by Trapper John
Hi, it's Trapper. I figure I need to get a post in here once a year or so to justify my name on the masthead. And this isn't much of a post -- in fact, it's a bleg, of sorts. But it's a bleg for a worthy cause that I have absolutely no personal interest in, and it won't cost anyone other than American Express a dime.
You may have seen American Express's ads for its Members Project, which will award $5 million to a worthy non-profit voted on by Amex cardholders. The two leading vote-getters right now are A) a "children's safe drinking water" project funded by Proctor and Gamble to the point where its budget is over $380 million/year, and B) DonorsChoose, a fantastic little non-profit that funds small proposals (generally less than $1000) made by public school teachers in big-city systems, including NYC and DC. Essentially, DonorsChoose works like a micro-NSF/NEH, dispensing tiny grants to educators who can turn a $300 investment into a world of discovery for their pupils. Here's a representative proposal, from a pre-K teacher at Butler Bilingual in DC. She's looking for $547 to buy paints and art supplies for her kids -- because arts funding has become "an afterthought in most school curricula." Imagine how important a basic art program is to the developing mind of a four year-old. Imagine what $5 million would mean to an organization that funds such modest, yet critical, projects.
So if you have an Amex card, I urge you to take 2 minutes and vote for DonorsChoose at the Members Project. Someone's going to win that $5 million -- and while clean drinking water is critical, P&G has their back. Let's get the back of the hard-working teachers of DC and NYC. God knows, they won't let a dime of that $5 million go to waste.