All posts in DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose 2010: Week 4. Win a fabulous on-the-go prize pack!

You guys are amazing! We have raised ,633 through right now. That’s 1,753 students affected in all those classrooms. And I’m just blown away by your generosity and general awesomeness.

But you know who else is blown away, or about to be? All of us, by those PC-using weirdos over at MaximumPC. Yep, they’re still ahead of us on the leaderboard, by just under 0, with ,724 as of right now.

This is the final week of our 2010 DonorsChoose Challenge, so let’s step it up and outgive Maximum PC’s readers, OK? Mac! Life! Mac! Life! Mac! Life! (Sorry, I’ve always been a sucker for a really good chant.)

To sweeten the pot I’ve got a really great prize pack to give away. But before we talk about what’s in it for you, how about hearing from the teachers whose projects we’ve been busily funding all month long. Our Giving Page currently has 33 completed projects that we and other donors knocked out of the park, and some of the thank-you notes from the teachers are beyond touching.

Ms. B, who teaches at an elementary school in North Carolina that’s getting new LEGOs, writes, “Our students have so much potential that needs to be tapped. Your donation to these children will give them the tools to practice expressing their own creative spirits in a safe and cooperative environment.” And they’ll have fun doing it, too!

Ms. L, from an elementary school in Upper Michigan, got a new Mac mini for her classroom, with lots of help from us. She writes, “Many of my students are looking for new connection with reading. Being able to listen to themselves and their classmates read, to edit and produce book commercials, and to take pride in their literacy is going to change their lives.”

See, you guys are changing lives!!!

So how about a little more? Give to a project on our Giving Page this week, and forward me your email receipt to susie at by Saturday October 30 at 11:59pm Pacific, and I’ll enter you in this week’s drawing. The prize pack is huge and awesome, like the kind and generous hearts of our donors.

>> Scosche IDR655m earphones with tapLINE II controller (for controlling your iPhone, iPod touch, and the other iPods). I’m reviewing these now and (spoiler alert) I love them. You get a brand-new pair, though. Because sharing earbuds is gross. .99 retail value.
>> iDapt i4 Universal charger, which can keep your phone, iPod, camera, and other gadgets charged, up to four at a time. This iDapt is pink, too. Fabulous! .99 retail value.
>> iMainGo 2, a speaker-equipped carrying case for your iPod, iPhone, or other MP3 player. (The box says Zune, but we’re not familiar with that term.) .95 value.
>> AViiQ portable laptop stand. This is the world’s thinnest laptop stand, folding down to an astonishing 1/4 inch thick for easy portability. Improves your ergonomics and it’s good looking too. .95 retail value.
>> The Ballistic HC case for iPhone 4. This thing is hardcore, total protection, keeping your iPhone safe from almost everything except flamethrowers and X-Men. .99 retail value.

One person will get alllll this. And it could be you if you donate and enter.

All in all that’s a prize bonanza worth 9.87. We’d like to thank our friends at Scosche, Ballistic, iDapt, iMainGo, and AViiQ for donating the prizes. Enter today! Official rules in the FAQ, and feel free to email me if you have questions.

Oh yes, and big congratulations to last week’s winners! We’re sending game packs from Aspyr to Rachel F., Stephen D., and Patrick N., plus bonus prizes to a whole bunch of other nice people. Watch your mailboxes for gratitude and free stuff!

It’s the last week of October. We’ve got more kids to help. Let’s do this.


DonorsChoose 2010: Week 2. Win an iHome iP1!

Well, it’s official. You guys are awesome.

We got 9 in donations during week 1, from 24 awesome people. (24! We had 38 donors last year over the whole month, so 24 in just the first week is a great start.) Your donations have affected 675 students. And we’re just getting warmed up.

Oooh, that’s pretty close.

MaximumPC is beating us, though. At this writing, they are at 2 donated from 22 donors. So we are beating them donor-wise, but they’re still outgiving us by a bit. So I encourage you to increase our Mac-user, uh, market share, for lack of a better word, and see if we can pass them up this week.

And if you do donate this week, and forward your DonorsChoose receipt to me at susie at, you’ll be entered to win this week’s prize! Which is the rockin’ iHome iP1, a kickass iPod speaker dock that retails for 0. This one is straight from the MacLife testing lab, where it received a 4 out of 5 and Editors’ Choice accolades. If you don’t have an iPod or iPhone, you can also connect any audio device with a headphone jack. It’s sweet. You want it.

iHome’s iP1 is thumpin’, and could be yours.

Deadline for that: Saturday, October 16, 11:59pm Pacific. Just donate or more to any project on our Giving Page, then forward me your email receipt by the deadline (susie at, and I’ll do the drawing and announce a winner next Monday. Full rules are on the FAQ.

We’d also like to congratulate last week’s winners! Loriann won the big week 1 prize, the Kanto SYD 5 speaker system. She gave to the “I Can’t Wait to Go to the Art Center Today!” project, which has since been completed. (Click the link to read the thank-you note posted by the teacher.) Congrats, Loriann, and thanks for donating!

Loriann, from Sioux City, Iowa, won this. She said, “COOL!!!”

Congrats also go to Eric, who won the super-secret bonus drawing — this week it was for people who mentioned the podcast. Eric picked up this awesome Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Slicer from He donated to the “Time for Kids to Learn About the World” project, which is still 0 from completion. So how about another mini-prize? Donate to that same project by Saturday at 11:59pm (or whenever the project is completed, if it’s before then), and you’ll be entered to win another Star Trek Enterprise Pizza Slicer (as well as the normal week 2 drawing — bonus!). Boldly slice like no one has sliced before!

Eric won this. He said, “OMG the pizza cutter looks like a weapon! I hope I don’t end up with fingers in my pizza!” We hope not, too.

Thanks to all who have donated so far! Especially the rock stars who also gave last year — I recognize your names, and every time DonorsChoose pings me that another donation has been made, I do a little chair dance of glee.

You are awesome. Thank you. Keep up the great work.


Follow this article’s author, Susie Ochs on Twitter.


DonorsChoose Challenge 2010! Help Kids! Win Prizes! Beat MaximumPC!

Another year, another chance to help public school kids. This month we are once again raising money for, an excellent charity that lets teachers submit proposals for projects they can’t get funded otherwise. Last year, thanks to generous matches from HP and readers like you, we raised more than ,000! Mind-blowingly awesome!

DonorsChoose works like this: You, the donor, gives money to DonorsChoose to fulfill part of all of the project, and when the project is fully funded, DonorsChoose buys the materials for the teacher. And the donors get thanked with emails and photos–and even actual thank-you letters if you give 0 or more.

And here’s how Mac|Life comes in. To motivate you to give to projects on our Giving Page, we’re holding contests all month. To enter, just donate to one of these projects, then forward your email receipt to me at susie at I will email you back a hearty thank-you and enter you in that week’s drawing.

We have tons of prizes to give away all month long, starting with this week’s biggie: a Kanto SYD 5 speaker system, which we rated GREAT and named Gear of the Year in 2009. This puppy is straight from our testing lab, and retails for 9. It works with an iPod of course, but aux and RCA inputs let you connect other music sources, and the wood cabinet’s four powerful speakers sound awesome. To enter, give any amount — even just — to a project on our Giving Page, and forward me the receipt. Your deadline for this Week 1 prize is 11:59pm Pacific time this Saturday, October 9, 2010.

Win this Kanto! Just forward me your receipt by 11:59pm Pacific on Saturday, October 9. Winner announced Monday, October 11. See the FAQ for the official rules.

Our Giving Page is also featured on DonorsChoose’s 10th anniversary leaderboard, where you’ll notice we’re battling our sister magazine MaximumPC! That’s right, it’s a Mac-versus-PC showdown, and your big chance to prove that Mac users have it going on, philanthropically speaking. I mean, we don’t have to spend money on all those virus-sniffing programs, so we’ve got that advantage already…

Want to get involved? Start at our Giving Page, and toss a few dollars toward a project you find meaningful. This class in California needs an iPod touch. This elementary class in Michigan wants a Mac mini for the library. An early childhood center in South Carolina needs art supplies. And this teacher wants to rock her classroom’s world with everyone’s favorite educational supertoy: LEGOs. (LEGOs in school! Come on now, that rocks!)

So dig deep, give generously, and email me your receipts to be entered to win the Kanto. Watch our total grow on the leaderboard. Let’s show MaximumPC that while we’ll never agree on an OS, we all want to help kids succeed in school. Leave a comment or send me an email if you have questions, a project we should add to the Giving Page, or anything like that. I’ve got an FAQ here with the official contest rules. Gooooo and go DonorsChoose!