It's difficult to write about events that you have a hard time believing actually happened. Our most recent Pokemon Marathon for Free the Children definitely falls under that umbrella.
There were so many instances where the Marathon almost didn't go off. To be honest, I wasn't even seriously planning any event up until a couple of weeks prior to New Years. Finals had been eating up all of our time and if it weren't for Jason and his barrage of text messages asking me about having a fundraiser, there likely would not have been one at all.
Fast forward to a few hours before the event was slated to begin. A couple of team members had fallen pretty ill and we had no idea if they'd be able to make it to the Marathon at all (y'know, sleep deprivation and a diet of snack food doesn't make for the best bed rest). Since we had planned three games to be played at once during this Marathon, we really weren't sure if we'd even be able to go through with the event as planned. Even once we started the Marathon, the whole thing kept going offline (nearly 100 times in total!) due to a whole host of tech issues.
If anything, this Marathon had virtually everything working against it from the beginning. But hey, everyone who was sick recovered, the internet eventually came back (kind of) and you guys made our last event the most successful fundraiser we've ever had. Not just by a few dollars, nor a few thousand dollars... but by over twenty-thousand dollars.
Let me put that in perspective-- here's a handy little graph I whipped up showing just how the funds raised over time in this one event stack up to our previously most-successful fundraisers.
(Ignore the slightly dubious color choices-- I never claimed to be an artist.)
You guys and your amazing generosity made this event so mind-blowing successful that we reached every single one of our extra stretch goals-- even the one intended as a joke. Going into the event, I never once thought we'd reach the $25,000 mark, unlocking extra playthroughs of the first three generations of Pokemon. Serves me right for ever doubting you!
I guess everyone out there really loves their Pokemon because you helped us smash through that $25,000 milestone and reach a whopping $34,271.69 for Free the Children.
So, let me say it again-- thank you. This was the best possible way I could have ever imagined starting off 2013. I can't express my gratitude to each and every one of you who tuned in to this event, donated or spread the word. We really couldn't have done it without your help. You guys are the greatest.
I'm sure you'd all like to know what all the money will be going towards! While we originally proposed funding
700 goats a few individual schoolhouses, Free the Children recommended we use the funds for their Adopt a Village program. This lets us tackle many aspects of international development at once and the donations, breaking the donations up into...
- $12,000 for education which will fund the construction of a schoolhouse and fully stock it with furniture, school supplies and books.
- $7,000 for clean water and sanitation where it'll fund well construction, water pumping projects and latrines for the schoolhouse.
- $5,000 for health projects, including setting up a clinic (and stocking it with the required medicines and supplies), providing training for healthcare workers and funding programs for health education.
- $5,000 for income and livelihood programs where the community can learn about animal husbandry, various forms of vocational training and financial literacy courses.
- $5,000 for agriculture and food security to provide the supplies and training for high-yield agriculture as well as funding lunch programs and gardens at the schoolhouse.
Pretty great, huh? You guys really generated a lot of good through your outstanding generosity.
The only thing that's left is to decide just where this project will take place. Free the Children had mentioned that a few countries had a greater need for the project than others, so we've narrowed down the choices in the poll a bit to just those four. ExtraLives.org is absolutely nothing without your support, so we're tasking you guys to vote on where you'd like to see the donations go. There are no wrong choices here and feel free to discuss your thoughts in the comments section if you wanted to ask any questions.
Click read more for a rundown of the countries in which Free the Children operates, reasons why they need a schoolhouse, and a poll to cast your vote.