My mom Ella Hall died of lymphoma in 1975. She was 53, the age I will reach this year. So on Sunday, to honor her memory, I did the Big Climb here in Seattle, which is a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and involves climbing the stairwell in Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest building – 69 flights, 1311 stairs. My time was 20 minutes, 6 seconds, which is by no means a record breaker but very satisfying to me. More importantly, through sponsorships, my climb has thus far raised $3,990 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My great thanks to those of you I hit up for this cause; you have been exceedingly generous. Now I’d love to break through the $4,000 mark by the April 4 deadline. If you’d like to contribute, you can do it very easily online at my personal Big Climb sponsorship site.
I came across the site Free Rice today, courtesy of Seth Godin’s blog. It is an ultra-simple, fast-paced vocabulary quiz. The twist is that for every correct answer you give, the advertisers donate 10 grains of rice on your behalf to the United Nations World Food Program. You don’t even have to register. If you like words at all, you will love this site.
We’re seeing an extraordinary escalation right now of philanthropic programs of every size and variety (read Bill Clinton’s book Giving for hundreds of anecdotes). Free Rice is a new and welcome twist that builds giving into everyday fun. I love its cleverness and I hope it will become a Facebook app.