In some ways, I'm an optimist. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, a person doesn't work on the same book for over a decade without a little glimmer of hope to keep them going.
But it's more than that, really. I believe that the vast majority of people are good. Not just deep-down good, but good right up on the surface. That's why I run these fundraisers. I think most people enjoy making the world a better place. All they need is an opportunity, and, occasionally, a little nudge.
But in other ways, I'm a pessimist. For example, I believe that most large corporate entities by their very nature tend to be malignant.
When I say malignant, I'm not saying that Global Corp is going to break into your house and kill you while you sleep. But they will make your pillow out of a fire-retardant chemical that makes you breathe toluene all night. Because they can be sued by a smoker who lights their own pillow on fire, but not by someone who gets cancer when they're sixty.
What's my point? Well, my point is that when my account got flagged by Paypal a couple of days ago, I really didn't have much hope of being able to straighten things out with them.
In fact, I was ready to be all indignant about it. I've had a Paypal account since 2001, and I felt a little betrayed. I had all sorts of scathing things I was going to say. Names I was going to call them. Mud I was going to fling. How dare they take a crap on my fundraiser? Especially when it was going so well...
Despite this pessimism, I e-mailed them to straighten things out. I tried to work within the system. I talked to them on the phone.
So imagine my surprise when they were really nice. And today, all the limitations were lifted from my Paypal account. I really wasn't expecting things to work out so quickly and easily.
The purpose of this blog is twofold.
First, I just wanted to say thanks to Paypal. You guys impressed me.
The second is to update everyone on the status of the name raffle fundraiser thing.
Things are going amazingly well. So far we've got about 150 people donating, and we've raised over 8000 dollars. Way better than I ever expected.
Because I'm drawing two winners, that means if you buy a ticket, you've got about a 1 in 400 chance of winning.
If you donate 50 bucks, which gets you 6 tickets, you've got about a 1 in 70 chance.
That beats the hell out of most lotteries, you have to admit. Besides, and all the money is going to a great cause.
I'm hoping we can finish strong on this. We lost a few days because of the Paypal thing, but if people help spread the word I think we can make up for it.
And one more time, here's the link to the blog with all the raffle details and the now-functional online donation buttons.
And lastly, if you're thinking of donating online. You might want to strike now while the iron is hot. A lot of Paypal's system is automated, and there's an outside chance it might flag my account again in a week or so. It would be shame if you missed your chance to donate because of that...