Matt Haverkamp, author of The Digital Perm, recently posted about a man named Paul Sanchez who is trying to use the blog format to raise $1,000,000 for kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Actually, that’s just one of eight wishes Sanchez made on his blog, 8 Wishes. The others were all focused on raising awareness and understanding of dyslexia. Sanchez’s 88-day campaign to see all eight wishes come true is a follow-up to his 10,000-mile bicycle ride around the perimeter of the continentual U.S. (Watch the video at 8 Wishes — Sanchez is looking for 100 million viewers.) The campaign ends March 8.
Paul Orfalea, the dyslexic founder of Kinko’s, made the first of the wishes come true by granting Sanchez this interview. Eighty-eight bloggers made a second wish come true by linking to the 8 wishes blog and helping Paul get the word out. Then Douglas A. Karr, of the marketing and technology blog On Influence and Automation, started the $8.88 campaign, urging very large numbers of people to give this modest amount in order to raise the money. (Brilliantly, Karr targeted bloggers by promising to link to the blogs of those who contribute.)
Some of the other wishes are hard for us to influence except in the most indirect way. (Oprah, call your office.) But we can contribute money and we can spread the word. Just think: after ten years of reading those stupid hoax e-mails about how Microsoft or AOL was going to give you $5 for forwarding an e-mail to all your friends, you finally have an opportunity to participate in an internet fundraising program that actually works. (And by the way, if you ever forwarded one of those Microsoft/AOL e-mails, you should do penance by contributing twice to Sanchez’s cause — three times if you forwarded the one about Roy Disney.)
I tried to embed a fancy widget that would let you make your contribution directly from this post, but unfortunately the widget does not work on blogs hosted by WordPress (as this one is). But rest assured that you can find the widget at On Influence and Technology, The Digital Perm, or 8 Wishes. It takes less than a minute.