On assistance, supernatural and otherwise

This post is mostly existential horror of some kind or another so here is a kitten.

I have a student in the hospital; it turns out that Covid-19 and sickle cell anemia are not, in fact, two great tastes that go great together. Those first seven words of the post are, at the moment, the sum total of my knowledge and I don’t know what kind of shape she’s in, beyond “bad enough that she’s in the hospital.”

I have never really believed that prayer or well-wishes or positive thoughts or anything like that actually held any power to change and/or fix anything, particularly in the lives of third parties, but if anybody has any spoons left to toss in the direction of a fourteen-year-old they’ve never met, I’m willing to be proven wrong.


You might remember Hosea, who I talked about a week or so ago. That post is rather down on Hosea as a human being, and while I didn’t write anything in there that I disagree with, one of the interesting things about the kid is that he’s also got a generous streak that, on the occasions when he allows it to surface, is a mile wide. The problem is that it doesn’t come out very often.

He stopped me at lunch today to ask me if I knew about the Gofundme he’d started. Oh God, I thought, because generally when someone starts a Gofundme it’s not because something wonderful has happened, and I have no idea why this kid might think that he needs money badly enough that he’s crowdfunding for it on the Internet. So I ask him what it’s for, and he tells me it’s “to improve the world,” and doesn’t really elaborate. It’s on Facebook, he says. I tell him I don’t have a Facebook account, but if he wants he can email me the URL and I’ll take a look at it.

And he does. And I do.

And this Gofundme starts off with this YouTube video, which I was able to watch until the point where the teacher tells her class “I’m going to step out for a minute” and just bounces, and then there’s his little spiel for his funding, which is literally that he wants to “make the world better.”

He wants ten thousand dollars.

There’s not, like, a plan or anything. Just, like, hey, “if you want to make the world a better place donate now!!” and yes, that’s a direct quote.

I, uh, don’t know what to do with this. He wants me to donate, of course, and I don’t want to be perceived as being against improving the world– I am, in fact, staunchly pro-improvement in all its facets– but, like, I’m not just going to hand this kid some money, am I? I mean, I could make a token contribution, I suppose, like, $5 or something like that; I don’t know if Gofundme works like Kickstarter does, where if you don’t hit your funding target you don’t get any of the money. And it’s not like the kid has any chance of hitting $10,000 short of some sort of bolt-from-the-blue viral explosion scenario. Plus, like, I don’t think 8th graders can even use Gofundme. That’s gotta be some sort of TOS violation, right?

Do I do anything else about it, though? Should I tell his mom or something? I mean, it’s not like it’s wrong for him to be trying to raise money to make the world a better place, and while it’s not necessarily any of my Goddamned business one way or the other, I feel like if my kid was trying to raise ten thousand bucks on the Internet even as a foolish and naïve expression of hope for the future, if some other adult I knew found out about it and didn’t let me know about it I might be a trifle peeved. I feel like if my kid is trying to get that kind of money from strangers, maybe as a parent that should be something I know about. But what if she knows? How the hell does that conversation go?

(For the record, this is also a bit of a Problem Parent, which complicates things. I don’t want the kid in trouble. I can imagine a world where this causes that.)

The best solution is probably to sit down with him for a few minutes and give him a better idea of what this site is actually for, and the idea that when you raise money you generally do it for something specific, possibly followed up with a promise to donate if he decides to do a fundraiser for the humane society or whatever rather than this nebulous “make the world better” thing.

(Thinking about this a bit more, how the hell do they give you the money if a Gofundme is successfully funded? This kid’s fourteen; surely he can’t have hooked up a bank account to the site or something. That’s the other “maybe notify Mom” detail; let’s say that hypothetically Hosea snookers four or five adults into donating money, and now he’s got $75 or whatever that Mom didn’t give him and when she asks he says the money is from his teachers? Christ.)

Advice or suggestions are welcome, obviously.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY: Donate to @raicestexas!

We are already almost 20% of the way to our goal, and the fund raiser officially starts today! Go donate to RAICES while I’m on my way to Indianapolis! Remember, in addition to any donations from my readers, here is how this will work:

  • I will donate the entire proceeds of every book I sell at InConJunction this weekend, from July 5-7. Every last dime. 
  • Through midnight on the 12th, I will donate my entire share of any books I sell on Amazon. 
  • You are obviously welcome to do direct cash donations through the donation link. That said: anyone who donates more than $25 through the link should email me and let me know, because I will send you a signed book of your choice, depending on my stock levels after the con is over.  Click will be eligible for this, so if you want a print copy and don’t want to use Patreon, this is a way to get a copy.
  • If you happen to decide to review one of my books this week, email me.

I’ll be making my next donation on Monday or Tuesday depending on how many credit card sales I make this weekend and how long all that takes to clear. If you were thinking about participating, today’s the day. Donate!

https://give.classy.org/luthersbirthday

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.

Founded in 1986 as the Refugee Aid Project by community activists in South Texas, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Birthday Fundraiser for @raicestexas

Friday is my 43rd birthday. Let’s raise some money for RAICES.

The fundraiser is going to be open until Friday, July 12– it “officially” opens on my birthday itself but what with the convention I’m going to be kind of busy, so we’re doing a soft open today. Here’s how this is going to work:

  • I will donate the entire proceeds of every book I sell at InConJunction this weekend, from July 5-7. Every last dime.
  • Starting today, and running through midnight on the 12th, I will donate my entire share of any books I sell on Amazon. This, I’ll be honest, isn’t going to amount to a lot, even if sales spike a bit, because Amazon takes a cut of everything. But whatever my share is will be donated.
  • You are obviously welcome to do direct cash donations through the donation link. That said: anyone who donates more than $25 through the link should email me and let me know, because I will send you a signed book of your choice, depending on my stock levels after the con is over. Click will be eligible for this, so if you want a print copy and don’t want to use Patreon, this is a way to get a copy.
  • If you happen to decide to review one of my books this week, email me.

I’m setting a goal of $500. I think that’s reachable. The direct donation link is:

https://give.classy.org/luthersbirthday

Obviously, sharing this far and wide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.

Founded in 1986 as the Refugee Aid Project by community activists in South Texas, RAICES has grown to be the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. With offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

In which I fundraise: another Pete Buttigieg post

The blog is starting to slide into all-Buttigieg-all-the-time territory, and that’s not really where I want it to go, but I feel like this is important enough that I’m doing it anyway: I don’t know how many of you watched last night’s townhall on CNN, but I thought the guy hit a grand slam. Buttigieg was funny, personable, full of good ideas, and he showed the scary-smart that I always want and don’t always get from my presidential candidates. The national response appears to have been extremely positive– I mean, hell, any Democrat who watched that and didn’t come away with a much higher opinion of Buttigieg and his chances in this race either isn’t a Democrat or wasn’t actually watching. Tulsi Gabbard, who for better or worse has a substantially higher profile than Buttigieg does right now, had the hour before him. Everyone is talking about Buttigieg; I’ve seen no one talking about Gabbard.

Interestingly, it turns out the whole thing is on YouTube. I’ll embed it here; we’ll see how long it lasts. If you haven’t watched, you really should:

I skipped around a bit and it does look like the whole thing; I don’t know what the deal is with the placeholder image.

At any rate: while I’m completely sure that donations have ticked up substantially in the wake of this performance, Pete needs 65,000 individual donors at any amount in order to secure an invitation to the formal Democratic debates, and if that threshold has been reached they’ve not updated the website to tell us about it yet. I’ve donated, and I’ve had two friends who watched last night tell me they have as well. We want this guy on stage, y’all. So if you haven’t watched the townhall yet, there’s another opportunity right there, at least until CNN pulls the video, and the link to donate– again, literally any amount adds you to the total– is here. Please consider it.