Final day, and feel-good stories

As I write this blog, we’ve blown past our million-dollar goal and are in fact well past 1.1 million dollars with more than 24 hours to go in the fundraiser.

That’s a lot of flocks of chickens. That’s a lot of cows and goats for milk. That’s a lot of bees and trees and seeds and baby ducks.

It’s a lot of families that get to take control of their own lives. It’s a lot of kids that get to go to bed with full bellies. It’s a lot of parents that can go to bed knowing with certainty that they’ll be able to feed their children tomorrow, but for always. For ever and ever.

(It’s a lot of happy people.)

I feel like we’ve done pretty well this year, so rather than attempt to exhort you into donating more, I’m going to share some stories with you. Because stories is kinda what I do….

*     *     *

One of my favorite things is when people donate to our fundraiser for the first time. A lot of the time, it’s the first time they’ve donated to *any* charity. Seeing how happy it makes them makes me happy…

For the past five years, I’ve tried to donate but was not in a place to be able to do so. This year, I am, and it makes me ridiculously happy to know I’m buying some ducks for people who need them.
-Erika M

For the first time in my life I feel like I have a lot of money. Money that I earned myself. Finally I can donate to this wonderful cause! And bees, we need more bees!
-Sander T

I don’t usually have the ability to donate money to causes, but I love doing it when I can. I especially love donating to causes that have the right idea in mind. Improving lives is one thing I try to do every day with deeds and action. When I can’t do it in person, I gladly lend my money to help others do what I could not.
Andrew F

Long time reader of the books and the blog, first time donating. This year is the first I feel economically stable enough to do so. I got married earlier this year, and we recently found out we are expecting a baby. I’m not a religious man, but when life smiles at you, one has to do as much as possible to pass that smile on.
-Pablo G

Over the years I’ve always wanted to donate and have typically [been] strapped for cash. This year despite getting engaged, going back to school, and saving to buy a house I managed to put some aside specifically for this.
-Timothy A

Some people were passing along surprise windfalls that they felt could go to better use with Heifer.

Got this rebate-in-the-form-of-a-debit-card from buying tires, of all things. Figured I should spend it on something worthwhile.
-Byron C

I started a new job as a barista for an Independent cafe in Philadelphia this year. I saved up all the change that people tipped to me. I was so surprised at how much i had when I counted it up! Thanks for all that you do!
-Adam O (total $245)

I’m getting married in two weeks. Our family and friends have been so incredibly generous, covering almost all expenses before I even had the chance to make a budget plan. Our first official wedding gift therefore, goes to Worldbuilders! Onward and Wayward!
-Ki S

Others did it in honor of a friend or family member, including some new babies in their lives:

Here is a donation from my new baby boy, Axel. His very first donation!
-Ashley F (and Axel!)

I have an infant daughter this year, and this whole parenting thing is plenty difficult even in my privileged bubble. Hopefully this will go at least a little way toward helping a parent or child in much less fortunate circumstances.
-Alex R

Donating enough for a clean water installation, because my parents have for years been raising money for the Pure Water, Pure Love campaign, which provides clean water in underdeveloped areas throughout the world. They’re my inspiration, and I couldn’t be who I am without their love and support.
-Carrlet S

My Grandfather was a farmer. He raised sheep and cattle in New Zealand for most of his life. It Was his life. When he passed away two years ago, I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m still not, this isn’t the sort of thing that gets easier over time. But, I remember seeing him smile, looking down at his herd. Maybe I can give someone else, somewhere else, a chance to do the same. Thank you, Pat, for giving me this chance to spread some good.
-Francis A

Recently my family decided that instead of traditional gifts for Christmas, we would fall back to donations to a charity if the gift recipient didn’t have anything they really needed. My family comes from an agricultural area, and my sister has, in the past, had goats. The first year we did this. She was elated to learn that I had gifted a goat in her honor to a needy family less fortunate than our own. Every year since, when I ask her what she wants for Christmas, the answer is always “A goat!”
-Michael K

Some people are using this as an opportunity to pay forward favors they received in the past.

Five years ago I was in a pretty bad place, when I met a homeless man who gave me $6 for gas money so I could make it back home. I think about that stranger often, and how he gave me literally everything he had to help me out. I’m in a much better place now, with more than enough money to spare. I wish I could find him again and return the favor… but until that happens, I’ll continue to donate to Worldbuilders and other charities in honor of that stranger. I hope my small gift of a goat will be similarly life-changing for someone else.
-Thorina S

I have received help when homeless with 5 kids, now my children are almost all grown, everyone should pay it forward.
-Theres K

In general, there’s just some damnfine people out there helping out with Worldbuilders.

My adoptive parents taught me to love reading at an early age, and in the years since no other experience has brought me as much joy as cracking into a new book and exploring the pages within. It is my hope that by making this contribution, another child will be given the opportunity to stop worrying about where their next meal or glass of clean water will come from and instead be able to concern themselves with the next book they get to read, the next game of make believe they want to play, or pursuing a higher level of education than they previously thought they could achieve.
-Jason L

I’m donating because my parents raised me well. Last December my mother was diagnosed with a particularly rude form of cancer, and in the past year she has taught me new lessons about strength, perseverance, and the impact of a positive attitude on a person’s life.
I had two separate groups of chickens when I was growing up. While these friendly little birds did teach me lessons of responsibility and the rewards of caring for beings outside of one’s self, I know that impact is but a fraction of what a flock could do for a family truly in need. I’m just sorry I can’t afford more.
-Paul W

Aaand now I’m all weepy.

Y’all are such lovely people. You’ve done so much, and you’ve made the world better through your kindness and generosity.

In the end, we’re all here to make the world a better place. And this message really hit home for me.

If you listen to the news the world seems to be full of craziness and hate but not at WorldBuilders. Here is an easy way to make the world better, have a real impact on people’s lives, and offset the negative. My donation is my down payment on the kind of world I want to live in.
-Humberto A

What a good way to look at it, Humberto. It’s really easy to be angry about the state of the world. I’m guilty of that a lot. It’s better to do something in the attempt of making the world a better place.

Thanks so much to everyone who has donated so far. Thanks for spreading the word.

Most of these stories have come from the comments that people have left when they make their donations. Like this one, obviously left by a mother on behalf of her little boy:

There are hundreds of these little stories in there. Far too many for me to share. But if you’re looking for a pick-me-up in your day,  you can go look.

Or, if you have a story of your own you’d like to share, you can leave it in the comments below.

And now, for the last time of 2017, here’s the donation link.

Let’s make our down payments on the world we want to live in.

This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2017. By Pat13 Responses


  1. roddenea
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    I’m blessed to be in a position I can donate this year, and every year you and worldbuilders restore a little faith in humanity for me. Thank you for making the world closer to how it should be.
    I’m not teary eyed after reading this, you are!

    Oh let’s be honest, we all are.

  2. Karim
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    My 11 year old cousin, unable to donate to Heifer or Worldbuilders (because of finnicky credit card legalities in this part of the world), wound-up pressuring the family—aunts, uncles, cousins, and sisters—to donate to her “Help the Poor” fund, which she then dumped (unceremoniously) at a local charity. She was inspired to do this after I showed her the video you posted last week with the farmer who turned her life around with a cow. She didn’t even agree to an ice cream afterwards.

    Not all of Worldbuilders’s positive impact can be found on a spreadsheet! :)

    • Karim
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

      Re:ice cream:

      I mean, I wanted to reward her with an ice cream, but she said no. Which is pretty impressive, if you knew how much she loves ice cream.

      • Posted December 12, 2017 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

        That’s some for-real generosity there….

        • Jule89
          Posted December 13, 2017 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

          I do.
          And I have a wonderful, amazing, incredible little daughter who constantly cheers me up.
          And a dog called Auri ;-)

          • Jule89
            Posted December 13, 2017 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

            Sorry, wrong citation

  3. HolyDiver
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    I hate to be nitpicky in the conclusion of this great cause, so let me first say that your fundraiser is incredibly heartwarming and I think you and your team do a fantastic job each year.
    But I still have to point this out:
    “obviously left my a mother on behalf of her little boy”
    First, I think you meant to say “by”. Second, do you have any indication that it was a mother, not a father? I doubt the intent was harmful, but baselessly assuming it was a mother reinforces a stereotype I think is unhealthy. If you do know it was a mother, nevermind me.
    And again, great work, keep it up!

  4. Karim
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    I just wanted to add: *I* feel sad that it’s over soon. I can only imagine the post-rush depression you must get into.

    Love to y’all, Worldbuilders.

  5. Jule89
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    My first donation to Worldbuilders.
    I lost my unborn baby some weeks ago. Hopefully the money will help at least someone to feel better.

    • Posted December 12, 2017 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      Oh Jule. I’m so sorry. I hope you have someone you can talk to about it?

  6. Posted December 12, 2017 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    I’m so happy to have found Worldbuilders and the community that has grown up around it. Life has always been a bit rocky and it is easy to fall into despair. One of my coping strategies when I’m feeling low is to throw back my head, give a defiant Errol Flynn style laugh and put a few bucks into Worldbuilders (or occasionally sponsor some creative’s dream on Kickstarter).

    I may not have an immediate solution for my own challenges, and the money I give isn’t enough to change my life, but knowing I helped someone else reach a little farther makes me feel better.

    PS. Please eat some salads in between all those tacos. You need to stay healthy. We need more dreamers on the battlements.


  7. LoveLoves
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I’m weeping! What a lovely community you have built here, Pat. I feel so lucky to be able to give to those who do not have the means to live their happiest, healthiest lives. Instead of buying gifts this year, my boyfriend and I decided to donate what we usually spend on each other to WorldBuilders. And a new family tradition was born! Peace & Love.

  8. Posted December 17, 2017 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

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