Blogathon is Tomorrow!

Blogathon 2005
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This is a sticky post, that will remain at the top of my blog until the first Blogathon post tomorrow morning. Later tonight, there may be fresh content, but you'll have to scroll down for it.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting to this page, which synchs to LiveJournal, and will be cc'd to Open Diary, every half hour, beginning at 8 AM CDT. I'll be doing this until 8 AM Sunday, and I'm doing it on behalf of Habitat for Humanity – Women Build. If you haven't pledged yet, please consider doing so, and asking your friends on my behalf. Even a dollar helps.

  1. Register: Go here. and register a username, name, and email address.
  2. Find my Campagin: I'm listed as Melissa A. Bartell MissMeliss: Scritture / Habitat for Humanity – Women Build (Currently, I'm on page 8 of the campaign list. )
  3. Sign In: Use the username and password you created in step one, and log in, using the boxes in the upper right-hand corner. After logging in, you should still be on my campagin page.
  4. Make Your Pledge: If you want to pledge a certain amount per hour, just multiply by 24, and type in the total. If you don't want to be publically identified, be sure to click the box to hide your identity. (Only I will see it.) DO NOT make your donation yet. If I don't meet my commmitment to posting every 30 minutes for 24 hours, you're off the hook. Right now, just pledge.
  5. Leave a Note: I don't get notified of new pledges. Please leave a note at my blog, live journal or open diary account, so I can thank you. Or send email. (You can also send email if these steps confuse you – just give me your name as you want it to be on the sponsor list, the amount of your pledge, and an email address, and I'll do the registration for you.)

So, what's this Blogathon you speak of?
Many of us grew up participating in read-a-thons. You'd promise to read x number of books, and your family and friends would pledge x amount of money per book. At the end of your allotted time, the money would be collected, and shipped off to the charity you were sponsoring. A blogathon is like that, but not.

How is a blogathon like a read-a-thon?
I'll be blogging in support of a charity. Rather than reading books, I'll be posting to my blog every half hour for twenty-four consecutive hours, beginning at 8:00 AM CDT, on August 6 2005. I've chosen Habitat for Humanity – Women Build. I'll be soliciting pledges from family, friends, and readers. This means you!.

How does it differ from a read-a-thon?
First, while many bloggers are participating, each of us selects a charity that is important to us. Second, neither we bloggers nor the nice people who are coordinating all this at handle any cash. Sponsors are required to register an email address and their pledge amount for tracking and reminder purposes only. Bloggers are required to blog. Beyond that, it's all on the honor system.

What exactly does Sponsorship entail?
As soon as the registration site at goes live, I'll be offering a link. You will follow the link, and provide your email address and pledge amount. When the Blogathon is over, you'll receive an email reminding you of your pledge, and providing the web and snailmail addresses of my chosen charity. You'll then be responsible for sending off a check, or providing your credit card info directly to the charity.

What about my privacy?
The only information you're required to provide to anyone is the amount of your pledge and an email address where you can be contacted for payment reminders. Beyond that, all transactions remain confidential between you and the charity. I AM offering an incentive for large donors that will require a snailmail address, but the only one who will see that is ME, and I'll promise to lose it, afterward, if you like.

What do you get out of it?
I get the knowledge that I've joined with the blogging community to do something good. Bloggers are so often characterized as being self-absorbed ranters and whiners. There's a lot of satisfaction in using our words for GOOD.

What do I (the Sponsor) get out of it?
Well, you ALSO get the knowledge that you've joined with the blogging community to do something good. But I'm adding a couple of incentives:
Individual pledges of at least $24 – will get “this post sponsored by” credits at the end of my blogathon posts.
Individual pledges of at least $50 – will have 10% of their pledge matched by me (to a max of $500, total) (Yes, that's only $5 for your 50, but we're a single-income family just now, and there's only ONE of me.)
Individual pledges of at least $100 or more. – will still be getting a 10% match from me (to a max of $500, total.) You'll also receive a small thank-you gift directly from me (no, I won't tell you what it is.)

And of course ALL sponsors will get a personal note, email, or comment from me, thanking them for their support.

Is there a minimum amount I can pledge?
No. But it's suggested that $5 is a reasonable amount for most people.

And what was that Charity you mentioned?
The charity I'm blogging for is Habitat for Humanity – Women Build. You can follow the link for more info, but basically, it's a branch of Habitat for Humanity that encourages women and girls to develop leadership and construction skills while addressing issues of housing and family welfare. I've chosen this program, specifically, because I think it's important for women to take an active role in addressing these things that are so often labelled as “women's issues” when really, housing is a human issue. I also chose it because, in terms of the amound of funds that make it to the people being helped, Habitat for Humanity is extremely well rated.

I live in the UK, or some other country that has Habitat for Humanity but not the Women Build program. Can I donate to my local branch?
Obviously, I'd prefer that your funds go to the specific program I've chosen, and the rules at say we can only support ONE charity. If it's really a problem for you, and you want to donate, please contact me here, or via email.

If you'd really like to support me in the blogathon, but you just don't have the cash, or don't feel strongly enough about Habitat for Humanity to give up cash (which is valid, we all have different beliefs and priorities, after all), I'd love for you to stop by and leave comments during the actual event, because answering comments will help keep me awake.

Also, I'm still looking for pictures of FRONT DOORS to be used (without identification) in my posts. Please send .gifs or .jpgs to the email listed below.

My email address is email, but you can also leave comments here. If you'd prefer a private response, please be sure to include a valid email so I can answer. Otherwise, be sure to check back.

To all the people who've pledged so far, offered encouragement, plugged me and/or my blog, and sent pictures – thank you. Every single one of you has put a smile on my face, and I appreciate all your efforts.

Make it a great day!

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Seven inches of dark brown hair landed on the floor of the salon, falling from the scissors in tattered clumps.

Seven inches of stress and split ends made my head and heart feel lighter, once removed.

My new cut isn't really short; it's just that the ends graze my shoulders and not my nipples. The color has been refreshed as well, a warm deep chocolatey brown with bittersweet reddish highlights, the latter not by design, but because of natural variations in my 'real' hair color that work with the dye. I like it. It reminds me of all those Italian women in leather jackets riding mopeds through the streets of Venice and Rome.

Seven inches of hair cut off, and I'm seven times happier.

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