Foolanthropy 1999
Weekly Update #2

By Selena Maranjian (TMF Selena)

(Dec. 9, 1999) -- We're more than a third of the way through our third annual Foolanthropy drive, and we've made good progress. Many Fools in our worldwide community (as well as Fools toiling here at Fool HQ) have contributed. We hope that you'll consider joining us. Here are the current tallies. These numbers represent how much we've collected for each of our five selected charities as of Thursday, December 9, 1999:
Donate to a Foolanthropy Charity. Click here.

Foodchain:                     $15,526
Grameen Foundation USA:        $27,937
Heifer Project International:  $10,866
Make-A-Wish Foundation´┐Ż:        $8,995
Polycystic Kidney Research:     $8,320

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS:           $71,644

The numbers below refer to donations given via credit card at Fool.com:

Number of contributions:           765
Average contribution:           $71.18
Note that the numbers above include a whopping $10,000 donation of appreciated stock to The Grameen Foundation. (I knew Fools were generous sorts, but still... wow!)

Before I continue, here's where you can learn more about the five charities, quickly and securely donate via credit card online, or contribute by check or stock donation.

In my last update, I offered many reasons why you should consider contributing to one or more of our featured organizations. (And remember, we're not asking for heroic measures here -- just for every Fool to donate a little something, even just $5.) This week I'd like to highlight a unique aspect of our drive -- its interactivity.

It was you, our community, who nominated scores of worthy charities on our message boards. And it's on the Foolanthropy board that Fools are continuing to discuss various charities. Here are some sample comments:

From nahnban:
Reading through this board, I am amazed at the wide number of charities that people support and the incredible outpouring of interest in charitable giving. It's a real indication of what is really happening in the world today. Don't believe all the meanness and violence you see on TV. This is where it's at.

From Philip1llee:
I already give to several different groups, but I certainly will support those chosen. My only problem is deciding which one(s) and how much. Great job! Makes me proud to be a Fool.


rlds70 notes: It is so good to be a part of a community that is willing to help others. In a culture where greed and self-interest is so overwhelming, it is a pleasure to be associated with this group of people. I was totally unaware of four of these five charities before tonight, but they all are excellent choices.


TheTortoise chimes in: You make me proud to call myself a Fool. And even though my nomination -- United Animal Nations -- didn't make the list this year, I will be joyfully making a contribution to each of the five charities.

CynthiaPeters writes:
I will definitely be giving to at least two of these organizations. (I am definitely curious about giving a cow or fish.)

LOff notes:
One more vote for Foodchain, the national food-rescue network. Foodchain presents a safe, logical alternative to wasting food... give it to hungry people. Foodchain: Starve a dumpster, feed a child.... Chances are, the poor and hungry residents of your community are benefiting from a Foodchain member program right now -- a food-rescue operation that collects excess, unserved food from hotels, restaurants, caterers, grocers, and many other types of food-service operations, and safely transports that food to soup kitchens, shelters, and other feeding programs in your area where it becomes a part of a balanced diet for people who are hungry or at risk of hunger.

ladyblues explains:
My "adopted" son... was born with PKD, and it is difficult to watch him deteriorate. What they don't tell you is that his blood pressure is extraordinarily high and his liver is also cystic. It is all tied together. He is a beautiful seven-year-old boy, who just started first grade, and probably won't finish, although he has made it much farther than was predicted. His kidneys are starting to fail, and he will be on dialysis soon.... Pretty much, a transplant will be out of the question, because insurance will pick up most of the bill, but our part is upwards of at least $90,000.... That is almost beyond comprehension, let alone attainable, for [us].... Research is sorely needed. It may be too late for my bud. But it may not be too late for those to come.

ccaawwss adds:
I'm delighted Grameen was selected as one of the five organizations. That's where I'll be sending my contribution. I like the idea that I'm giving a gift that will go on giving.

keiboo says:
Bravo on selecting HPI. I just found them this year myself and I've decided to give an animal (or part of an animal) to everyone in my family. They send wonderful honor cards to communicate what you've done, and I'm hoping my family will begin to gradually move away from the commercialism of Xmas and into something like this. [Note: To give in honor of someone, donate directly from the Heifer website, at www.heifer.org/fool. Make sure you mention that you're coming from Fooldom.]

Olsen7 says:
I have worked with children with life-threatening illnesses (I am a counselor) and have sent them on Make-A-Wish trips.... I have seen firsthand the joy that Make-A-Wish produces. Families are given a memory that may outlast the life of the child, and the child is given the opportunity to, if even for one week, forget all the medical procedures and pain. They also think it's pretty cool to leave their MD back home in the dust of their departing jet! Please give generously -- this group (and all the ones listed, for that matter) is changing lives!

Shess46sail notes:
This is my first post to a Fool Message Board and I want you to know what a good thing you are doing here by hosting this drive. I teach stock market investing to middle school students and many are very consumed with the drive to make money fast. I am concerned that they also learn that it is equally important to share our riches with those in need. Thank you for providing this valuable example to young investors.

kaj537715 writes:
I was delighted to see the Heifer Project make the cut. I have supported them for several years now. And I was happy to see a microcredit organization in the final five. I had not heard of Grameen before, but they will be on my philanthropic list from now on.

From CSCrawford:
Great job, Fools! The Charity list was informative, interesting, and vital. I found three new ones that I had not encountered before. Even though my favorites -- Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace -- didn't make the list, I gave to some new ones.

ace34 suggests:
Also -- take one extra step and mention to your friends that you found an opportunity to provide assistance to others through a very worthy fund raiser and let them look at the charity descriptions and make their own decisions based on what they learn. [Great idea -- please do spread the word about the drive.]

delucia5 explains:
It took me a few seconds to write down the charity's address, sign a check, and put it in my mailbox. I think that was even easier than trying to charge my donation!

Making the message board even more valuable is the fact that representatives from most of our charities, such as Heifer Project and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, have been spending time there, welcoming any questions you may have. Foodchain's executive director and the Polycystic Kidney Research Foundation's president and CEO have posted as well.

Thanks, generous Fools!

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 Foolanthropy

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