On September 13, 2011, I celebrated my 50th birthday with an awesome group of friends and collaborators at a party/fundraiser, the centerpiece of which was the shaving—down to the skin!—of my unusually large head.
It was the culminating act of a 50-day marathon during which I and thousands of friends (many of whom I met for the first time, via the internet), raised over $50,000 for a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called WriteGirl*—$11, 517 over, to be exact. Plus a $50,000 matching grant from an anonymous foundation. Because sometimes, the universe really delivers.
At some point, I hope to write up my experience in the form of a useful thing for fellow (and/or would-be) travelers—Kindle single, hologram, or whatever the "in" thing is when I get around to doing it.
In the meantime, you might find this 10-minute synopsis, given as a talk at TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now TEDxMtHood) in March, 2012, somewhat helpful. Additionally, you can view the content created for the campaign, which may also be helpful in coming up with content, perks, and so forth for your own project.
- a playlist of the 2-minute pitch video and all additional daily videos
- the crowdfunding page on indiegogo
- the legacy standalone 50-for-50 site on WordPress.com (NB: originally redirected to 50for50.us, but I no longer own that URL.)
- the 50 interviews with women writers I collected for the (now-defunct) standalone blog
If you come across a 50-for-50 resource you think should be added to this page, please let me know.
Regretfully, I can no longer respond to requests for individual attention and advice, paid or unpaid.
But I do wish you the very best of luck with your heart's project, whatever it may be!
*WriteGirl grooms high school girls from underserved areas of Los Angeles for a meaningful adulthood via one-on-one mentoring and monthly writing workshops. They have a 100% success rate of high school graduation and college placement, and have received many awards both before and since this project. And they always, always need money, because people keep making high school-age girls, and because the world is not fair yet. Also, if you're an L.A.-based woman and would like to volunteer, they'd love that. You don't have to be a writer, nor do you have to sign on for a monthly commitment to mentor. There are many, many ways to help, any of which would be appreciated!