Tag Archives: Cheapass Games

A Story about My Mom, Haiti, and Irresistible Math

As I write this blog, Worldbuilders has raised nearly $516,000.

That was going to be my big announcement today, that we broke half a million dollars.

But it turns out I actually have a much bigger piece of news to share.

Today, Heifer International is running a special event in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. For one day, all donations made to Heifer will be matched and put toward their work in Haiti.

There’s two reasons that this is a big deal for me.

The first reason has to do with my mom. I don’t talk about her a lot on the blog, though I think of her constantly.

Marge and Patrick at Beach 1-1

(Here she is. With her little boy, long ago.)

You see, years and years ago, my mom went to Haiti.

It’s a long story, but the nutshell version is that she moved down to Haiti for two weeks to help run an orphanage in Port au Prince. This orphanage took care of babies that people abandoned at hospitals, usually because the babies were really sick, or they had permanently debilitating medical conditions. The parents left the children because they were desperately poor, and had no way to pay for their care.

Marge 1 068 (2) - Copy

But the hospitals couldn’t afford to care for the kids, either. Because the government in Haiti doesn’t pay for that. And the orphanage wasn’t in the nice part of town, so the government wasn’t giving them any money either. As a result, this wasn’t one of those posh orphanages like in Annie. They didn’t have beds for the kids, for one thing. But that doesn’t even begin to paint the picture for you. Huge swaths of Port au Prince don’t have any infrastructure at all, so the orphanage didn’t have luxuries like, say, running water.

Imagine that. Imagine taking care of these poor disabled babies and not having any running water. And I don’t mean that they couldn’t take showers regularly. I mean nothing came out of the faucets. They got water out of a cistern that was open to the air. They hoped for rain to re-fill it, and they had to boil every drop they drank and cooked with.

As a result, my mom came back from Haiti with a parasitic infection that took her years of serious medicine to get rid of.

She also came back with stories.

Marge in Haiti

I could tell you a lot of stories about the time my mother spent there. But the truth is, if you’ve read my books, you already know some of them. When she was there, my mom met an old barefoot man who took care of orphan boys with physical and developmental problems. A lot of times the boys were dangerous to themselves or others.

I saw a picture of him once. My mom said he was barefoot all the time, and she suspected he might have been a Trappist monk at some point in his life.

Sound familiar?

The stories my mom brought back from Haiti gave me my first glimmering realization that not everyone’s life was like mine. Not everyone could microwave a burrito when they got hungry. Not everyone had clean water to drink. There was an entirely different world out there where people were so poor, they had to abandon their babies if they were born sick.

So. That’s the first part of the reason I’m excited about Heifer matching donations today and all the proceeds are going to projects in Haiti. Because the roots of Worldbuilders go all the way back to my mom’s experiences there. The stories she told me.

The second reason I’m excited is when we caught wind of Heifer’s event last night, we gave them a call and did our very best fast-talking. And because Heifer is full of cool people, they’ve agreed to let our fundraiser take part in their event.

This means, that for the entire day, every dollar you donate on the Worldbuilders team page will be matched. (And you’ll be entered in our prize lottery.)

This is great news for us. Huge news. And I can’t thank Heifer enough for being willing to work with us on such short notice to make this happen.

But even so, something hasn’t been sitting right with me. I’ve been up all night rolling this around in my head. I’ve been looking through old pictures and thinking about my mom.

Marge 1 001 (3) - Copy

If my mom was still around, she would be moving heaven and earth today for this fundraiser. She’s be baking cookies and making quilts and talking to people at church. She would be filming goofy stretch goals and helping us package up orders in Tinker’s Packs.

And she’d do more than that. She’d put her money where her mouth was.

But here’s the thing. At the start of this year’s fundraiser, I’d decided that I wasn’t going to donate any more money to Worldbuilders. I’d talked myself out of it. I’d already given a bunch of money to charity this year, (Syrian Refugees, First Book, etc.) I’d done my part. I was going to be done.

And besides, I’ve kinda been saving up to build a house out in the country.

And besides, I already give a bunch of my time and energy to the fundraiser, right?

And then I think about my mom. And I think about kids in Haiti.

So here’s what we’re going to do.

If you donate to Worldbuilders today. I’m going to match your donation. Then we’re going to take ALL that money to Heifer and they’ll match both of us. So if you chip in today, your donation will be doubled, then doubled again.

I’ll match up to 100,000 dollars. I’ll let you do the math on that.

Come on, folks. Let’s be awesome together.

Here’s your link.

[Edit: Hey guys, Amanda here! I’ll be in the comments answering questions all day, and we’ve had a fair number come in already, but you can always email us at questions [@] worldbuilders.org as well]

Posted in babies, mom, Worldbuilders 2015 | By Pat68 Responses

Games from Cheapass Games

Over the last year, we’ve been developing a great relationship with Cheapass Games. They donated games to last year’s fundraiser. And many of you jumped into the Pairs Kickstarter we ran earlier this year.

Today, here they are again, stomping out and donating a bunch of cool games.

We’re putting all these games in the lottery, because we here at Worldbuilders have the firm belief that anyone can love a Cheapass Games game, even if you’re not generally into boardgames (or much of a cheapass). Many of these games you can pick up and learn in 5-10 minutes.

So check out the game descriptions below and ask yourself, “How is this a game? What would it be like to play this?” Once you play them, the only questions on your mind will be, “Why is this so freaking fun?” and “Can we play it again?”

  • Deadwood Studios

DeadwoodStudios

The art for this game was done by the awesome Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright, which is reason enough to love it. To top it all off, it’s a great game for goofing off with your friends. Can you act badly? Can you act like you act badly? Do you like having fun? Then Deadwood Studios.

Amanda plays it a lot with her friends, and she gushed about it (and some other Cheapass Games) over on the Worldbuilders Blog.

Amanda says:

When I play Deadwood Studios with my friends and family, we go all out. The concept behind the game is that you’re new actors vying for parts in movies while Deadwood Studios films a hundred different movies on their sound stages. You need to practice your lines, perform them accurately, and pay off the Casting Director for better parts.

And it’s awesome. It brings out all of the goofy in people as they have to recite lines like “Dead Guy: …..” to get their points. Plus, the art is by Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright. There’s no way you can have a bad time while looking at that.

I wouldn’t argue with her, folks. It sounds like she knows what she’s talking about….

  • Fish Cook

FishCook

You are a new fish cook, vying for the cheapest ingredients at the market in the morning, and then making the fanciest food you can with your ingredients in the evening. CatDuo games recently finished a Kickstarter to create a mobile app version of the game, but the original could be all yours for kicking in $10 or more to the lottery.

  • Veritas

Veritas

This one’s designed by James Ernest and Mike Selinker, so you know it’s good. You play different versions of THE TRUTH, and your goal is to be kept alive through the Dark Ages by being copied into books.

Yeah. Awesome concept.

  • Captain Treasure Boots

CaptainTreasureBoots

You can now sail the seas and work to be the pirate who brings home the most treasure in the shortest time. There are opportunities to sail, drink, and shoot, so it’s a perfectly equipped pirate game.

  • Get Lucky

GetLucky

We’ve featured this one in a previous Novelties blog. That means that, if you’d rather be certain you get your hands on it, you can just head over and buy it in the store. It’s a great game of murder and intrigue, and a lot of goofing off.

Pat_as_Meymon_Smelt_1024x1024

There’s also a certain dashing author making a guest appearance on a card….

  • PAIRS: Fruit and Pirates Decks

Pairs_FruitAndPirate

Pairs has made its way into the homes and hearts of everyone who backed the Kickstarter for it. There are a lot of different decks, but we’ve got two of them here. Even if you already have Pairs decks, they’re all wonderful, and it’s such a simple game you can teach someone in a few minutes, or give them as gifts. Brett is a little obsessed with Pairs, to the point of printing his own deck (it’s okay, James wants you to) and making everyone play it before the Kickstarter even ended.

  • Dead Money

DeadMoney

In Dead Money, you are Zombies in the Old West trying desperately not to win a game of Poker.

I’m not even kidding. I’m just going to leave it at that and have you figure out the rest.

  • Unexploded Cow

UnexplodedCow

This is another one that’s a favorite here at Worldbuilders Headquarters. When we occasionally get together for a game night, this generally gets played, because it can play up to 8. You’re simultaneously dealing with Mad Cow Disease and land mines, and making money off of it. More gushing about this one happened at the Worldbuilders blog as well.

IMG_20141110_171504

* * *

Thanks again to Cheapass Games for coming out in fine style for us. If any of these looked interesting to you, or if you just want to make the world a better place, be sure to donate on the Worldbuilders team page and say you want BOOKS and GAMES or just GAMES for an option in your prizes.

Don’t forget about the auction that’s currently running. There will be more added soon….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses
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