So, the third donation for this quarter has been made and it is time for a review. This quarter has been all about me, as opposed to last quarter's focus on free speech.
Joe Murphy Memorial Fund
Celebrity deaths, needless to say, affect everyone differently, depending on who the celeb in question was and how they related to us. Whether through a t.v. show, a book, a movie, or even a podcast.
I have been a fan of podcasts since the term was coined and, in particular, a fan of the Farpoint Media family of 'casts. I listen regularaly to Wingin' It and Slice of Sci-Fi. Joe Murphy was a contributor and book reviewer for both; Joe was stricken with a rare and malevolent form of cancer last fall and passed away on April 1st of this year. A fund had been set up in his name in the days that preceeded his death, with all benefits to go towards fighting the form of cancer that killed him, as well as a sizeable donation to Hospice, who had provided for Joe in his last days.
I never met Joe personally, but I loved to listen to him on the FPM shows. He, and the others who host the shows, are one of the ways I stay grounded. I spend most of my day speaking Japanese or teaching English and being able to listen to shows firmly grounded in a community of geekdom really means a lot to me – it is both an escape and an anchor to my home culture and language. Joe was part of that and his death, and the subsequent outpouring of emotion and support for those who knew him in person, hit me harder than I had expected.
In response, I decided to make a donation to the fund that had been set up as a way of showing, however feebly, how much I appreciated being able to listen to Joe every week. The fund has recently been turned into a podcast of its own, discussing cancer and treatments and how to help those afflicted. I plan to listen and to continue to support this cause.
Modest Needs is the kind of organization I like to believe in. They take the essential goodness of people and that people want to better themselves as a given in their work. That work, in its most basic form is accepting donations from people who have a bit of money to spare and then giving it to people who just need a bit to help them get back on their feet or to get to the next step in their life.
The example being the person who needs to borrow $100 dollars to acquire a license of some sort so that he or she can get a better job. A hundred dollars is not much, unless you don't have it and you need it.
I hope I don't ever have to ask Modest Needs for money. I hope I don't ever have to ask anyone for money. But I like knowing that there is an organization out there that would look at me as an individual with a real-life request or desire and not as a collection of numbers before making a decision. The website has a status page letting people keep track of how much they have donated and if they qualify to ask for a loan. I don't like the idea of it being a public display of karma but I like knowing that the organization is aware of the propensity for people to give back more than they have borrowed and to make the tools for keeping track of the data available.
This is another organization I plan to keep supporting whenever I can.
June's donation was, truly, just for me. I have been a huge, and somewhat vocal, fan of Nanowrimo and when I learned that they were going to begin holding a second yearly event, this time for script writing, I couldn't wait to sign up.
Both events are run by the Office of Letters and Light. The OLL has been very responsible with the donations of previous years, supporting their own Young Writers Program and Borrow a Laptop programs.
As a gleeful participant I wanted to give something back to the organization that has provided me with so much fun and a much needed boot to the ass as I work on becoming a real grown-up.
This is one of the few donations I had planned on making back at the start of the year when I first decided to keep track of the money I give throughout the year and it is one I can see making again this time next year.
(For the record, anyone who would like to track my progress with my script should go here.)
That's it for Q2. Q3 starts in a few weeks and is looking like it may be focused on the expanding meme of art for charity, but I'll keep you posted.
As always, thanks for reading.