“It’s the Most Wonderful Time … of the Year”.  Surely we all have our own reasons for enjoying the holiday season, whether it is gathering with family, recalling special memories, shopping for that perfect gift, enjoying the first snowfall or just the traditions that come with the holiday you celebrate.  I enjoy spending time with my kids, playing in the snow, seeing them discover the Nutcracker ballet or lighting up at that special present.  I hope that one day, they look back and reminisce about the time we spent and the things we discovered together.

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However, due to financial reasons because of today’s economy, or the hardship of a medical condition, there are children out there who won’t be able to have these special memories to hold on to.  That’s why this year, I’ll be donating to two special charities that I think give children something to hang their hopes on.

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The Challenge

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I need your help though!  I’m going to go beyond my usual charitable contributions, and I want you, the buyer, to help me decide the amount that goes to these two causes.  So, here’s what I am going to do.  For every piece of content licensed from my iStockphoto.com stock portfolio between 12/1/2009 and 12/15/2009, I will put $.10 into the money pot to be divided up. So, the more content I license during these two weeks, the more will be donated to these charities.  Now, lately, I’ve been licensing more than 500 pieces a day from my portfolio, so we are not talking pocket change here.  I thought this would be a fun way to get some excitement and interest going about these causes, both of which, I feel, are very beneficial to children across the United States.

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The Causes

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Toys For Tots

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I can’t imagine awakening on Christmas, or lighting the Hanukkah candles, and not finding at least one gift to open.  In my mind that would be devastating to a child.  So, the first child related charity to get half of the contribution raised will be the US Marine sponsored Toys For Tots campaign.  Their mission is to distribute gifts to underpriviledged children.  Also, their website states that $.97 of every dollar goes to program services, and only $.03 is spent on overhead.  That sounds pretty good to me.

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Over the 62 years of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.  This charitable endeavor has made U. S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas.  Over its 18 year life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 81.3 million toys valued at more than $487 million; plus has provided promotion and support materials valued at over $6.3 million.

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That’s a pretty impressive track record.  Imagine the smiles the program has created.

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Give Kids the World

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I have personally witnessed the results of the other foundation’s efforts.  While working in the parks at Walt Disney World, we often times spied a certain button on a child and made sure we went out of our way to put some extra sparkle in that family’s day.  That button came from Give Kids The World .  This non-profit organization brings magical experiences to children with life threating illnesses and memories to their families.

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Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need.

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Their facilities are truly magical, and can be seen here: http://www.gktw.org/aboutUs.asp?a=1&page=scrapbook .  I have never read anything bad about Give Kids The World, and can’t imagine a better cause that serves children from across the nation, year round.

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Conclusion

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I hope you’ll help me help these kids out during these two weeks by licensing content from my portfolio.  I’m providing some holiday related links below:

Search on “Christmas” | Search on “Hanukkah” | Search on “Holiday” | Search on “2010” | Search on “Christmas Tree”

Join me on 12/16, here on my blog, for the tally board total, and scans of the checks going to these worthy causes.

Also, possibly, a gift for you.  If you retweet the line down below on twitter, you’ll be entered into a contest drawing for 50 free iStockphoto.com credits (one entry per username).   If you aren’t already a member of iStockphoto.com, the #1 internet site for royalty free stock images, I’ll help you set up a new account with 10 free credits, and then the 50 on top of that.  Then, you’ve got 6 million pieces of content to choose from to create whatever your imagination can come up with.

RT @sjlocke to donate $.10 per download 12/1-12/15 from his #istockphoto content: http://bit.ly/sjlocke4kids . RT for 50 IS credits contest!

Thank you for your support, and I can’t wait to see what we end up with…

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6 Responses to Help Me Help The Kids

  1. Nicole says:

    Really, really cool, Sean. 🙂

  2. ran says:

    Great, I love it when people make a positive contribution!

  3. chris says:

    That’s a great thing you doing Sean. Good-luck and happy holidays to all the needed kids out there.

  4. remsan says:

    wonderful thoughts sean, i am sure that a lot of people including me appreciate your gesture.

  5. George Doyle says:

    Fair play Sean. Hopefully you will be an example for others: RESPECT

  6. JonoGee says:

    Living God!
    Muchos Respectos!!

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