A few years ago, Patrick Rothfuss founded a charity and, because he’s a fantasy author, named it Worldbuilders. The charity works with Heifer International, which aims to feed those who are, quite literally, starving—and, more importantly, helps them learn to feed themselves. They give a family an animal, teach them to take care of it, to make use of any food it provides them, then trade any extra milk or eggs at market. The animal’s offspring is paid forward onto another family in need. The animal’s a ticket to life. Not your archetypal Christmas present, but it beats a new golf club.*
The added bonus is that your good deed, unlike those done in the name of your average deity, is immediately rewarded—minus delivery time, anyway—with a gift from Worldbuilders.
Here’s how it works: You could, if you wanted to, arrange to donate books, games, films, signed or unsigned, rare or common, by emailing donations [at] worldbuilders.org. They’re hoping to get everything in by mid-November, so hurry.
It’s not the families that make use of these donations, however: It’s you. Donate money—through the Lottery, Sure Thing, or Auctions options—and potentially win (or buy) some of the marvellous donated things—the books, games, films. $10 could get you a whole crate of donated swag (mostly books—fabulous, delicious books), a small pile of tobacco-like feel-good for you to smoke like a pipe (as you should, hobbit-style), a stranger’s eternal gratitude, and moves the charity along towards its stretch goals (posted on their homepage). In fact, every $10 puts your name in the lottery drawing once. $120—incidentally, the price of a goat—puts you in there twelve times. Check Rothfuss’s blog to see what prizes are available. They’ll be posting new stuff every day.
This year’s fundraiser runs from November 15th to December 8th. That’s three weeks to make the world a better place. Seize the opportunity. Be good.
(Note: In honour of Patrick Rothfuss’s seeming dislike of semicolons, I’ve refrained from including any. Almost two thousand pages of this man’s work, and they’re bereft.)
* Quite literally, if the goat isn’t big on any golf clubs that have somehow made their way to less fortunate parts of the world.