November 12, 2008

Doing good – A challenge for my readers!

Posted in Blogging, Daily life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:44 am by Lauren

Around Thanksgiving time and stretching on into the new year, I tend to realize how much I have and how fortunate I am to have it. This always inspires me to want to do something for others.

I’d like to extend that giving feeling by supporting two good causes on my blog.

First, my brother Alan (also of Bad Habit Ultimate) is growing a mustache to raise money for cancer research. If you know my brother, you know that he will use any excuse to grow some manky-looking ‘stache (remember “No Shave November?”), but this is a great cause. Here’s his site: It even has updates on the progress of his mustache, including a recent one of him in costume as Luigi of the Mario Brothers.

Secondly, just had their Blogger Challenge 2008! We totally missed it, but I’ve learned that I can create a giving page ANYWAY, so I’m putting this out there to the world. DonorsChoose is an amazing organization that allows teachers to write proposals for classroom materials or field trips for their students. Then individual or corporate donors visit the website, browse the proposals, and fund the proposals of their choice. When I worked in DC, my students benefited from many resources and experiences provided via DonorsChoose. Those materials continue to enhance my teaching and my students’ learning. One of my favorite funded proposals was for a classroom set of Whisperphones, for which my school and I later ended up in the Washington Post!

DonorsChoose allows bloggers (and ordinary citizens) to create a Giving Page, highlighting proposals they select. You can get to the Chez Schmanz giving page by using this link: Please let me know if you’d like to nominate any other proposals for the list, and I will add them. I’ve added over $5000 worth of proposals to the list (in the interest of choice!), and I’d love to see what good we can do by January 1, 2009!

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to let you know that I’ve added one of my proposals to this list. I thought that some of you might prefer to contribute to something that would benefit someone you knew. Or, you may want to avoid giving to me; I give you the choice. My proposal is Sounding Out Success with Jolly Phonics. Another proposal on the list, From Caterpillar to Butterfly, belongs to another ESOL teacher at my school. I have no connection to any of the rest, and I chose them to span a range of grade levels and types of proposals. All these proposals focus on teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) because that’s what I teach.

All donors to DonorsChoose receive a thank you letter from the teacher. Those who donate $100 or more also receive thank you notes from the students and photos showcasing the materials during classroom time. The minimum donation is just $1! If everyone who reads this blog gave even $1 or $5, we’d definitely make a dent!

So, mustaches for cancer, materials for schoolchildren…let’s make a difference!


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