so i got this email

June 6, 2013

that i figured i’d share:

Hi Steven,

Hope all is well!

Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force is in the midst of our spring fundraising/advocacy campaign. PATF is gathering advocates who can donate $30 or more in order to have their name put on a fabric square which will be sewn together to create the PATF patchwork. This patchwork will be publically displayed on World AIDS day to commemorate those we’ve lost and celebrate those we can help save by preventing the spread of the disease.

I’m hoping you can help us by reaching out to contacts in your network that may be able to help us sew the squares together. I’ve included more information about this effort below.

If you have any ideas about how we can grow this patchwork or would like to be involved in some way, please give me a call or shoot me an email.

Jen

now, i’m a pretty shitty sewer
and i’m not in pittsburgh anymore
so any of you pittsburgh bitches who are good at quilting
and would like to help the pittsburgh aids task force sew up their squares, shoot an email to jen JFicarriATpatfDOTorg.

as for the rest of us,
i think we should donate, no?
i’m pretty fucking broke right now,
but i’ll eat some rice for a few days
and make a donation.

want the details? of course you do. because you’re a good person.
144
Join Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force in sewing our community together to show that we are still here and still fighting HIV. Be an advocate for our mission of supporting and empowering all individuals living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of infection.

Support PATF by sponsoring a fabric square printed with your name, the names of loved ones, or HIV/AIDS statistics. Names from all across the community will be stitched together to form the PATF Patchwork to debut on World AIDS Day, December 2013.

The PATF Patchwork will be publically displayed as a symbol of our community united in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Choose the sponsorship level that works for you
$30 one name (first and last)
$50 two names
$125 “In memory of” or “In honor of” an individual
$250 sponsors four squares of HIV/AIDS statistics 
and includes your name

click here to donate!

do please leave a comment if you make a donation so i know!
i’m not saying you’re a bad person if you don’t donate but . . . .

the results show

December 2, 2012

yesterday was quite a ride.

i thought the fact that i gave myself a month of planning this time around would make it less stressful. it wasn’t. if anything, it just meant more pressure to do well, to at least match last year’s total (with vain hopes of far surpassing it) it’s like adding a part time job to one’s life. i will say, however, it’s given me an insight into the world of fundraising, promotion, cross-promotion, business, and all that kind of stuff.

i mean, it wasn’t as tough as last year in that i didn’t have to ‘cold call’ people to help, and i have enough friend in the biz that i knew at least i’d get some great prizes to donate. but it was interesting to see who’ll actually return your email, and who won’t, who’ll tell you ‘no, we’re not interested in helping’ and who just ignores you completely, who won’t respond to your email, but then still help promote on the day without even letting you know! it was also interesting to see who’s voice prompted the most traffic, whose readers are the most generous, and which kinds of people are the ones who care the most.

i’m way into tracking my stats
and there were some interesting ones this time around.

for instance.

this year there was a lot of international support,
with donations made from people in the u.s., canada, the uk, sweden, and the federated states of micronesia!
(i admit to having to look that up.
they’re islands near australia)

this year, more than 7% of visitors made a donation whereas
only 2.5% of people who visited the site made a donation last year.

but that number is tempered by the fact that
i got roughly 45% less traffic to the site this year,
even with all the extra promotion people provided.
(maybe because it was a saturday?)

but! there were 50% more people that actually make a donation.

last year i had a lot of $100+ donations,
whereas this year i had many between $1-$10.
most of those people were either on a tight budget,
but a good 5% of donations came from people who were unemployed!
$10 from a person with no income? that’s generosity!

this year, almost every single email included an apology for not being able to donate more, even if they were donating over $100. all of those apologies came from women. the mind reels.

last year, an official count from the pittsburgh aids task force confirmed that we raised $4,765.00 with around $100 going to other hiv testing centers as well, making a grand total of ~$4865.00.

this year, based on the numbers people gave me in their emails, pledges for matching donations from people’s employers, and a couple donations going to other hiv testing centers we raised, $4979.40 (the 40¢ cracks me up). while i wanted to make it to a solid $5000.00, i still beat last year’s number! and got a lot more people involved.

what matters is that we raised enough money to pay for roughly 122 rapid hiv tests. that’s the only number i care about.

not too shabby for day’s work, eh?

now i’m off to consult the random number generator, and email the winners. keep your eyes on your inboxes, bitches!

edit: all winners have been notified. have you checked your inbox? thanks to everyone who donated!

sorry but the giveaway is now closed! but even though entries are no longer being accepted, if you still want to make a donation, please go here and then send me an email so i can add it to the grand total

thanks to everyone who helped me out.
this was amazing.
now, to bed!

(results will be posted tomorrow)

****************************************************************

today is world aids day.

here are some statistics about hiv & aids:

-33.4 million people are currently living with hiv/aids.

-more than 25 million people have died of aids worldwide since the first cases were reported in 1981.

-in the united states, more than one million people are living with hiv.

-and 1 in 5 (20%) of people living with hiv is unaware of their infection.

it’s that last one that i find scary and unacceptable, and why places like the lansing area aids network are so important. they provide free, confidential testing with results in 20 minutes and provide resources for people with hiv that have nowhere else to go.

last year, my last-minute, hair-brained idea turned into a real live fundraiser that raised nearly $5000 dollars for my former local hiv testing center, the pittsburgh aids task force. if my little voice on the internet could get people to be so generous, how could i not try again this year?

and so i give you
the bitches get stitches world aids day project – take two
bitch_stitch_aids3_revG

with the help of many generous sponsors,
i have a total of 39 prizes to give away to you, my lovelies,
in order to help raise money for the lansing area aids network.
every $40 we raise means one more person can find out their hiv status in a safe, confidential, and professional environment at no cost to them.

wanna to help me out?
and get your hands on this loot?

the how:
1. click this link to visit the lansing area aids network website and make a donation via paypal. the suggested minimum donation is $40, the cost of one rapid hiv test. however, i know $40 is a lot money for a lot of people (myself included). since i don’t want to discourage anyone from making a donation they can afford, all donations will be accepted, even if it’s only $1.

2. shoot me an email at bgsworldaidsdayproject@gmail.com to let me know you made a donation and the amount you donated (just so i can tally the total). the details of your personal information and donation amount will be kept completely confidential.

3. winners will be chosen at random. it could be you!

the fine bold print:
*entries will only be accepted on world aids day itself (dec 1st)! this means 12:00am – 11:59pm is your 24 hour window to make a donation and send me an email to be entered to win some loot. i’m in the eastern standard time zone here people, so my giveaway is too!

sound like a plan?

donate bitches!

p.s. see that share button below? use it!

10 hours away – a microblog

November 30, 2012

tonight’s
the night, bitches.
starting at midnight (eastern),
if you make a donation to these peeps
and then send me an email here to let me know,
you’ll be entered to win one of these fucking amazing prizes.
(see official details here)

remember! you’ve only got the 24 hours of world aids day to enter.

i better see you tonight, bitches!

bitches get stitches world aids day project update:

world aids day is december 1st.
that means there’s one more week
before you can enter to win these prizes
(i’m still working with a couple potential sponsors
so there may actually be more prizes added to this list)

but because this year, i didn’t do everything last minute,
i have people chomping at the bit to find out how to win.
so i’ve decided to post the entry rules one week early.
then i’ll address some emails i’ve received about this fundraiser.

it’s pretty simple; same rules as last year.
(please read them all people)

the how:
1. on december 1st, click this link to visit the lansing area aids network website and make a donation via paypal. the suggested minimum donation is $40, the cost of one rapid hiv test. however, i know $40 is a lot money for a lot of people (myself included). since i don’t want to discourage anyone from making a donation they can afford, all donations will be accepted, even if it’s only $1.

2. shoot me an email at bgsworldaidsdayproject@gmail.com with your contact information and the amount you donated. the details of your personal information will be kept confidential. this is so i can keep track of the total as it grows, and so i can make sure you get your prize.

3. winners will be chosen at random. it could be you!

the fine bold print:
*entries will only be accepted on world aids day itself (dec 1st)! this means 12:00am – 11:59pm is your 24 hour window to make a donation and send me an email to be entered to win some loot. i’m in the eastern standard time zone here people, so my giveaway is too!

now to address some emails i’ve received:

1. why must one wait until dec 1. to make a donation?

last year, it was because i only came up with the idea 12 days before world aids day and it took me that long to get the giveaway up and running. it’s now a precedent/tradition. i love tradition. but the bigger reason is i like the idea of a small non-profit getting a deluge of donations all at once. and remember, technically you don’t have to wait until december 1st to make a donation. you only have to wait until decemeber 1st to make a donation if you’d like to win one of the prizes from my sponsors.

2. why aren’t you directing donations toward the pittsburgh aids task force like you did last year?

well, lansing is my home now, not pittsburgh, so that’s one reason. another is LAAN seem to need the cash more. they’re a smaller organization with a lot less services available to the capital-area community. maybe bringing awareness to their need (and a nice chunk of change) will change that.

and last year, i totally entered people who donated to other hiv testing centers in their area. and while i’d obviously prefer you make a donation to the charity i’m sponsoring, if you feel really passionately about donating to your own local hiv testing center, go for it. that’s totally in the spirit of the fundraiser.

3. who put you up to this?

no one. it was just a crazy, latee-night idea i had last year. i decided to do it again this year.

4. why are you exploiting people with hiv/aids to make money?! you are a bad guy.

the amount of money i made last year for organizing this fundraiser = $0. the amount of money i’ll make this year for organizing this fundraiser = $0. so contrary to what a couple people think, no i’m not using the aids epidemic to make money for myself. my blog doesn’t earn me any income. i don’t have advertisers or sell anything. i just did this to be nice.

that’s all for now.
feel free to spread the word.
i’m open to taking on some last-minute sponsors
and anyone interested in simulblogging can reach me at:
bgsworldaidsdayproject@gmail.com

see you in a week!

three weeks away

November 9, 2012

bitches get stitches world aids day project update:

the sponsors are lining up, ladies and gentleman,
and i’m very encouraged by this year’s round of prizes.
the prize page is live and there’s a link in the sidebar to your right.

go head, click it.
i’ll wait.

not to shabby, eh?

make sure check back periodically as sponsors get added.
and be here at midnight on december 1 2012
for you chance to win one of these prizes.

now everyone please do me a favor.
if you think you’d like to be a sponsor or
if you think you’d be able to simulblog/spread the word,
please contact me at:

bgsworldaidsdayprojectATgmailDOTcom

and for goodness sakes tell your friends!

edit: hey graphic designers – can any of you make a banner for me stat? if so, email me!

hello all.
as you may recall,
last year, in one day,
with less than two weeks of planning,
and only a french bulldog intern to help me organize,
we raised just under $5000 for the pittsburgh aids task force.

this year,
i’m starting earlier
and have decided to help the lansing area aids network since,
based on their services, it seems like they might need the cash more.
plus, this is where i live now.

the success of last year’s fundraiser i owe entirely to the many sponsors who donated awesome prizes for me to giveaway on the blog. without them, there would be no fundraiser. so this is my open call to people with yarn businesses (or individual knitters with an awesome stash) who’d like to sponsor this year’s world aids day project.

what i’m looking for:
1. prizes that retail around $40 or above since a rapid hiv test costs around $40. (of course i’m totally open to all donations).
2. anyone interested in helping me with advertising around the time of the event, itself. this might entail simulblogging, or if any of you ravelry folks read this, can ya help a knitter out?

so if you’re interested in being a sponsor
or know someone in a yarn company who might be interested,
shoot me an email at bgsworldaidsdayproject AT gmail DOT com

edit: because a few people have asked this is how this works – people donate money to the charity i’m sponsoring. they are entered to win one of the prizes the sponsors provide. 100% of the money raised goes directly to charity. i get $0 for doing this fundraiser (though last year i did get a plate and thank you note from the pittsburgh aids task force).

i have to give it to you people;
that 24 hours was fraking exhausting.
there were 94 entrants in the giveaway,
and the winners have been notified.

if i had tried to do this on my own, there’s no way i would have raised nearly the amount of money that we did. i’m not deluded; this was a total communal effort. without the sponsors and promotion by folks with two twitter followers to some of the knitterati who have thousands, none of this would have been possible without the help of all the people who worked to create a mini internet media blitz.

and this is really your doing,
you folks who donated the $10 you could spare
and some very generous folks who dropped some benjamins.
you all made it rain, and, according to my calculations,
we raised $4570.00 for the pittsburgh aids task force.

edit: according jennifer at the pittsburgh aids task, there were 99 donations and we actually raised a grand total of $4,765!

that’s equivalent to approximately 114 119 rapid hiv tests.
there were lots of sneaky folks who donated but didn’t tell me.

not bad for a day’s fundraising.

now i’m off for some finals reclusion,
but i’ll try to pop my head up occasionally.

later, bitches.

sorry but the giveaway is now closed! but if you still want to make a donation, please go here and then send me an email so i can add it to the grand total

thanks to everyone who helped me out.
this was amazing.
now, to bed!

(results will be posted tomorrow)
***************************************************
today is world aids day.

here are some statistics about hiv & aids:

-33.4 million people are currently living with hiv/aids

-more than 25 million people have died of aids worldwide since the first cases were reported in 1981

-according to the world health organization, most people living with hiv or at risk for hiv do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure

which is why the pittsburgh aids task force is such an important resource. in 20 minutes or less you can find out your status free of charge. they also provide support groups, emergency funds, and medical and comprehensive case management for people living with hiv/aids.

getting an hiv test for the first time was one the most frightening experiences of my life. looking back on it, i think most of my fear came from ignorance about hiv. i feel like i knew the basics, but that did nothing to overcome the visceral reaction i felt, a feeling stemming from the stigma in our country about hiv and aids.

i remember when i was growing up, they were constantly talking about hiv on television, but no one seems to be talking about it anymore. and yet the need for places like the pittsburgh aids task force remain vital for so many people.

that’s why i’m doing this fundraiser; if my little voice on the internet can help people find out their hiv status, or receive treatment if they test positive, it’s my obligation to do everything i can.

and so i give you the bitches get stitches world aids day project.

with the help of many generous sponsors,
i have a total of 25 prizes to give away to you, my lovelies,
in order to help raise money for the pittsburgh aids task force.
every $40 we raise means one more person can find out their hiv status in a safe, confidential, and professional environment at no cost to them.

wanna to help me out?
and get your hands on this loot?

the how:
1. click this link to make a donation at the pittsburgh aids task force. the suggested minimum donation is $20. if $20 is honestly out of your budget, donations in lesser denominations will be accepted.

2. shoot me an email at bgsworldaidsdayproject@gmail.com with your contact information and the amount you donated. the details of your personal information will be kept confidential.

3. winners will be chosen at random. it could be you!

the fine print:
*entries will only be accepted on world aids day itself! this means 12:00am – 11:59pm is your 24 hour window to make a donation and send me an email to be entered to win some loot. i’m in the eastern standard time zone here people, so my giveaway is too!

a surprise prize:
anyone who makes a donation of $100 or more will also be entered for a surprise prize: i will personally knit you a juneberry triangle. you pick the color, i pick the yarn.

so that’s it people.
below is some loot porn for you to drool over,
but make sure you look at the official prize list
just so you know all the possibilities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

and to my sponsors: words cannot express how much your support means to me. you’ve turned my crazy late-night dream into a reality in under two weeks. i’ve definitely shed some tears of gratitude over that. i mean it.

now let’s raise some money bitches!!!!!

ps see all those little buttons down there that let you share this post on twitter, facebook, etc. use them.

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