Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

DW Spring Donation Drive

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UPDATE (1:30 PM 3/7): We’ve raised $4020 so far!! We’re over 53% to the goal of $7500. I’m blown away. Thank you so, so much. Keep the donations coming! The goal of $7500 would mean a new server could be paid for, and a cushion would be available for any unexpected expenses. The site would be safe for the foreseeable future!

UPDATE (6:30 PM): Even though the site was down for a few hours today (which is why I need a new server!), we still are up to $2872 for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 38% reached!) You can also follow progress through the widget at the top of the right sidebar.

UPDATE (11:00 AM): After three hours, we have raised $1,886 in donations for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 25% reached!

UPDATE (9:53 AM): After just under two hours, we have raised $1,220 in donations for the next six months (contingent on no cancellation of recurring monthly payments)! Thank you and please keep the donations coming. Goal is over 16% reached!

Yesterday, I talked about how the expenses of running DW are going up, but the revenue is staying about the same, making the cost greater than the profit. I need a bigger server to accommodate increasing traffic, but I am not yet making the revenue to pay that expense. I am shopping around and pressing for discounts, and, so far, the best deal on a bigger server is about $8400 a year. I have other expenses — tech help/web development, a tiny marketing budget, and child care costs are the main expenses — which roughly run an additional $12,000-$15,000 a year. Last year without donations I grossed $15,000. It’s simple math: I need help keeping the site going.

One possible solution is that I get rid of the forums, which would potentially cut traffic in half, save bandwidth and save memory space. If I did that, I could maybe get away without upgrading to a larger server. But I know the forums are important to a lot of people. Many of us would miss them. People who have sought and received support during challenging times in their lives — breakups, divorces, deaths of loved ones, illnesses, and job losses just to name a few — would miss them. I’d miss them. I’d like to keep the forums if possible and I would very much like to keep the site going (even if it means getting rid of the forums). But I need your help. I need $7500 in donations every six months. That seems like a crazy amount and I don’t know if I’ll get anywhere close to that, but it’s worth a try. If you can help, please donate here through Paypal. What would especially, especially help is if you click the little box that says “Make this recurring (monthly).” If I can get 250 people to donate $5 a month, I would be set. (You can cancel at any time!). The server fees would be covered. A big chunk of child care would be covered (I employ a part-time nanny 12 hours a week so I can work on the site). And the ad revenue I earn each year ($15,000 last year) could cover taxes, remaining child care costs, and other random expenses that pop up.

So, if you like this site — if it provides entertainment for you or emotional support or a way to just kill a little time during the long hours at your office job, and if you feel inclined, please consider donating here. Any amount helps — a one-time donation of $5 or a recurring $1 donation or a suggested monthly $5 donation all add help to make a big difference. I know that for a lot of people this site is more than just a blog — it’s a community. It’s where you come to share good news or find support when things are shitty. Many of you have met in person, you’ve formed friendships both online and off, and I know when the site is down, even for an hour, you miss it. If that describes you — if you find value in visiting this site and can spare a few bucks, please consider showing your support and investing in the future of DW. Your donation will help keep the site going — it will help buy a better server that will speed up load times and cut way down on glitches (like when the site crashes because it can’t handle the traffic).

As a thank you to everyone who donates any amount, I will send an email within 48 hours with an original, unique virtual DW fortune cookie. Oh yes. Did you know I’m a little psychic? I am! So, I will send you your fortune, which you can apply to your love life, career, fantasy world, or “in bed,” as the saying goes. And if you would like to be included on the 2014 thank you list, please include the name you’d like me to publish when you send your donation. Finally, every month I will select (at random) a small number of members to send a postcard to through old-fashioned snail mail. If you’re selected, I’ll email you and ask for your mailing address, which you can share with me or decline as you wish. Beyond that, there may be additional awards throughout the year given to select members — either chosen at random or for their especially generous donations. So, get in on the fun and donate.

Thank you so much for your generosity. I will keep this drive going for one week and update as I get closer to my goal of $1250 a month (or $7500 total for the next six months). Of course, you can donate at any time, but this is the week when all the donations can really add up. It’s also the week I need to make some decisions about the future of the site — specifically, whether to keep the forums and upgrade to a larger server — and your donations will help me a great deal! Thank you.

66 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Christy March 6, 2014, 8:29 am

    I couldn’t figure out how to set up a recurring monthly donation on paypal’s mobile site, and I can’t do any sending of money on my work computer. I’ll set up a recurring donation tonight when I get home, but for now I sent a small amount.

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    • avatar

      Christy March 6, 2014, 11:03 pm

      I just added a recurring monthly donation!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy March 7, 2014, 6:33 am

        Thank you! And thanks to everyone else, too. I’ve gotten donations from well over 100 people so far! If you haven’t gotten a thank you from me, hang tight, you will.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary March 6, 2014, 8:55 am

    I did the recurring monthly. Now everyone else do it, if you can! I’m on a tight budget but $5 is less than the cost of 2 lattes.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary March 6, 2014, 8:56 am

      Also, I like the forums, but I’d be OK if they were members only (even it was like $10/yr or something) to cut down on traffic. Plus this would also cut down on spam.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 6, 2014, 9:31 am

        I’d pay to be a member.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki March 6, 2014, 9:46 am

        I would definitely pay to be a member also.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 6, 2014, 10:00 am

        I’d pay to be a moderator. I want the power! Also, Wendy, never even consider making a monitor. I’m just not mature enough for that.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki March 6, 2014, 10:10 am

        You could be a moderator that has a moderator. You know, someone to keep you in check 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 6, 2014, 10:13 am

        Would you be my monitor honey? I’ll pay you off to agree with me. It’ll be great. Anyone that disagrees with us with get a lifetime ban. And we can have a side business of selling thumbs in bulk.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki March 6, 2014, 11:19 am

        That sounds like a great plan! I love the idea of selling thumbs in bulk. Can I sell them out of a shady van? Because that would be great.

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      • othy

        othy March 6, 2014, 10:34 am

        With great power comes great responsibility.

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 6, 2014, 9:53 am

        That’s actually a great idea. I really, really like that idea. Even though I don’t post on the forums much, I would easily pay to be a member of them. The people who LOVE this site would pay too, I think, and you’re right, it would cut down on traffic and other things.

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      • avatar

        Amy March 6, 2014, 11:06 am

        I don’t even comment very much – but I would definitely pay $10 or $15 a year for access to the forums!

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 6, 2014, 9:08 am

    Okay, once I’m on my home computer, I will donate away! I’ll probably do one larger donation as an initial panicked YOU NEED MONEY FOR THE SITE WENDY, & then a separate smaller one just to set up as “monthly”

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 6, 2014, 5:23 pm

      Okay, I donated! (Just want the world to know of my follow-up skillz I guess?) I hope you reach the goal soon, Wendy! (also I’m excited for my fortune :D)

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy March 6, 2014, 9:18 am

    Thank you, everyone! It is much appreciated. I am sending individual thank you emails (With a link to virtual fortune cookies I wrote myself, just for fun). If you don’t receive one within 48 hours of donating, please email me and let me know. Also, if you’d like to be included on the Thanks page, include the name you’d like to use in the note section when you send your donation. Thank you!

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    • avatar

      ktfran March 6, 2014, 9:57 am

      Will the link to make a donation and set up recurring payments be open a while? I feel more comfortable starting next week. I have a lot of scheduled payments this week. But I for sure want to donate. This is the site I read most during the day. It is even shown as number 1 when I open Chrome.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy March 6, 2014, 10:05 am

        Yes! You can definitely donate any time. The donation link will always remain open.

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass March 6, 2014, 10:49 am

      I donated before reading the rest of your post. I’m pretty sure you know who I am (if not I can send an email) but if you include me on the donated page please use ‘lemongrass’!

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  • avatar

    Sarah March 6, 2014, 9:23 am

    I’ve never posted before (here or in the forums), but I followed Dear Wendy from The Frisky and regularly lurk in the forums. I just donated $20, which doesn’t seem like a lot for the hours of enjoyment I’ve gotten from Dear Wendy. But it’s what I’ve got.

    I think I’ll probably make a recurring donation as well.

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    • avatar

      Buzzelbee March 6, 2014, 8:21 pm

      Go lurkers! I just donated $20 as well.

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  • LlamaPajamas

    LlamaPajamas March 6, 2014, 9:27 am

    I pledged $10/month, recurring. I’m also on a tight budget but this is easy to set aside and Dear Wendy is worth it! I’m saving up for moving expenses in a few months but I’ll make a larger one-time donation when that’s settled (moving is expensive, yo).

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 9:28 am

    Donate * Donate * Donate * Donate * Donate * Donate * Donate * Donate
    *
    Also, and I think I’ve mentioned this here (sowwy, I comment so much I have no new stories to share): my 7 year old niece loves Chinese food; we always go out for lo mein when I visit. She also loves the fortunate cookies as you can imagine. I taught her to add “in school” at the end and she gets a huge kick out of it. She’ll read: “Your patience, creativity, and hard work will pay off… IN SCHOOL!” and then we giggle. The funny thing is one day she’ll be in college having Chinese food with friends and she’ll be all “oh, you’re supposed to say ‘in school’ at the end of your fortune,” and her much hipper friends will be all “no, dumbass, you’re supposed to say ‘in bed,'” and then they’ll laugh at her and she’ll be embarrassed and come find me and say “damn you auntieeeeeeee you made me look like a dweeb!!!!!” Hahahahaha.

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass March 6, 2014, 10:51 am

      I have 3 thoughts on this:
      1. You are an awesome aunt and it will be hilarious when she figures that out.
      2. My MIL makes us say “in bed” and she thinks it is way funnier than the rest of us.
      3. My sister made HOMEMADE fortune cookies to give away at my baby shower. They rocked.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo March 6, 2014, 11:27 am

        I was at a recent charity event where they had fortune cookies themed with quotes about charity and community. The one I got was “A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a young boy.” My smartass coworkers and i got a chuckle out of adding “in bed” to that.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 3:33 pm

        1. Thanks! The “in school” idea came about b/c the first time we were reading fortunes i said “oh and at the end you’re supposed to say….” but then my brother gave me the evil eye so I blabbed “in school” last second. Phew. Good save, Auntie. I don’t know why I was going to tell her “in bed.” Maybe I”m not such a good auntie after all.
        2. but it IS SO FUNNY!
        3. homemade?! that is awesome! homemade anything amazes me. except for like homemade condoms.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 3:32 pm

      *fortune cookies, not fortunate cookies, but by now i gather everyone can get the gist despite my inability to spell or type

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    • katie

      katie March 7, 2014, 7:27 am

      god AP, so last night i read all this and then we went to chinese place, and my coworker was reading his fortune and then went “in bed” and i laughed so hard but then i got freaked out, like, is he secretly a DWer?? how did he know???

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  • avatar

    bethany March 6, 2014, 9:33 am

    Just signed up for a monthly donation!

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl March 6, 2014, 9:35 am

    Ughhhhhh I forget what I changed my password to when I changed my name with PayPal and it’s being a bitch letting me in! Annoying.

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  • avatar

    SummerChat25 March 6, 2014, 9:41 am

    Just set up a recurring monthly donation. Thanks for all you do, Wendy!

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  • call-me-hobo

    call-me-hobo March 6, 2014, 9:44 am

    MONTHLY DONOR NOW!! WhoooooooOOO!

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 March 6, 2014, 9:45 am

    Did it! Recurring $5 donation. This site keeps me sane at work 🙂

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki March 6, 2014, 9:53 am

    Set up a recurring payment 🙂 Yay!

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ March 6, 2014, 10:07 am

    I’ll have to donate on payday. I loaned my mom money and I’m tapped out until then.

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  • Miel

    Miel March 6, 2014, 10:13 am

    Well, I was ok with a membership fee, but overall a recurring donation is the same, so I did it ! Hopefully you can reach your goal Wendy !

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  • avatar

    MissDre March 6, 2014, 10:15 am

    Dunzo.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue March 6, 2014, 10:49 am

    Sorry if i’m repeating something others had said but i think creating more DW themed items and having a “store” tab could help your revenue quite a lot. You have the mug, but maybe a shirt, or even a calendar (which really wouldn’t be helpful till December) with popular letters and your advice. I just think that financially it would be really beneficial and then you’re hopefully making money off your large readership.
    *
    I also second (fifth?) that you should request donations more than every 6 months. I appreciate that you don’t want to bombard us with requests, i really do; but i honestly don’t think to donate until your request and then i always do.
    *
    Just some random thoughts before i go to work. Your site and the community you have built is AMAAAAZING Wendy and i hope that it starts bringing you some financial success.

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    • katie

      katie March 6, 2014, 10:55 am

      oh god, a calandar with all the DW-isms in cute lettering on it? especially if you added in the “cuntyness begets cuntyness” or whatever from BGM recently.

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      • DesertOrigin

        DesertOrigin March 6, 2014, 9:26 pm

        Just an idea – Zazzle lets you create items quickly and easily. Wendy, you can create a DW store on Zazzle that has all the items, such as the calendar idea bouncing around. Granted, Zazzle doesn’t give you 100% of the profits so I’m not sure if it’s good for the fundraising aspect. Here’s their help section about setting up a store:

        I thought of a Zazzle store because the Blogess always adds little trinkets based off her funny blog posts and life experiences. I can’t say how profitable it is for her but, as a reader, I love it! I feel part of the community, like I had a part of her experience, because I have a trinket related to it.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 6, 2014, 10:57 am

      Remember someone had said they would do like a watercolor or letter press of DWisms? I would buy those in a heartbeat.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 6, 2014, 11:05 am

      Or the cats! Cats of DW!

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 6, 2014, 5:25 pm

        YES I WANT MY BABIES ON THE DW CALENDAR.

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      • katie

        katie March 6, 2014, 5:37 pm

        cats of DW saying the snarky DW-isms.

        ^ million dollar idea right there!

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  • rosie posie

    rosie posie March 6, 2014, 10:51 am

    Since my pay pal is linked to my credit card and I don’t like having to pay that every month, I set a reminder in my calendar to donate again 3 months from now. Just an idea if there is anyone who wants to make regular donations without having regular bills.

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  • Classic

    Classic March 6, 2014, 10:54 am

    Thank you very much, dear Wendy, for building this great site and community for all of us.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo March 6, 2014, 11:20 am

    I volunteer for an organization that provides (close to) free professional development for fundraisers. We have memberships and encourage all participants to become members, but don’t deny anyone access to anything due to not being a member. The reasoning is that those most in need of the advice may be least able to afford it, and getting them what they need strengthens the community as a whole. So while there is some inequity as to who is using the service and who is paying, it all works out and all contributes to the overall good result. I wonder if this could work for DW. I’d pay a membership fee, even though I rarely ask for any advice. I’d like to think my fee allowed some person who really needed help to come to DW. It also might be the case that you get better buy-in after people join the community, so it might be a better strategy for generating revenue to avoid excluding anyone, but to create a “member” category for those of us who wish to join. This also would not stop any of us from contributing a little more. I made a donation within the last few weeks, so i am dithering a bit about making another right now, but Wendy, you have my support and it will continue.

    Also, as a (former) professional fundraiser, i would just comment to Wendy that you should never be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for support for the good work you are doing. DW is not a charity as such, but it certainly provides a benefit that is reflected in the support you get. I say don’t hesitate to market on the strength of this community as well as the content of the pages.

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  • avatar

    Lolabeans March 6, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Hey Wendy,

    I’m sure you’ve looked into other options already, but there are tons and tons of companies that do web hosting that would be much cheaper than $12000/year.
    You could also look into cloud hosting too.
    How many visitors do you get a month? What size server are they recommending for you?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy March 7, 2014, 6:31 am

      I did get the price down to $8000, but I am still looking for a better deal. I have two DW readers who work in this field also helping me. I get a lot of traffic — over 500K page views a month, but beyond that, the forums take up a ton of memory space and that has been the biggest issue, I think.

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  • avatar

    TheGirlinME March 6, 2014, 6:14 pm

    So, because it is the EFFN WINTER FROM HELL!! (this morning it was -10) I am struggling with monthly rent/electric the way I always do, PLUS the cost of heating fuel ($1350 so far for 4months) Plus paying the plow – (I have issues with my back, so can’t shovel a foot of snow 3 times a week.) What I have left over after I put gas in my car-(did I mentioned the brakes failed on it & I got in an accident last week?) and finish paying the mechanic..(bless them, they take payments) I make sure my furkids have food. Occasionally, I frivolously spend on luxuries: food for myself & a bottle of vodka to ward off the despair. All that to say, I will donate my ass off in the late spring/early summer! DW helps keep me sane & seriously, who wouldn’t pay to “hear” the charming, wonderful, amusing wit of the fabulous AP?! To get the straight-from-the-hip remarks of Iwanna; the wonderful, open-minded, (and okay, she likes my home) LBH! The “come-correct with your manners Southern-Style” from GG & TA. Sorry for being a whiny-puss, you guys! The guilt of not being able to contribute today, just sucks. Thank-you SO, SO much Wendy! I will send in as soon as I can!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 8:09 pm

      I love TheGirlinME!

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl March 7, 2014, 8:16 am

        WAPS.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 7, 2014, 12:49 pm

        WGGS. 🙂

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  • Miss MJ

    MIss MJ March 6, 2014, 6:27 pm

    Done! Happy to contribute. And, I’ll add my support to the store idea.

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  • Imsostartled

    Imsostartled March 6, 2014, 8:04 pm

    I was just thinking of something that could be fun and raise a little money. What if you did a little auction or something? Like you could action off a hand written note to the winner, or a 15 minute phone call and some of the popular commentators could participate as well. There are loads of AP fangirls here and the like. 😀 There could also be some fun items that we could donate for the auction as well. Just a thought!

    Oh, also perhaps you could consider volunteers instead of interns? Like if there is some task that someone has experience with, you could give them a shout out and it would be project based. Not like an intern where you need to hold their hand every step of the way. I’m an engineer, so I’m not 100% sure what I could help with but if you need someone to do menial work, data entry or organize/plan something I’m your girl! I’m also unemployed at the moment so I have some free time haha.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I love it, I love it, I love it! Wendy, read Imsostartled! Whoever contributes $100 to Wendy right now can come over and help me pack tomorrow…. any takers? Anyone? Anyone? ….

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      • katie

        katie March 7, 2014, 7:25 am

        shit i did that fo free last year! i missed out! wait…l.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo March 7, 2014, 12:22 pm

      Could DWers donate prizes for the auction? Somebody’s famous jam, maybe, or maybe they could use their connections in their community to get stuff?

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl March 7, 2014, 12:25 pm

        I would totally donate a hand crafted item!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 7, 2014, 12:50 pm

        I’d donate my naked body

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      • avatar

        bethany March 7, 2014, 1:08 pm

        I wanted to downthumb that as a joke very, very badly, but I refrained 🙂

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 7, 2014, 5:57 pm

        haha thank you! 🙂

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 6, 2014, 8:36 pm

    Oh hey lookit there’s a donation drive goal meter thingy below (what do you call that?) – i love it.

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  • flamingoroom

    Mathilde March 7, 2014, 10:26 am

    I just had to recommend flattr for you! It’s a micro-donation system, but it might help those who do not regularly visit your site to quickly donate small amounts, with no hassle!

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