I’ve been asking this question of myself for a long while tonight, after reading about the contest that John Chow is having, sponsored by tiny url service XR.com. In his contest, he’s giving the winner $6000 – $5000 will be donated to the charity of the winner’s choice and $1000 will be given to the winner directly to do with as they wish.
XR.com is a great service that allows you to shorten a URL and create a custom extension. For example, if I wanted to shorten the URL of this post I can enter it in at XR.com and create http://xr.com/donate5000. The beauty of signing up for a free account with XR is that you can keep track of all these redirected tiny URLS so you can use them repeatedly. That URL went from 62 characters to 17! It’s perfect when you’re not allowed a lot of characters to work with, like on Twitter.
The $1000 isn’t that easy either. My gut immediately says that I want to buy Guitar Hero World Tour & use the rest of the money for the Bahamian cruise I’m taking with friends in February. But then there are bills that could be paid off. Hand-me-down furniture that could be replaced. But since I’ve already committed to this trip, I believe I’ll use it for the cruise bills. That way I don’t have to put too much on my credit card.
Back to the donation to charity. A few worthy causes come to mind immediately – The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund, American Diabetes Association, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Make a Wish, the list goes on. These are charities that I believe in and believe that they could do a lot of good things with $5000. But, maybe I should stick with something closer to home? Make my community a better place, eh? So I did some Googlin’ for local charities, and I wasn’t overly impressed by anything. It also occurred to me that deciding to donate to charity based on a quick read of a mission statement isn’t very responsible.
So I’ve decided to donate the money as a way to give back to a non-profit organization that did so much for me in my youth – Girl Scouts of Northern California. Specifically, I will donate the money to a fund that helped me continue my membership for 12 years, go to summer camp in the sierras of California, and attend many other trips and activities that provided vast opportunities for me to learn new things and grow into a confident young woman.
The Opportunity Fund provides financial assistance that helps girls go to camp, covers their Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. membership, and allows them to participate in Girl Scout activities regardless of their families’ financial resources.
I can’t think of a better way to give back to an organization that gave me so much. This donation will give young girls the opportunities to expand their horizons, built their internal strength, and learn how to be better citizens in this global community.
That’s what I’d do… so I’m hoping that I win so I can fulfill that desire to give back.
Who would you donate $5000 to?