I’ve been reading Sarah Bunting’s website, Tomato Nation, since 2002, when I was still chatting with people on AOL and halfheartedly keeping a LiveJournal. Sars’s unique mixture of snark, pop culture, cats, and advice columns makes some damn entertaining reading–I still laugh whenever I think about her advice to the roommate of Jack the anarchist tomato thief.
But it’s no slight on the rest of Sars’s site when I say that my favorite thing by far about Tomato Nation is the Contest.
What is the Contest, you ask? The Contest is an incredibly awesome yearly fundraiser for the incredibly awesome charity DonorsChoose.org. Donors Choose posts project proposals from teachers whose classrooms are in desperate need of supplies and gives donors the opportunity to choose projects they would like to fund. It’s an amazing charity and since 2004, Sars and her readers have raised nearly $700,000 for everything from computers to crayons. This year she’s got the ambitious goal of raising $250,000. That’s a quarter million dollars, people. That buys a lot of school supplies. Check out her progress here (as of this writing she’s at $87,017!).
If that’s not enough motivation, let me tell you about the “Contest” part of the Contest. You can win prizes! Gift cards, t-shirts, DVDs – see the full list here. Any donation made via the Tomato Nation Superpage is automatically entered to win stuff. I’ve already won a Save the Day t-shirt!
I feel like the Contest is extra-important this year, a year when we’ve seen hardworking public school teachers caricatured as spoiled “babysitters” who don’t deserve luxuries such as medical care or a savings account. Some of these teachers proposing Donors Choose projects don’t have enough pens or paper for their classrooms, guys. There’s a science teacher whose chemistry students have no beakers and you know how I feel about glassware. So if you’d like to help some kids and stick up for public schools, pick a project, donate some cash, and help Tomato Nation reach its goal!