My 30 Day Challenge #1: 30 Straight Days of Charitable Giving

Because of Diet Coke and Matt Cutts I’m going to give to charity every day for the next 30 days…

A month and a half ago I made a bet with Sanaz that I’d stay off diet coke for a week if she refrained from coffee for the same period of time.  I’ve probably averaged 1-2 diet cokes a day since I was a teenager (for the taste people, clearly not the reduction of calories).  Its been a month and I still haven’t had any any soda.

This got me thinking, “What should be my next 30 day challenge?”  I’m not however the only, or first, techie leading the 30 day challenge charge.  The impetus came from my friend Matt Cutts at Google who kicked started his own set of 30 day challenges last year.

I thought about doing something around my health/family (which I’ve written about at length) or maybe something related to Docstoc and our new Docstore.  But those are the things I think about all the time anyway.  What I don’t spend enough time thinking about are all the problems other people face every single day that so many of us are blessed to never have to think about.

I’m guilty of using how busy I am as a reason not to do more for others.  I also justify it by rationalizing that that when I become really successful and rich, I’ll have all this time and money to give to others.  But that’s bullshit, I can and should be doing more now.  Up through my early 20’s I was volunteering 10 hours a week in various organizations to help with literacy and homeless shelters.  And 2 of the most important years of my life were spent volunteering as a suicide hot-line crisis counselor.

SO, for the next 30 days I’m going to do something each day to give to others.  Its not always going to be a large amount of money and some days it won’t be money I’m giving away; I may make a donation online to various charities, give clothes to goodwill, buy a homeless person by my office a meal – I think what’s important is that I make myself think about the struggles other people are going through everyday.  AND, I’ll follow up with a post at the end of the month detailing what I did each day, at the end of this post.

I started off the process by giving a donation to to help combat Autism, you can learn more here if that’s an issue that touches your life.

And now I have a favor to ask of you:

1.) Please leave comments with organizations or charities that you think I should pay attention to or help out in the next month

2.) JOIN MY CHALLENGE – or do any 30 day challenge that is right and meaningful for you

Other People Joining Me in the Challenge:

J. Mike Smith (thanks for being the first!)

David Travers, Rustic Canyon Partners – (you know you have great VCs when they join you in a giving challenge!)

Shira Lazar, @shiralazar – called me to say she wanted to take up the challenge

Dave and Leslie Moldavon – dear friends who wanted to help give back how they could

My 30 Day Challenge Log

3/1 – ICDL (combatting autism) – $200

3/2 – American Red Cross Disaster Relief – $30

3/3 – Boarding House Mentors in Santa Monica- $30  (thanks Tim Golden for the rec in the comments below)

3/4 – Disabled American Verterans – $50 (i saw a serviceman in the airport on the way home today, and thought how much I take for granted that so many risk their lives each day to keep us safe)

3/5 – Food Donation to Haiti through – $25

3/6 – First Book– $50 (books for kids who don’t have access to them, thanks Bernadette W for the tip)

3/7 – Room to Read $50 – (thanks for the tip John Madigan and good luck with the marathon)

3/8 –  Jolkona – $50 (an amazing organization to give to various small projects around the globe, thanks for the tip Laura Kimball)

3/9 – Project Echo – – $50 (thanks Julie for the heads up in the comments, seems like a great org, def will stop by)

3/10 – Soles4Souls– $50 (Taryn why am I not surprised that your charity is around shoes…. the better surprise is connecting with old high school friends who are amazing at PR )

3/11 – 826LA – $25 (thanks to Serena Brahney for the tip)

3/12 – 3/31 – Need to update this all, missed some days, not really proud of myself, goal is do do better on the next 30 day challenge

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