By Brian Doelle
It’s a predictable yearly occurrence. Each year around the holidays, gift baskets from some of our excellent vendors and partners we work with begin trickling in. These baskets range from a simple collection of sweets from Harry & David to gi-normous displays of holiday confections and strange delights from around the world. One basket this year even contained a tin of pickled squid! When the packages arrive, an email is sent out to the entire team to come sample the goodies (no takers on the squid!). While it’s predictable, it’s always fun.
But this year, one partner really stood out for thinking “outside the basket” and sending the perfect something for the holidays.
As I opened what I thought was a holiday card from our friends at Yahoo!, I was surprised to find what looked like a gift certificate inside.
Upon closer inspection, it was a gift certificate—to a non-profit organization I had not heard of before called DonorsChoose. It was completely unexpected, and certainly the most memorable and rewarding “gift basket” I came across this season.
DonorsChoose turns out to be a very interesting idea indeed. Teachers around the U.S. submit proposals for items they need along with associated costs. You can browse through the list of projects and choose to fund all or part of one (or more). From the Donors Choose web site:
DonorsChoose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. Here, teachers submit ideas for materials or experiences their students need to learn. Individuals like you can choose a project and make it a classroom reality.
After searching through many of the proposals, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are WAY too many worthy projects to choose from! Please take a look at some of the requests and let us know which one you think we should fund. Maybe you’ll even find a project that strikes a personal note with you while you’re there.
So thanks, Yahoo!, for a most thoughtful holiday gift! While we appreciate (and certainly look forward to) the tasty treats, your holiday card has certainly made a lasting impression. Of course, so did the squid!
Note: You can learn more about life at Yahoo! And the great folks who work there by surfing over to their not-so-corporate blog, Yodel Anecdotal.