The Boom Effect: A Charity Auction Well Worth Participating In
In early January of this year, Natalie Morris, wife of novelist and podcaster Tee Morris, passed away from flu complications. The two months since then have seen the most epic, amazing, heartwarming, hope-giving outpouring of love and support ever to grace the social media sphere. I am proud to be a part of it.
Word got out via Twitter and people’s blogs within a day or two after it happened. Countless people expressed sympathy, and not only with words. Philippa Ballantine spearheaded both of the remarkable efforts to help out that are currently going on. First, she started a ChipIn account so that friends, fans, and anyone else who cared to do so could make contributions to help cover the funeral expenses, and then to start a trust fund for Tee and Natalie’s daughter, nicknamed Sonic Boom. This effort succeeded fantastically, raising over $21,000 – and that’s only the beginning. This Saturday, the trust fund will grow even more. You – yes, you, the person reading this post, whether you’re part of the podcasting community or not – have the opportunity to help make this happen, and there’s even something in in for you.
This Saturday, February 27, 2010, starting at 10:00 A.M. EST (7:00 A.M. PST), there will be a webathon and charity auction called The Boom Effect. What’s a webathon? It’s a live broadcast over the web lasting for an extended period of time. In this case, the broadcast will be on this Ustream page (anyone can watch; you need a free account to use the chatroom function). During the webathon, which will be hosted by Podcasting’s Rich Sigfrit, we will be auctioning off some 100 items and services donated by friends of the community (including me!), with all proceeds going into Sonic Boom’s trust fund. The full list of items that will be auctioned can be found at TheBoomEffect.org. Anyone can bid (I would imagine that bidding will be done via Ustream’s chatroom function; we’ll see). I invite anyone and everyone reading this post to come to the webathon, even if you can’t or don’t want to bid. There will also be readings, songs, conversation, and other entertainment going on throughout the webathon.
The item I donated to the auction is my complete collection of all 24 collectible Star Wars soda cans that PepsiCo produced during its promotion of “The Phantom Menace” in the summer of 1999. I had way too much fun completing that collection that summer. It’s the only collection of any collectible item that I’ve ever completed, and I’m proud of it. I’d always planned to pass it along to another collector someday, and I’m very glad that my collection gave me the opportunity to contribute to a good cause. I hope it earns at least a little bit of money toward Sonic Boom’s trust fund.