Cyclone Nargis Contest

Cyclone Nargis Contest

Dear Ann,

Thank you for your donation to Save the Children’s response to the Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. With the support of friends like you, brighter futures await children and families in need who are benefiting from your support.

Transaction ID: 31003151
Date: May 7, 2008
Name: Ann Aguirre

Now I’m going to sponsor a contest to get you to do the same. Over at Smart Bitches, Sarah has bridged the subject of where to donate your dollars in order to help a people who are really struggling, both with natural disasters and poor leadership. The juntas in charge are actively preventing people from acquiring visas, people who just want to help.

I strongly recommend making sure the charity you donate to has people already in the country. I don’t want our money going to the military who may not use it for relief, but there are a number of organizations already working in Myanmar, so we can make a difference. If you don’t want to go to Smart Bitches, you can find the info here.

Here’s the deal. You pick a charity and donate some money. I don’t care how much. Send me an email with a transaction number, showing that you gave to disaster relief (even just a buck), and I’ll enter you in a drawing for free books. (Note: the prizes have changed. I started at $150, but Alessia Brio is adding $50 to the pot. Lauren Dane is now kicking in $50 as well.) Now we’re looking at three winners total. We wanted to spread the love around.

The new prizes:
$150 gift card to any bookstore
$50 gift card to any bookstore
$50 gift card to any bookstore

If you tell me how much you donated in that email, I’ll give you another entry. I’d love to track how much we raise. I’ll include my own donation in the tally. Next, post a comment as a secondary tracking system for me, so I don’t lose any entries. I’ll be updating the tally in the sidebar as we go along.

The winner can pick the store where he or she spends his loot. I’ll do Amazon, B&N, Powells, wherever you want. I know contests are usually free, but even small donations will help people who are starving and homeless. A little might make a huge difference in someone else’s life.

I’m going to run this a week, so it will wrap up at midnight on May 14, and I’ll announce the winner on May 15th.

The contest has ended. Winners posted!

Posted in announcements, contest

62 Responses to Cyclone Nargis Contest

  1. Jennie says:

    This is the coolest thing since Nora did matching donations. I love seeing authors care about something besides their books. You’re a real class act, Ms, Aguirre.

    I donated and sent you an email with the info from Save the Children. Thank you for doing this. I haven’t read your books yet, but I plan to, now.

  2. Rylie says:

    Great contest and a great way to involve your fans! I donated to Direct Relief and sent you an e-mail with the info. Thanks again for sponsoring this.

  3. Ann Aguirre says:

    Thank you so much. You guys are the awesome ones.

    Incidentally, for the tally on the left, I just picked 2K as an arbitrary amount. If we generate more, I’ll change the total. I don’t know how to do a fancy fundraising meter, but I wanted some way to show y’all how we were doing.

    Thanks again.

  4. WillNoblis says:

    Heh, I read about this at myspace and joined up at Doctors Without Borders’ for the Field Partners Program, with a continuous $10 donation.

    Unfortunately, I will not get a transaction # for a few weeks due to this: “A record of your monthly gift will appear on your credit card statement around the 20th of each month.”

    The books are a nice way to draw people in but honestly, helping for the sake of helping is good enough for me (as is spreading the word across all of my blogs).

    Keep up the good work and writing.

  5. WillNobilis says:

    It would also help if I spelled my name correctly. :grin:

  6. Ann Aguirre says:

    Hi Will, welcome to the blog!

    You’ve snagged two entries here. Don’t worry about the number. Obviously someone could make up a number and tell me they donated 3K. I’m trusting in the honor and goodwill of my readers. Thank you so much for participating.

  7. SB Sarah says:

    Whaddya mean people might not wanna go to Smart Bitches?!!?!?! We’re 100% roses over there. Ok, fish and roses and sometimes there’s a stray dildo or – oh never mind.

    That is a great contest – big ups to you, Ann.

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  11. Ann says:

    I posted the info for you, should get you some more traffic (and donations). :grin:

  12. limecello says:

    Hi Ann,

    I said it before and I said it again. I’m continually impressed by just how much you do. I hope you get a great response.

  13. Alessia Brio says:

    I’m pimping your contest on the Coming Together blog.

    I will personally add $50 to your prize amount in the hopes of increasing the success of your efforts!!!

    Kudos, Ann!

  14. Larissa Ione says:

    I donated through the Coast Guard’s relief fund they set up, so won’t get an emailed confirmation, but wanted to say that this is a great idea.

    WTG, Ann!

  15. Jeri says:

    Great idea, Ann! I spread the word on my blog(s)–not sure if the link will show up here.

    Good luck!

  16. Ann Aguirre says:

    Wow, what a fantastic response already.

    Thanks to those who are linking. Thanks to those who are donating.

    Alessia, I’ll make a note about the prize.

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  18. Randi Thompson says:

    This is so great, Ann. Thank you for putting something like this together.

    I donated $100 to Unicef but can’t seem to find your email…Am I just blind or is there ‘contact me’ on your site?

  19. Randi Thompson says:

    oops..I meant to say, “…or is there no ‘contact me’ on your site?”…

    *looks for more coffee*

  20. Brooke says:

    Ann this is fantastic! I posted about the contest on my blog hoping to draw more of my readers to it and for them to donate! :)

    Kudos to you!

  21. Will Belegon says:

    I’m on board, Ann.

    Money is tight, but I have to do something.
    $10 ain’t much, but if enough of us donate that amount it will help.

    Transaction ID: 31029619
    Date: May 8, 2008
    Amount: $10.00

    Also, I will do a post to promote it on my blog…

  22. Kim says:

    Hi Ann,

    I donated to Save the Children and sent you an email with the information. Thank you for doing this.

  23. Katie says:


    This is a wonderful contest.

    I actually made two donations with the Myanmar situation in mind. One was to Doctors Without Borders who is on the ground already.

    The other was to an organization who I know if they can get into the country to help animals in need they will – Best Friends Animal Society. Even if they can’t get into the area impacted by the cyclone, they do good work and I am proud to just sponsor them.


  24. Jolene says:

    I know its not much but i donated to the UN world food Program
    Transaction ID: 9BH27567X4539531L
    Item Price: $5.00 USD
    i wish i could do more..

  25. Ann,

    I read about this over at Nose In A Book. What a wonderful idea. I donated $25.00 to Save the Children. But I really just wanted to tell you how great I think this effort is. Please don’t enter me in the contest. I’d like for a reader to win. My TBR pile is big enough already! Kudos on using the power of the internet for spreading good will.

  26. lisabea says:

    Ann I posted a news flash on my blog. fyi

  27. Lisa Kessler says:

    Great idea! I just went and donated… :)


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  29. Jackie says:

    I’ve donated!!! This was such a tragedy that I couldn’t imagine what the people of Myanmar are going through.

  30. Ann Aguirre says:

    I don’t know what to say. I’ve always thought that we had the best community of readers ever, and y’all are proving me right. Thank you so much for every donation. Whenever I get an email telling me the amount (or it’s noted here), I add it to the tally. There have been more confirmed donations, but without the amount, I can enter you but I can’t guarantee an accurate accounting of how we’re doing.

    Please don’t ever feel you need to apologize for how much you gave, Jolene. The fact that you gave at all shows you have a generous heart and a warm spirit. That’s what people will see.

    Randi, if you click on “Touch” it has all the ways you can contact me, including email.

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  32. Samantha says:

    Hi Ann,

    donated $15.00 to unicef. I sent an email, too. Great idea, btw :smile:.


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  34. Ann Aguirre says:

    Ok, there are a number of you emailing me who don’t want to post comments about your donations because you’re modest in addition to being awesome. That’s totally fine.

    I’ll say this. If you don’t get a response from me to your email, you might want to re-send it. I am acknowledging each one with a reply.

  35. Alessia Brio says:

    Gonna have to up your target, Ann! You’re approaching $2K already! :mrgreen:

  36. Brooke says:

    Wow! You’re almost at the target! That’s incredible. Everyone is so awesome!

  37. SonomaLass says:

    I do love seeing how readers and writers pull together for a cause. Big props to you, Ann, for your generous spirit, and to SB Sarah for getting the ball rolling in a responsible way.

  38. Ann Aguirre says:

    I don’t even know what target to set next. What do you guys think?

  39. Katie says:

    I would go for $5000. A little lofty.

  40. Ann Aguirre says:

    I’m blown away. Now I’m hearing from people who donated but don’t want to be entered in the contest because they “don’t want to be rewarded for doing the decent thing.”

    Jesus, I’m teary. Talk amonghtst yourselves, i’m verklmpt.

  41. Jolene says:

    Ann,it truly is amazing.. i just felt so bad that i cant give more than what i did.. money is just tighter than ever.. im finding it harder to even give locally .. i almost emailed you privately as i was embarrased to say i only gave 5 dollars..

  42. SonomaLass says:

    For those of you wondering where to donate, with all the worries about whether aid will actually reach those who need it, here’s an update from

  43. SonomaLass says:

    Ooops, continued post…[from CNN]
    “Aid workers, in particular, complained that supplies aren’t getting into the country fast enough.

    “This is a real worry for us,” said Tony Banbury, regional director in Asia for the U.N. World Food Programme, which unloaded a plane carrying 7 metric tons of high-energy biscuits on Thursday.

    Banbury said the situation in the delta is so desperate, “there is a real risk that there will be food riots, social disturbances, people attacking the convoys.”

    Of the 7 tons of biscuits, four tons were dispatched to Labutta in the delta, and the rest were to be distributed Friday by Medecins Sans Frontieres in the Yangon area, Chris Kaye, WFP director in Myanmar, said in a written statement.

    Kaye said the government had cleared two more WFP flights to land—one stocked with temporary warehousing and medical kits from the World Health Organization, and the other carrying 18 tons of high-energy biscuits donated by the Italian government. One ton of biscuits can feed 2,500 people for a day.

    WFP workers were also carrying rice by truck to its new office in Labutta, and planned to distribute the food Friday. Two temporary warehouses have been set up to house the food, the group said.”

    So donations to the UN World Food Program or to Medecins San Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders look likely to support very direct aid to those in need.

  44. Ann Aguirre says:

    Thank you so much for the update.

  45. Diane N says:

    My $25 donation went to Save the Children this afternoon.

  46. Jenny says:

    $20 to UNICEF!

  47. Alessia Brio says:

    WOOT! More prizes! :cool:

  48. Gyrid says:

    I donated 200 NOK = appr. 39 US dollars to Save the Children

  49. Joy says:

    This is a great way to organize/motivate donations. Thanks Ann!

  50. azteclady says:

    There’s yet another update about what’s happening with the aid sent by the UN. The damned to hell junta has seized it.

    There’ some hope that the efforts of the Burmese monks will reach the victims– has a page for donations. I can’t vouch for them personally, but anything that makes it more likely that the victims will receive help is better than the status quo.

  51. Ann Aguirre says:

    At this point, I don’t know what’s happening with the private charities. I haven’t been able to find out if they’ve been encountering trouble. I still think trying to help is the right thing to do, though.

    Good news: we passed the $2000 mark. I’m just going to bump it up by another 1000 each time we pass it.

  52. Cathy M says:

    Hi Ann, just love watching that total rise. I just donated $50 to Doctors Without Borders, already one of my favorite causes.

  53. Jolene says:

    I read an AP news release this morning that the UN is suspending their food and relief efforts until they can be assured that they can get in and get it where it needs to be..i cant imagine what those people are going through and the government not letting them have the aid.. sad sad sad..

  54. Pamk says:

    added my 10 dollars to the pot. Not a good week for me since my son’s prom is tonight and his graduation is less that 2 weeks away. Man I can’t wait to get him out of school. Very expensive year.

  55. Diane Korach says:

    Hi Ann,

    Here’s proof of my donation:

    Direct Relief International Myanmar Cyclone Relief $100.00
    Tax-Deductible Processing Fee $4.75
    Total (USD): $104.75

    Transaction Date: 5/10/08 16:01 EDT
    Transaction Number: VPFE2B664EE7
    Name on Card: Diane L Korach

    Keep up the good work!
    Diane Korach

  56. Ann Aguirre says:

    Thanks everyone. Today, I saw that Google is matching donations that come in through Direct Relief and Unicef, up to a million bucks. That is SO awesome!

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  58. jax says:

    have finally found the paypal donate link on avaaz and donated – emailed you this evening.

    Love the way this is coming together.

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  60. Ann Aguirre says:

    Just as an FYI, I’m going to announce the winner late on May 14. I have a guest author scheduled for May 15 and she shouldn’t have to share the stage. So if you were thinking of entering, you’ll want to do that soon.

  61. Jolene says:

    wow popped in to see how you were doing on the fundraiser.. what an amazing thing… very very close to 3k..
    ive heard that the government there is starting to let some aid in so hopefully reief is near for those poor people.. so much devastation in the world lately..

  62. Alessia Brio says:

    When you draw, just put one of your $50 winners in touch with me — and I’ll get ’em squared with their gift card!

    Thanks, Ann!