Palms by echoe69
  • heidi8

Lightning Round 2: V-Gift Boogaloo Update

ETA on Monday, February 1: Lightning Round II: V-Gift Boogaloo is closed to new offers. As of Thursday, February 4, all poss to this comm will be screened.

Thanks so much to everyone who's offered something nifty in the current Lightning Round, and all those making pledges!

Even though LJ's V-Gift-a-Thon ends at 7PM Eastern Standard Time - that's about eight hours from now - we are going to leave the Lightning Round open for new offers through the end of the day on Sunday, Pacific Standard Time, since you can donate via LJ's Help_Haiti v-gift, or by a direct donation to any of the charities listed in this post.

We're also working on an alpha-test (it's not quite in beta yet) of a searchable database (by fandom/celeb name) and we'd love your feedback, so give it a try and let us know your thoughts.

And there's a new colelction for fics created in Lightning Round 2 over at An Archive of Our Own - it's empty now, so please fill it up! If you need an account at AOOO, ask thefannishwaldo a she has some to give.

We'll be posting on Monday about (a) date possibilities for the next full auction,(b) what to do if you won an item and the Offeror hasn't contacted you yet, or you offered something and the winning bidder hasn't contacted you, and (c) a new V-Gift thingy.

Again, thanks so much to all of you for all you've done to help Haiti.
gelgems circles, gelgems purple
  • heidi8

Lightning Round II: V-Gift Boogaloo

Two weeks ago, we raised nearly $7,000 in our first help_haiti Lightning Round - thank you so much to everyone who offered creative works, and everyone who donated.

We're going to do this Lightning Round very similarly - but there is one significant difference.

It would be ideal for donations to be made in V-Gifts!

Why? Because as of 4 PM today Pacific Standard Time, through Saturday, January 30th, 3:59pm, PST, LiveJournal has pledged to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from all vgift sales to CARE and UNICEF (we'll cover the credit card processing fees). And, remember, for each $10 you receive in vgifts during a two-week period, you'll get two months of paid account time.

Any V-Gift you send - whether to the Offeror, help_haiti or someone else - means that 100% of the amount you've spent on the V-Gift goes to UNICEF and CARE.

Yes, many of the v-gifts are $_.99 - for the sake of everyone's sanity, we are going to consider everything above X dollars and fifty cents to be rounded up to the next dollar.

(Just a side-note - you can also use V-Gifts throughout the V-Gift-a-Thon as a way to pay off any still-outstanding pledge from the regular auction; remember that pledges need to be paid and confirmed by February 5. Over 1700 bids have been confirmed so far!]

How does the Lightning Round work?

If you want to create drabbles or drawbles for the first X number of people who donate Y dollars (or the equivalent of your choice, directly to a charity or via V-Gifts) to one of the entities listed here, this is the place to offer your creativity!

How to Offer
Please list the type of item and fandom (if relevant) in the Subject to your post.

Paste the following into the Comment window and fill in the non-optional spaces.

Here's an example:

User Name: Fandomy Person
Email address: myname at gmail dot com
You can see things I've created at: Link to my personal LJ comm which has all my stuff at it
I am offering: Ficlets of approximately 100 words
Fandoms: Doctor Who, The Magicians, Tomorrow People, Spider Man (recent films), Sherlock Holmes (current movie), Avatar (the Cameron film, not the cartoon)
Additional Info (optional): If you ask for Doctor Who, I can only write New Who fics; interspecies fic is ok, especially in Avatar, but not in Holmes.
Number of Items Offered/Donation Minimum: Offering 5 drabbles/$3 minimum

How can I confirm a donation?

It worked remarkably well last time, so again, it is going to be up to the person making the offer to decide how he or she wants to confirm that the "donation minimum" has been, er, donated. If someone donates directly to a charity, the donor should forward to the Offeror a screencap with their address and portions of their name (such as everything but the first letter of their first and last name) blocked out, or forward a redacted version of their donation-confirming email, or a photo of the confirming text message; if someone donates in the form of V-Gifts , they can either send the v-gifts to the Offeror, or send the Offeror a link to the profile page of the person who you sent the V-Gifts to.

You said something earlier this week about donating anonymously. How can I do this?

Anon commenting will be turned on in this comm through January 31. If you want to pledge a donation anonymously in exchange for something offered, here's how you do it (with thanks to hh_kink for coming up with the how-to:

1. Go to the virtual gift store.
2. Click the "ADD" button over the Help Haiti V-gift (the giant red heart).
3. Enter either the Offeror's LJ username or help_haiti in the "To" field; we can't track things otherwise.
4. In the comment box, link to the thread for which you are donating. You must do this for each individual V-gift, even if you are donating multiple gifts for the same thing.
NB: If your thread url does not contain the string "?thread=(number)#t(number)" then you have the wrong url and we will not be able to match your donation. Go back to the thread for your prompt & click "THREAD" or "LINK" on the first comment. Copy that url. Then paste it into the browser.
5. Check 'send anonymously' (or not, if you prefer!)
6. If you send the V-Gift to the help_haiti comm, within 24 hours of the mods receiving notification of the V-gift, we will post a reply to the Offeror to let him or her know.

To make searching for offers easier, we're about to launch a nifty database, and you can also utilize the wonderfully tagged lists, too!

As always, Let us know here if you have any questions - or if you've made any icons or banners that say "Help_Haiti" and "Lightning Round 2: V-Gift Boogaloo"! Please do not post any questions as comments to this post.
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

A few days on, we have an update!

Do you want to know the total for confirmed donations?

Will you forgive me for using sparkly text in the post this time? -

That's 73,680 in confirmed donations, as of about midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 26, 2010. We added the $7000 confirmed from the first Lightning Round, $1500 donated by an anon via our UNICEF page and the $65,180 confirmed in the Donation Confirmation Station.

It does not include any sums confirmed via email to the Comm Mods - we are entering that information into our spreadsheet, and we will know that total on February 5, which is the last day for winning bidders to confirm their donations to their Offeror or the Comm Mods (or they'll get a You Defaulted letter from us). We know that the total of those confirmations is thousands of dollars, but it's hard to determine at this stage if there's any overlap.

But that means that there's still about $30,000 in donations that're still outstanding. Don't worry yet if you haven't made your donation - we know there are people waiting for paydays this week, and some of us haven't had time yet - I have to get confirmations out to two of the Offerors regarding items I won - promise to do it today! Just remember that you need to notify your Offeror or the Comm Mods by February 5.

What's Up With the Next Lightning Round?

It starts on Thursday!

It will use a format/template that's very similar to the one we used before.

Winners are enouraged to donate in the form of V-Gifts to take advantage of LJ's V-Gift Donation-a-Thon, where 100% of the proceeds from the sale of V-Gifts (as explained on news) will go to UNICEF and CARE - LJ is even underwriting the credit card/paypal fees. Plus, for every $10 of V-Gifts you receive in a two week period, LJ will give you two months of paid time - a nice little thank-you for every V-Gift recipient.

We've figured out a way for V-Gifts to be sent anonymously!

What else can I do to share in the amazing community spirit that's come out of this Comm and others like it?

Join helped_haiti! We're putting up a friending meme, and there's a poll on how the community wants people to share the amazing fic, art, graphics, vids, baskets, crafts and more that they've created in/for help_haiti.

Add your fic to the help_haiti collection at An Archive Of Our Own

Visit hh_kink, who have probably one of the most brilliant taglines: With great porn comes great responsibility. They've set up an anon kink meme-style system, with all donations via LJ's Help Haiti V-Gift, and yes, they're the ones who figured out how to send V-Gifts as payment, anonymously.

One question: We've been asked to find a US-based charity that already has started work on an action plan to help with rebuilding schools - and restocking them with books for students. It needs to be well-rated (4*, ideally) on CharityNavigator, and it must be a 501(c)(3) with a low portion of its donations going to administrative costs. You can email us at helphaiti.lj at or just post a comment here if there's a charity you want to recommend, or that you think we should look into.
Mister President
  • heidi8

Drive-by note to US taxpayers

Our government may not be matching donations like Canada's is, but they are doing something to support US taxpayers who are donating to help Haiti:

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions

In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.

From the White House's blog
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

Amazing + What You Can Do Next Week + LR Update

We've added the numbers. We've checked them all twice.

Not quite half of the pledges have been confirmed yet, and we still have a few more pages to check through in the Lightning Round, but at this point, we can state that over $50,000 has already been donated to various relief organizations to help Haiti rebuild.

And if all the pledges are kept and the sums donated, help_haiti will have raised nearly $115,000.00.

Nearly one hundred and fifteen thousand dollars.

I want to use sparkly text and fireworks and a very large font, but for the sake of decorum, I won't. You can in the comments section, though!

And that doesn't even include the "on the side" donations that so many of us have done in thanks for the wonderful Offerors who've gone above and beyond their offer to write additional stories, create additional art, bake extra cookies, etc. Nor does it include all the rounding up people are doing - donating ten when their total was seven, or a hundred dollars when their total was eighty eight bucks.

As of now, there are 40 pages of confirmed donations - the sum of the confirmed donations is $43142.82.

As of now, the total confirmed as donated from the Lightning Round is just about $7,000.

Yes, that is over fifty thousand dollars in confirmed donations - plus we know at least three thousand additional dollars have been donated through people rounding up and our wonderful Anon who donated $1500 to UNICEF.

We haven't tallied the totals from the Requests yet, but we are sure they will be lovely, glorious and spectacular.

Where do we go from here

Sometimes you have to quote "Once More With Feeling".

We are going to close the Lightning Round late in the day on Sunday. We'll set it so posts going forward are screened, which will allow Offerors and Bidders to communicate, but will block people from adding new offers.

We had been planning on waiting until February to do another Lightning Round, but LiveJournal's Help Haiti V-Gift Drive next week seems to call our for drabbles and drawbles. So from Thursday, January 28th through Saturday, January 30th, we'll have a whirlwind Lightning Round, and we'll encourage you to make your donations in the form of v-gifts to your friends.

The Requests thread will stay open until February 1, and then all future posts will be screened as well. We will set up a new Requests thread when the next full auction goes live.

And yes, we will have another full auction - it will start sometime in February but the exact dates are still to be determined, in part because the mods - especially the amazing team members who stayed up into the wee hours notifying winning bidders and offerors - need to bank their sleep.

Plus, we have to finish confirming donations. Remember, you can send your confirmation to the Offeror, or the Mods, or both - but when you do, please include the URL for the item that you won. If you've already sent in your confirmation, we will let the Offeror know by tomorrow evening (EST). Going forward, expect the turnaround to be about 24 hours.

If you're looking for another way to donate this weekend, check out the amazing pan-fandom telethon that's being hosted by the HP Alliance. Rooted in the Harry Potter community, and representing many fan communities (including Heroes, Lost, True Blood, The Wire and Firefly), this group of podcasters, musicians, artists and activists will put on a four-hour show that includes entertainment, performance, interviews, news and a lot more. We will laugh, talk and listen while we raise money for Partners in Health, an organization helping those hardest hit by the tragedy.Help Haiti Heal logo

If you donate to Partners in Health via the telethon or through the evening of January 30, you'll be eligible for one of the thank-you gifts donated by amazing people like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, the cast of The Guild and even J.K. Rowling, who donated a signed set of the Harry Potter books. Visit the site for more information about the fundraiser.

I'll be one of the hosts for the second hour - probably starting at about 3:30 PM EST - and I'm going to talk about help_haiti . I'd love to be able to quote some of you who've participated as Offerors, bidders (even if you didn't win!), supporters, pluggers, etc. If there's something you'd like me to read during my show, please post it as a comment. I'm still trying to figure out a way to include audio clips, so please keep an eye on the comm if you're interested in contributing that way.

Speaking of contributing - special thanks and love to djinnj , drvsilla , glendaglamazon , jiggery_pokery , jlh , memphis86 , musikologie , oulangi , rane_ab , meggitymeg , stinaleigh and tresa_cho for their amazing work in notifying Offerors and Winning Bidders - you've probably seen at least one of their names in your in-box this week. Collectively, they worked around the clock, dealing with the LJ captcha system, our Google Spreadsheet of D00M and various quantities of caffeine, and I doff my cap to each of them.
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

Where are we now?

The Mods are still plowing through the winning bids, and notifying winners and Offerors - we had over 3000 Offers, so it's taking a little longer than we had originally expected when we started work on this last week.

Thanks so much to everyone who's confirming their donations - at this point, the mathamagicians who've been adding up the pages at the Donation Confirmation Station tell us that we have about $25,000 in confirmed donations to date, and that's not even including the amount confirmed in the Lightning Round, which is now somewhere north of $5,000 (we need to add it up again).

Since that only covers about 1/4 of the total donations we expect and hope for, we are wondering if the total could possibly hit six figures, once the various matching funds from people's offices, colleges and countries are factored in.

We've also learned that Starbucks in the UK is reportedly taking donations in cash in their shops around the country- if you donate that way, you can confirm that you've donated using the proess here.

Just a reminder - if you email the mods at helphaiti.lj [at] with your donation confirmation, please include the URL for the item(s) you bid on and put CONFIRMATION in the subject, to save us a few steps in notifying the Offeror.

ETA: news included a report on help_haiti - and made an announcement that will impact the donation process here:
We were so inspired by your compassion that we've decided to run a two-day charitable vgift drive. Beginning next week, from Thursday, January 28th, 4pm, through Saturday, January 30th, 3:59pm, PST, we'll donate 100 percent of the proceeds from all vgift sales to CARE and UNICEF (we'll cover the credit card processing fees). And, remember, for each $10 you receive in vgifts during a two-week period, you'll get two months of paid account time. For more info, read this FAQ.

Thank you, LiveJournal, for all your support of this comm - it's greatly appreciated, and will make a significant difference!

If you're interested in doing more to support Haitian recovery and rebuilding this weekend, there's two telethons to keep your eye on:

1. Helping Haiti Heal. It started out among Harry Potter fandomers, but it's grown to include podcasts and sites from fandoms like Heroes, Lost, True Blood, The Wire and Firefly.

Help spread the word by Tweeting the following:

We're Helping Haiti Heal - learn about a huge fandom event happening Sat. from 2pm to 6pm ET! #hhh

2. George Clooney and Wyclef Jean are hosting a telethon that will air globally tomorrow night. Among the performers are Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Dave matthews, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna and Shakira.

The two-hour program will air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT on Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The special will also air on PBS, TNT, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, E! Entertainment Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, Centric, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, Epix, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health and Planet Green, as well as Canada's CTV, CBC Television, Global Television and MuchMusic. It will also air internationally on BET International, CNN International, National Geographic and MTV Networks International, as well as Mtv China. Performances will be downloadable the next day on iTunes around the world.

Donations will directly benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF, Wyclef's Yele Haiti Foundation and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme; proceeds will be split evenly among each organization's individual Haiti relief funds, according to an Mtv release.

If you know of anything else going on online this weekend or next week to support the rebuilding and recovery in Haiti, let us know!
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

It's been a long day!

Over $8000 has been donated to our UNICEF page thus far!

We've had over 300 Offerors confirm donations!

And, um, we're only about half done notifying winning bidders. It's taking a while, but we want to do it right, so thank you all for your patience! It does save us time when (a) the Offerors notify the winners and (b) the Winning Bidders include the URL for the offer they won in their confirming email (but it's still workable if you didn't, because we have a wonderful Spreadsheet of Doom - don't send it twice, please).

If someone is able to go through this post and tally up the dollar figure for confirmed donations and post it here, that would be terrific. If you're going to do it, claim it there - or divide the pages up amongst a few people - and then do a separate reply with the total, and the username of the last person whose confirmation is included in said total.

Again, thanks so much to all of you, especially the amazing Notification Team!

ETA at 7AM on Thursday, January 21: Thanks to our Confirmation Tabulators, we now know that over $15,000 in donations have been confirmed by Offerors - and that doesn't include the $1,500 donated by our lovely anon to UNICEF or the donations confirmed by the Mods.
they call me a cock-eyed optimist

Notifications still in progress...

We're still going through posts and commenting to auction winners (and probably will for hours yet), but two posts are done, and we'd like to update you all. Thanks to your generosity on the Audio and Food posts alone, we've raised over $7,600. That's astounding. You all are astounding.

As donations are starting to trickle in, a note: if you are sending your donation confirmation to the mods, please send it to: Also, if you PM one of the mods, please make sure you can receive PMs, or you won't get our answer!
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_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

Just getting started....

We're barely one twentieth done with the confirmations - although that's not including the confirmations that Offerors have posted, which looks like over 100 more validations - but I'm thrilled to note that the first 35 Confirmed Donations total over $1500 in donations. Also, our UNICEF page is now well over $3000 (yes, there is some overlap). And we have two dozen Help Haiti v-gifts here at our comm already - and thanks to those who've donated paid time for the comm!

Offerors, please confirm the winning bid(s) following the instructions here, as it will speed the process for everyone.
_Help Haiti, Help Haiti
  • heidi8

The auction is closed to new bids.

We have screened all comments in the community. We will be opening the non-auction posts to comments shortly, and will begin to notify winning bidders within the hour.

But really?

You are all winners - the Offerors, Bidders, Pluggers, Cheer Squad, Betas - everyone who helped make this community what it has become.

More info about ongoing fandom efforts to help rebuild Haiti will be coming soon.

For now...

Thank you from the help_haiti Mods.