I'll be upfront: I'm pleading for money for my engineering overnights program.
I work for the Girl Scouts in Portland, Oregon. What I do for the council is help run events and camps for older girls (ages 12-18) who are interested in learning more about engineering, technology, math, and science. Our program, Fair Play, is primarily funded through grants from national and local organizations. In the past, we have been funded through Intel, the Society for Women Engineers, Shell, SWIFT, Lockheed Martin, and the US Department of Education. We are usually very successful in getting grant money for our programs, and we thought we were set for grant money to pay for our series of Engineering Overnights, which have introduced new girls to engineering and reinforced engineering concepts to girls who have been part of our program before.
Due to some 'accounting issues', we find that the program is out of grant money. Because the council is in the middle of a capital campaign to raise money for a new office building, the program budget is also zeroed out for the year. We're trying to get the 'accounting issues' fixed, but they won't be until January at best.
We have one more overnight scheduled between now and the start of the next grant season. It's called Mission: Countdown, and it's all about time. We're going to look at calendars, sun dials, day planners, and we're going to build water clocks, hour glasses, and gear-driven clocks in order to count down to 2006 in style. Each clock we build will trigger a celebratory event - like launching a water rocket, dropping a ball like in New York, or scattering confetti. We'll eat pizza, watch movies, and have sparkling cider.
We will be able to pay for some of the supplies and feeding the participants through the participant fee, but the cost of renting the overnight program center and the bulk of the supplies for the challenge will not be covered. We will also not be able to offer scholarships for girls who are interested in coming but who cannot afford the $50 for the two-day overnight.
Please help. If each person on my friends list could donate $5, that would pay for the rent for the program center. If everyone donated $10, that would cover the rent and the supplies for the water clock. If everyone donated $50, well, that would probably pay for us to do the Spring Fling overnight in April (catapults, trebuchets, and slingshots, oh, my!). Some of the girls babysit to pay for going to programs like this; $5 would spare one girl one hour's worth of work.
First and best option: use the commit to a girl website for a directed donation to the Fair Play program. This website is run by GSUSA and the money will be directed straight to the program. (Which, until just now, I didn't know you could do! SWEET!)
You can alternately paypal me (tyche @ livejournal . com) or send a check to the Girl Scout Council office, addressed to the Fair Play Program. Please let me know if you're going to send a check, so I can let the program manager know to expect it and watch for it, and specify on the check that it's for the Fair Play program. If you need a receipt showing a donation to a non-profit, let me know!