watched the video yet (can’t at work) but in honor of your bravery and commitment I donated an extra $10. Thanks.

  20. dmbeucler
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    My son was fascinated by the story and Oot. He’s about a year and change younger then your son.

    Could you add the totals from the previous years to the FAQ page please. I’m curious. :-)

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

      I’ll do my best to dig those up….

      • dmbeucler
        Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

        :-) Thanks! I’m not in a huge rush…. I can only imagine how hectic your next few weeks will be with the shipping and sending and writing and oh so very much sleeping after. I just thought it would be really cool to see how things are growing each year.

  21. Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    The video was great and I am glad you decided to post it.
    Would you ever consider reading your own books for a special audio version, written and read by the author? (Genuine question)
    The camaraderie of giving will never get old.

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

      I might do a version where I read my own books. But I wouldn’t do it for a long time. I’m really not that good yet. I need to be better before I tackle something like a full audiobook….

      • Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

        Fair enough but you’re being too modest. Trust me, you are a good reader.
        If I get the Golden Ticket/Ring in the lottery, I’m asking for a full unabridged reading of your books read by you.

        Hmmm, and maybe you could do a personalized dedication…

        “Dedicated to Casey, a true philosopher, the weaver of waking dream stories, and just an all around cool guy who gave me the courage and support to do this full reading.”

        Too much? :)

  22. kdculb
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    My son is 4 and I remember when I posted some of the first videos for family and friends to view. I got a lot of “nice dad voice” comments.

  23. Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    You could do it for charity, or in a limited edition like young adult author John Green recently did. Although, a 400K-word fantasy novel is a little more intense than a 100K-word young adult novel….. Understatement

    • Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

      oh fail, that was supposed to be threaded under the comment from Casey and Pat two above.

      • Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

        I like it when authors read their own stuff. I have a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy read by Douglas Adams that is just cool. And I used to have a copy of All Creatures Great and Small read by the real James Herriot but I wore it out.

  24. Celtland
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    You read the book very well. It’s similar to how my wife and I read to our kids. From your prep, I was I expecting your voice to go at least another octave higher. In our house any tune is fair game for new lyrics that include at least one child’s name (if not all of them). I can imagine how I would feel if we made a video compilation of these songs and put it online, so I applaud your bravery. I would love to hear you read The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle.

    There are only a few hours left, but if we make it to $300,000 will there be an “Above and Beyond” post?

  25. Library Lasciel
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Aight people – it’s 4:30 eastern standard time, and we’re at 295,320.00. If we don’t make it past 300,000 by midnight, I’ll just scream. We’re THIIIIIIISS CLOSE! Come on! Get Those Goats!

    • rjleduc
      Posted February 7, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

      It’s standing at $298,000 as I right.

      We can’t let midnight pass without reaching $300,000!

      I just made another donation. Anyone else able to step up?

      • huchamabacha
        Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

        Made another donation too!

  26. xcrunner61
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    I just donated instead of buying Star Wars: The Old Republic. I think I made the right decision.

  27. Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    I think you did. I don’t think the Old Republic can produce milk like a goat.
    (feel free to correct me if anyone knows otherwise)

  28. Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    There’s def a lag in the thermometer- the Team Page is the most up-to-the-minute I believe.

  29. Constance
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    It’s 500 dollars away from 300k. OH MY! What a lovely day this is!

  30. Jorde
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Just donated to push it over 300k, here’s to hoping for a golden ticket.

  31. kahli sana
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    $301,591 as I write…unbelievable. My family donated this year for the first time, and I’m honored to be a part of this. Way to go, everyone.

    Pat – is the total listed on the Heifer site ($300K+) inclusive of the 50% match? Or is that pre-match (making the effective total north of $450K)?

    Also – I know that when Worldbuilders first got started, you were personally doing the matching. Not that it’s any of my business, but is the entire 50% match coming from you, or have you enlisted other notable notables to assist?

  32. Michael Boulet
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    I have a slight problem. Pat, I know you wanted us to enter additional info after we donate, and I don’t want to be the one to ruin your warm fuzzy about the whole charity. After I donated by Paypal, the site crashed and I was unable to enter any additional info. I have been unable to get back to that page. Is there somewhere that I can enter what additional info you need? (sorry, sorry, sorry…)

  33. Michael Boulet
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    I thought the video was great.

  34. lykashii
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    I just donated (last minute I know) and was just wondering, since I didn’t sign in or anything I just clicked donate and did it via paypal, how do you know who donated what and how would you get in touch with someone? Did I do something wrong?

    Feel very good about donating though :D

  35. jaimo
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    Over 300,000 dollars raised. Unfreakinbelievable!

  36. Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    After weeks of procrastinating, I finally got around to donating… just under the wire. I’m not gonna lie – seeing the total donated at $300,606 got me a little choked up. Absolutely fantastic, Pat – you are an inspiration to us all. I _almost_ forgive you for ruining my reading-productivity in 2011 by publishing a book so good that everything else paled in comparison.

  37. LisaD
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    $307K+ !!!

    Sometimes, it’s easy to sit back and think, “That problem is too big! I can’t make a difference!” and sink back into daily life. Then someone comes along and says, “We can do this!” (Pat) and everyone looks at each other (us) and says, “I could add a little…”……and soon, we have this big, magnificent gift to give to the world.

    So. Thank you, Pat, for being the team coach and for taking a chance. Thank you to everyone else, for caring enough about to make a difference. Well played, everyone! I’m so proud of us ♥♥♥

  38. nico elayne
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    I’m thrilled at how well World Builders went this year! I’m already planning my donation strategy for next year. WooooHooo, we rock!

  39. Holmelund
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    Very unreleated question.

    How does one obtain an avatar instead of the grey/white shape?
    I can´t seem to find the setting for it.

    Am I blind or stupid?

    • Posted February 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

      You have to go through your WordPress account (on their website) and in the settings, you can choose or upload a picture.

      • Holmelund
        Posted February 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

        Thank´s a lot :)

  40. hoobie
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    It seems to me that there has been about a 60% increase in donations over last year. To put that in perspective, if it happens again next year, we’ll be at 494k and change.

    Well done everyone, and especially Pat. I have an obscene amount of respect for you.

  41. Trent in Iowa
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    It became as exciting as any episode of “Wheel of Fortune” (more so since we had personal involvement in it. Yesterday, I kept just clicking to watch the total go up. At one point it jumped by over $1000 in just 15 minutes. But really cool was that in only a couple hours, my wife and I watched the total jump about $15,000 to clear 300K and far surpass everyone’s expectations. This was such a cool thing to be a part of. If all of Pat’s books burn and he never writes anything else, he’s still one of the coolest authors on the planet for running Worldbuilders each year.

  42. Posted February 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Wow !

    I can’t believe we reached 309k !
    And I think that’s not including the auctions (about 30k) and the 50% match from Worldbuilder.

    All in all, I think we must have raised 494’000$. That’s a lot of money.

    Taking into account that 75% of that money goes directly into the programs, we can say that about 370’000$ will be distributed to people in need all around the world.

    That’s a lot of goats. We really are awesome !!!

    • Constance
      Posted February 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

      That’s one of the nicest things about Heifer. You know that a good portion of the donation really reaches the people in need and isn’t eaten up by Administration or Fundraising costs… like certain other charities in the media… *cough cough*

  43. spoonyspork
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    I have no shame admitting I choked up a little when I checked and saw $300k had been met and passed. Geeks are so awesome :)

  44. RAB
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    Just thought I would point out that Worldbuilders is the featured team on the Heifer International home page right now. I also thought it was noteworthy to point out that Worldbuilders is beating the Wheel of Time team by 10/1, not that it is a competition.

    • Posted February 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

      Haha…. everyone loves a good-natured competition. Though as a WoT fan from waaaaaay back in the day, I wish more of my fellow Randlanders were more on board! But do you know what’s cool? I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong Pat) that is was Brandon Sanderson who was one of the inspirations for Worldbuilders. Back in the day, before Brandon was “the guy who is finishing WoT” and was just known for Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon had a habit of auctioning off naming rights of characters to fans for charity, and in that spirit of goodwill, Pat got the idea for a charity of his own….


    • QWOPtain Crunch
      Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

      NOT that it’s a competition… ;D

      … Although we’re kicking their butts. OBVIOUSLY this author’s following is more generous. Or awesome. Your pick.

  45. Posted February 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    2,585 1/2 goats. Solomon was never so wealthy. Awesome.

  46. loki
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    The reason your voice turned out that way is because once you started reading to Oot the camera did matter. I always lower my ‘self conscious guard’ when I’m around my children. Your own child’s attention can be intoxicating. Just ask my wife….my kids and I embarrass her so much she despises little things like going to the store as a family. I keep telling her to enjoy it because someday they are going to grow up and not be such a captive audience.

    • loki
      Posted February 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

      should have read “the camera DIDN”T matter”. I need to proof read.

  47. spikeehead
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Nicely done, congratulations!

  48. Celt42
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Your voice sounds perfectly natural, and not because it didn’t go up at all, but because it’s instinctual to talk to toddlers and infants in a higher pitched voice. Babies and the very young respond better to higher pitches. Humans instinctively talk to them that way. It’s pretty cool. I’m pretty sure it bring us all back to our own toddlerhood when we hear someone talking that way =-)

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