Final Day: Touching Stories

Well folks, this is it. The final day of the fundraiser.

One of my favorite traditions of the fundraiser is the final day. We’ve already showed off all the prizes we’re giving away (over $200K of geeky swag.) We’ve told you about Heifer International in great detail, explaining why they’re the best at what they do.

What’s more, this year we partnered up with a bunch of cool folks this year. People like Rat Queens, Acquisitions Inc, Critical Role, Team Non-Compliant, Team Brimpers, True DungeonRevival, and Team MBMBaMBinos have all offered up their own special prizes and let their geek flags fly on their individual team pages.

As I write this, we’ve raised more than $2,250,000. So I’m declaring this our most successful Worldbuilders ever.

In order to celebrate, today we’re sharing stories and comments that y’all have left for us in the comments on the blogs or on the donation pages pages themselves. We do really read them all. They keep us going.

I love hearing how people get creative raising funds for Worldbuilders, like Saskia.

For our wedding, my husband brewed and bottled beer, and we offered it at the reception in exchange for cash donations to give Worldbuilders. It was a small, costumed wedding in the middle of nowhere, so not many people brought cash, but we’re contributing what we got!

Or Catherine:

I was struggling this year with Christmas present ideas that were meaningful for my family. I frequently check your blog to see what awesome things you might be up to next, and was so happy to discover your charity fundraiser for the first time (better late than never right?). This year my family will be receiving cards with a story inside. Heifer’s story. The end of the story will inform them that I have donated $30 each on their behalf, and that together we have bought another family a goat, or several families ducks, chickens, rabbits or bees, aka a positive start to a new chapter in their lives.

Susan has been supporting Heifer for years, and is enthusiastically joining up with our little shindig:

I love this!  As a 73 yy (years young) person, I have given all my relatives bees and chickens and trees and shares of animals as Christmas gifts for years – Heifer is a wonderful organization, one that you know will see allotted donations reach those that the donations are intended to reach!  Thank you for furthering Heifer’s mission!

And folks like Ann-Christin set aside a specific day’s pay to donate:

Tonight was pretty great. I just worked a 9-hour shift at a restaurant and this is the tip I got. I made the plan to give it all to Worldbuilders before I started working and was really motivated. It felt so great, because I knew with every table I’m waiting, I’m doing something good. And it helped me through all the stress and the long hours of running. So worth it!

It’s a worthwhile reminder that there are lots of ways to get donations together, and that every little bit helps. Chandler put it really well in his comment:

I think I don’t have much. But Worldbuilders always reminds me that I don’t have not much, I have some. And some is better than not much. And after I give some, I still have some. In fact, I have some plus feel goods. And that’s nice.

And Matthew had some great perspective as well:

I don’t have much to give, but if I can help people with a flock of ducks for 20 bucks, I can absolutely forgo eating out this weekend. Thanks as always, Pat.

People like Kurt made significant sacrifices in order to donate. (You’re a better man than I am, Kurt.)

Sold my book collection to donate to world builders. Hope I can win something nice :) . Everyone keep up the good work.

Or like Karen:

I was thinking of buying a new video game today, then I read your blog. Now today I’ll actually (instead of virtually) try to *save the world*. Well, maybe not *save the world* but at least make it a better place for those who truly need it! Brb, donating.

Lots of people have been around for a while, but haven’t had the means to donate, instead spreading the word on our behalf, which we always appreciate. And sometimes, when they finally can donate, those people do so with interest, like MeepleMinion:

As this year I am financially in a position to make a difference – and in order to let you know that your blog DOES inspire – I’ve just donated water. Which will be doubled, yeah! I’ll drink to that.

Or M the Record Keeper:

I’ve been living off of friends and family’s generosity for a few years, and so have only been a spectator to this wonderful fundraiser before… but now that I have a job, it makes me insanely happy, not just because I work in a bookstore (which is awesome), but because I finally be a part of this! Hurray! Bees and chickens for everyone!

And some people have really taken the time to put things into perspective, like Phillip:

I recently lost my home in the Louisiana Floods this fall. My entire family was hit by it and our community. I can count on one hand the amount of people i know that have not lost their house. It’s been a rough couple of months, but I know that even throughout all this that there are still some that struggle everyday to eat. I cannot give a lot, but as Pat said, this is a time when the world needs love and generosity more than anything. I wish everyone happy holidays and bright days ahead.

Or Kaye1 here on the blog:

I’ve always wanted to comment but part of me has always been too afraid. So here I am, my first post. It’s my girls 10th birthday. 10 years ago, we were both in big trouble. I was only 32 weeks pregnant and my baby only weighed a few pounds. We were both fading. I had a rare problem with my pregnancy.
Reading this blog hits me like a ton of bricks. If I had lived in one of the countries that Worldbuilder helps, we would not have made it.
However awful I feel about that time 10 years ago, how many tears we cried, we still made it. And I am blessed with daughters who are truly a blessing to us. So I will make my donation today in the name of my perfect girls.

And really, who better to put things into perspective for us than the kids. So many children got involved this year, whether it was through a group like the story Matthew shared:

From our Piggy Banks for Piggies Campaign, donated by The Gingerbread House Kids! Twenty eight kids ages 18 months – 10 years old donated their own money at our annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party to support this amazing charity!

Or decidedly on their own, like this comment here:

Hi my name is Antonella and I am 3 years old. I like to do good because it makes me feel like hugs and kisses. I would like my donation to go towards 3 flocks of ducks.

Lots of kids left their own comments, as a matter of fact. Here’s one from Evan:

I’m Evan.  I’m 10 and I want the world to be a kinder place.  It’s scary out there. Everyone deserves a chance and I want people to have chickens to help them have a better life and survive.

But most chose to donate after hearing about it from others, like Matthew’s boys:

Just sat my boys down (ages 7 and 5) and spoke to them about the family with the chickens from Pat’s last blog post.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give them a little lesson about how charity isn’t just about giving money but also helping people to help themselves.

Or Johanna’s kids:

This donation is from my wonderful kids – they received some money from their grandma and decided there were people that needed it more. Once I told them about what Worldbuilders, they were so excited.

Or Judy’s son:

I’m making this donation at the request of my son, Quinn Gaddy, in lieu of a Christmas gift for him, because he is awesome and requested this specific donation instead of presents. Yay for the next generation!

Or Elyssa’s daughter:

We used your blog to explain the concept of charity to our 5 year old tonight and allowed her to choose the donation level (a chorus of goat! goat! goat! was heard ringing immediately around our house). Hopefully it will get a little girl full of light to share her light with others. Thank you.

We have kids like Charlotte and Maggie, who started a concert on Youtube to promote our cause, or we have kids like Julia, who has truly taken things to heart:

Thanks for everything you’ve done on the fundraising drive this year.  You may (or may not?) recall that my 8 year old, Julia, sent in a picture of her bank last year along with her donation.


I thought you might get a kick out the attached photo, a snapshot of her 2016 Heifer catalog.  She has read every word “at least 5 times,” and sleeps with it in her bed.   Julia will contribute $20– 1/3 of her savings– to purchase a flock of chicks.

Everyone. I cannot thank you enough. You’ve warmed my bitter old heart, and made this our best year ever. Your kindness and generosity will change the lives of many people in the years to come.

Today’s our final day. And because of a generous donor’s support, we still have funds to match *all* donations coming in. So if you want to come in now, here at the end, rest assured that your money will be doubled.

Here’s the link one last time.

I’m sure you know what to do with it.

This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2016. By Pat20 Responses


  1. Jess_malvalekker
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    I just wanted to say that this year was the first time I’ve participated in an online community in a while. The internet has been feeling like a bad place to me this year and Pat, Amanda, and all the Twitch regulars have been so lovely that it’s made me optimistic at a time when I’ve really needed it. These are good people. This is a good place. Thanks everyone.

    • Posted December 19, 2016 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

      I’ll raise a mug of mulled wine to that! *cheers!*

      This charity reminds me every year that in spite of it all, people are still actually cool. Near the time I start losing faith, it brings me round again , and sets things right.

      • Jess_malvalekker
        Posted December 19, 2016 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

        Also, that “one last time”… *sniff*

  2. PHXDale
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    I’ve never been a wealthy man, but Worldbuilders makes me feel rich every year. Rich with what matters. Rich with the treasures we should be stockpiling in our hearts year round. Community, generosity, geekery, kindness – love.

    Since 2008 I’ve never managed to donate much more than $50 per fundraiser – the Creator blessed me with exceptional good looks – but not deep pockets. :) But I was able to change that up a bit this year.

    Thank you for not laughing at me when I gave you my steampunk guns for the auction block. They didn’t rake in a staggering amount, but they did manage to bring in more than I’ve ever been able to contribute before, and that warms my heart to no end. Those little bits of shiny plastic and baubles turned into a goat – and that’s all the miracle I need this year.

    Here’s to the good continuing for years to come.

  3. dbmeade
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Never underestimate the power of geeks and nerds to do good!

    I’ve been an avid reader of the blog ever since I discovered it in my mad search for book 3 info after staying up two days straight to devour books 1&2 one fateful night my freshman year of college. Incidentally it was right about the time Pat was shifting into charity mode. At the time, I could barely feed myself, I was living off of shredded cheese, and uncooked egg noodles. But it was nearing the holidays, so I gave what I could. It wasn’t much, in fact, I think it may have only been a dollar or two. But I figured, that if everyone who had read these wonderful books could give a dollar, then that be a lot of hungry people in Africa fed. So I gave my dollar and promised I’d make a conscious effort to donate more the next year. I failed that goal.

    That was six years ago, and I’m proud to say that this year I finally succeeded. And I have to say it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. And it’s all because I know Heifer will put my money to good use, and make sure all the cows and bees end up where they need to go.

    However, it is my opinion that Patrick Rothfuss gets entirely to little credit for all he does. For six weeks he leverages everything he can to help feed hungry children. For six weeks he pulls an entire community of people together, with seemingly nothing in common save for their admiration for him, and their unyielding desire to do good. I am confident in my assertion that without him, there would be astronomically less good being done in the world. That there would be a great deal more children going hungry tonight. And so I wish to extend my biggest and greatest heartfelt thank you, to Mr. Rothfuss. And to remind everyone of all the good that just one can do, even if it is just one dollar.


    • Posted December 19, 2016 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

      Thank you Flidan, for stepping up in such an impressive manner. I wish you all the success in the world, and look forward to seeing what awesome things you do in the future!

      • Ujonia
        Posted December 20, 2016 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

        Thank you so much for inspiring many of us to give even more than we wanted to in the beginning, Flidan. Next year I hope I’ll be able to match your donations, just for the fun of it! And the goats and bees! Also, thanks for making that kiss happen. It was such a nice kiss! You’re definitely going into my “List of human beings who stopped me from losing hope” this year!

        • dbmeade
          Posted December 23, 2016 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

          Man, that kiss restored my faith in Humanity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, top 2 kisses easily!

  4. hatman
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Worldbuilders is a great cause, and it’s brought in some awesome people. Hooray for generous geeks! Thank you, Pat, for bringing us all together.

    If you don’t mind, I’m going to talk about myself for a bit. Not because I want attention or pity, but to put things in context. At least, I’m going to try. I’m currently severely sleep deprived and things don’t always come out the way I intend even when I’m rested, so we’ll see how it goes. Or you can just skip the sob story in the next two paragraphs and let John Oliver summarize it. “Fuck 2016.”

    Late last year, my health (which was already bad enough that the state agency whose sole purpose is to find ways to get people with serious disabilities to get work declared me unemployable beyond help) took a sudden severe downturn. I came into this year at the end of my rope. My doctors, who had long since scraped the bottom of the ideas barrel, sent me halfway across the country to a subspecialty clinic. Making the trip when, more often than not, I’ve been too sick to get off the couch and so hypersensitive that the tiniest noise is overwhelming… It wasn’t easy. The doctor there could only tell me to retry the most basic stuff that had already failed multiple times over the last two decades. It failed again, spectacularly, and that’s when I knew medical science could do no more. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted, and there was nothing more to be done about it.

    But I have a fundamental need to feel useful, productive, and, most importantly, like I’m making a positive difference in the world. That last has been the entire basis of how I’ve judged my self-worth since the third grade. My attempt to start a business with the dual goals of making a profit so I don’t have to leech off my family for the rest of my life and enacting positive social change (such as hiring and training people from homeless shelters) finally opened in May… And went under in October, taking with it over half my life savings. I’ve been feeling lost and broken and hopeless and unable to get a grip on the pieces of my life that I’ve got left. And that was before the election.

    And then I came in to the Worldbuilders streams. I saw you dealing with your own gloom by bringing people together to change the lives of strangers on the other side of the world. You played the video of the woman who, thanks to some donated goats, went from begging in the streets to having a business that could support her family. Enough to buy flour to make bread! Enough to have a home, to educate her grandkids. Enough to be able to turn around and lift others out of destitution. You talked about perspective, about how, as bad as life may seem, you don’t have to look at being able to afford a sack of flour as a wondrous miracle. You showed me how, even as wrecked as I am, I can still help to transform lives for generations. Your gloom turned to glee as you watched us come together under your banner to make it happen. And that became a ray of light for me. It let me put aside my troubles, if only for a while, and gave me a way to do something that mattered.

    Thank you.

  5. Dlchetter
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    I just wanted to say it has been a year od 1st’s for me. This year I recently read the name of the wind and the wise man’s fear and was effected greatly by the immaculate story telling. In turn it brought me to Pat’s website 2 weeks before today and allowed my wife and me the ability to participate in a fund raiser that wanted to do some honest good for the world via an Amazing charity. My online gaming clan the 4saken Kings were brought together to help aid this effort. It was cool to get to meet the community and see Pat running Geralt naked into a swarm of angry monsters time and time again. We have all achieved something great here and we will be participating in worldbuilders again next year. Still hoping we Hit 2.5mil or better today before closing
    -Dan (4sk Deadhuckabee)

  6. Kendall
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    Gah, I forgot how soon this was ending! Thanks for the last-minute blog post; I just donated, keeping up my tradition of the last few years of giving a little more every year. Heifer via Worldbuilders is my favorite charity! :-D

  7. Posted December 19, 2016 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    I look forward to this fundraiser every year. I think this is year three, and I always overflow with enthusiasm about it. During the fundraiser, everyone I talk to hears about it, work, church, friends, family.
    However this year was different, something clicked inside me, and I finally donated. I don’t know why I never did before, but listening to your twitch streams really made me realize that I can afford to give a bit. I also did Christmas shopping via tinkers pack.

    During the fundraiser, you did a bunch of twitch streaming, and I would always put them on in the background at home if I could. I was listening to the mental health one, and I started crying. Thank you so much for sharing, giving me hope and encouragement.

    Thank you again for being”real, interactive, and connecting with your fans. It must be hard with so much on your plate to try and keep that relationship open, but I know I appreciate it.

    Have a wonderful time with family, Merry Christmas.

  8. silentlybewildered
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat, and thanks everyone on the stream, in the comments section of the blogs etc. for being amazing. This year sometimes I almost lost my faith in people. So many things have happened that are varying degrees of terrifying. On top of that I have not always reached my goals and I tend to beat myself up about that. But in comparison to many, many people, I am so lucky. So, like in the past years, I have given what I can spare and have enjoyed the sense of community and everybody pulling together to do some good. And I am looking forward to participating again next year. Have a wonderful Christmas/holidays everybody. :)

  9. Kthaeh
    Posted December 19, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    So can I ask a crass sort of question, please? I’m considering outright buying one or two of the bigger ticket items in the lottery. Like either a JoJo Cruise ticket, or maybe, possibly, a gaming table from GeekChic. In the unlikely event that my number came up for one of these, how soon would I know? I’m asking so as to have a sense of when I should just go ahead and shell out.

    Thanks again for all you do, Pat, and WB staff. You totally make my holiday season!

    • christie
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

      You may want to send an email for your question.

  10. Sandhya
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Love to all! There still is good in the world!

  11. royalewihcheese
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations to you, to Worldbuilders and to Heifer, on hitting 2.5 million dollars raised!

    I’ve really enjoyed watching all your streams these past few weeks (especially the adventures of shirtless Geralt), and I want to thank you for spending your time with us. Your eloquent, earnest descriptions of the ways that Heifer helps people are really refreshing when everything else seems like it’s made from sound bites of glib cynicism.

  12. Re'larDoll
    Posted December 22, 2016 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    Yay, I made the blog post! #feelsgoodgirl

    But on a more important note…it was such an exciting year watching the fundraiser and giving to the different competitions on Twitch and so forth all to benefit Heifer. Every year Pat and his team outdo themselves, and in turn his supporters outdue themselves. I have no doubt next year Worldbuilders will reach a new level. Do good things people, the World needs it! Thank you, Pat & everyone at Worldbuilders for perpetuating so much good.

  13. Kthaeh
    Posted December 25, 2016 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    -The Christians and the Pagans cover, Darryl Purpose

  14. hayden.20
    Posted December 30, 2016 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    I was watching your podcast about memoirs with Jenny, John, and Will where you ended by talking about Worldbuilders and had a thought; Holding a Fun Run during one of your book signings where people run, jog, walk a mile with all the color powder and what not, all for the cause and then book signings would be at the end. One, there wouldn’t be a long line bc people would show up at their own pace. Two, it would automatically bring to the attention of the people showing up that you have a fundraiser and they can talk about it on the way to your book signing. Three, being in a activity like a Fun Run for a cause causes a sense of connectivity that they will bring to your talk.

    Just a thought, Later Pat love your blog and podcasts!

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