January 3, 2005

The Big Idea

In the last week and a half, we've all seen the need for and power in raising money online. As the death toll in the areas surrounding the Indian Ocean continues to rise past 150,000 - a number almost impossible for me to fathom - donations from countries around the world continue to rise as well. But there are still very real and very immediate needs.

Over the weekend (and with some help and suggestions from Beth and Alektra), I did some design work and set up a new Cafe Press store. There, you'll find shirts, mugs - all sorts of swag. Where do you come in? That's easy - buy something. Here's how it works:

- Cafe Press sets base prices. Store "owners" like me increase the prices of each item over the base price in order to make a profit.

- When an item is purchased, all proceeds over base price will be donated to charity. This means that I will pocket no money whatsoever.

- Both the designs of items in the store and charities to which the proceeds will be donated will rotate on a regular basis.

- In order to ensure sensitivity to all beliefs/persuasions/ideologies, charities chosen will be non-religious and will not represent any potentially "controversial" causes (for example, I wouldn't dream of giving cash to Communists for Full Frontal Lobotomies...but I would consider giving to nation-wide homelessness or HIV/AIDS charities). Your recommendations are always welcome.

- Following each donation, I will happily furnish a copy of my Cafe Press invoice as well as a copy of the check sent to charity to those concerned about the allocation of money. Remember, I'm not pocketing a cent. I've got a nice, happy life filled with everything I could possibly want.

My hope from all this is that I can write some fairly large checks on a very regular basis. In order to make that happen, I need everyone's cooperation. Not just in buying stuff but in spreading the word. If you think its worthwhile, please let some other folks know. As cheesy as it may sound, this isn't about me making a difference...its about us making one. And we can.

Now go, visit the store: www.cafepress.com/rudecactus

Posted by Chris at January 3, 2005 10:21 AM

Wow! Awesome idea! There is a special place in heaven for folks like you, or wherever your little heart desires....
I am going to place a link on my site, and I swear to you that as soon as I begin bringing in a paycheck again in order to change my standing bank balance from it's consistant as of lately "zero", I will purchase items. Right now, my payment would bounce......

Posted by: Jade at January 3, 2005 11:17 AM

Ok, love the idea, but how about we come up with something a little more wearable? I don't think I can wear a t-shirt that says Asshats... I am just not that cool.

Posted by: goodsnake at January 3, 2005 11:25 AM

There's just something extra-special about a "Zero Tolerance for Asshats" thong.

Posted by: Heather at January 3, 2005 11:58 AM

Hi Chris, Great Idea!

I am anxiously waiting for my AssHat Messenger Bag. One question...when I am asked, althought I know what an AssHat is in context..what is the 'history' of the word. Will it soon be in the Oxford English Dictionary??

BTW. Have you read the "The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary"? Excellent read!

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Dave at January 3, 2005 12:03 PM

What a great idea!
And I know that there will be many RC followers that will be thrilled with the phrase. After all, they requested it be printed on a t-shirt and you've fulfilled their dreams. And you're helping us help the world at the same time. Brilliant!

Posted by: Kitty at January 3, 2005 12:07 PM

I think that is an absolutely *wonderful* idea, and I think that you are an awesome person for doing this... :)

Now if I only had a cent to give. :x

Posted by: SG at January 3, 2005 12:24 PM

That's a great idea, you may want to check out blogaid.org.uk too, I set up GoogleAds to do that campaign.

Posted by: Carla at January 3, 2005 12:26 PM

Loving it.

I think it needs a baby shirt. ;)

Posted by: Stacey at January 3, 2005 1:22 PM

Hey great idea!!! I'm gonna go visit the store, not now as I'm broke but at the end of the week when I'm not broke anymore :-) And I think I want an asshat shirt, as I had one on my blog LOL

Posted by: Nina at January 3, 2005 1:28 PM

Rude Cactus: 100% free of Asshattery!

There's also http://musicforrelief.com/ -- being a audiophile, I thought maybe you'd be interested?

Posted by: bmh at January 3, 2005 1:42 PM

Love it! Just bought a Zero Tolerance shirt for the boyfriend. He works for one of those '90's dot coms where he can get away with an asshat t-shirt. This is a great idea...way to go, Chris!

Posted by: Heather at January 3, 2005 1:50 PM

Wonderful idea! You and Beth are just awesome people. Since I have 6 kids and only one income, doubtful I'll be able to afford to buy anything, but this is just awesome of you!

Posted by: Lori at January 3, 2005 5:32 PM

Aren't you just a gem!?! It's so much more rewarding for all involved to actually get out there and do something with your own two hands, rather than just pick up the phone to donate money. Unfortunately, most of us don't, which is what makes you a gem! :) Keep it up Chris!

Posted by: Anakalia at January 3, 2005 6:19 PM

Thanks for the props. :)

And wow! Nice store.

Posted by: alektra at January 3, 2005 9:40 PM

Cactus, I think this is a truly awesome undertaking on your part. I love the idea, as well as the design. My request: are you able to choose, or put your design, on any t-shirt color other than white? Like my personal favorite, black? (White t's? Boooooo!)

If you could pull such a feat, I will totally purchase one. Not only that, I would post a picture of me on my site, wearing it, and link to your store. A cute blond in a black t-shirt? How's that for advertising? :)

Oh, and going back to Goodsnake's comment that I just went back and read: how about just putting "Rude Cactus" on the front, or some other related slogan? I like the idea of someone asking me, "What the hell is a rude cactus?"

Options! We need options! :)

Posted by: Zandria at January 3, 2005 11:47 PM

I so very much cannot afford it right now. I'm not just saying that. I gave $50 through UNICEF and now am a little short on funds, especially since we just bought a house. I wish I could give everything I own, but then I wouldn't own anything, you know?

And I know that's selfish, but I have to pay my rent and my bills.

So, I'll try to give more soon. And I do think this is a fabulous idea. I especially love the Zero Tolerance shirts, so will certainly try to get back here to buy one very soon.

Posted by: DeAnn at January 4, 2005 12:48 AM

Count me in: linked up and buying.

Posted by: Retro Girl at January 4, 2005 8:08 AM

I am SO getting my shirts! I think the thong is hilarious but don't think I'll be able to squeeze my backside into one. I may even get a mug for my coffee at work!

Posted by: zanie at January 4, 2005 3:27 PM

I am behind in my reading...but I wandered over and bought some! Great idea!!!! : ) You rock!

Posted by: Gypsy at January 5, 2005 11:02 PM