As a response to hurricane Katrina, STG called on its network of bloggers to, rather than simply making a donation to their charity of choice, challenge their readers to match the level of their donation. The idea was to create an ad-hoc matching fund for individuals who may not have had access to similar matching grants through their places of work or worship. In five days the network raised $10,000 in originating and matching donations for Katrina relief.
Susan Tom, profiled in the HBO documentary My Flesh and Blood, is a single mother in Fairfield, California. Shis is also the mother of 13 children, 11 of whom she has adopted, many of whom suffer from handicaps and diseases. The concept for Strengthen The Good was born when the The Command Post blog profiled Susan and her family in response to the murder of Nick Berg. The result: The blogosphere raised $15,000 for her family education trust in just three days. For the good things happen to good people file: In late 2005 Susan’s family received a new home courtesy ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Our first profile after launching the site, Strengthen The Good raised awareness for The Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund’s Board of Directors was matching donations up to $100,000 for victims of Charley, with “100% of the donations [being] directed to the agencies providing the services required to sustain and improve life for the victims.”
Tracy Woodall lost her husband, Brent, in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. Rather than be lost in her grief, she fufilled a dream she and Brent had to launch a foundation for autistic children. The Brent Woodall Foundation for Exceptional Children aims to help the youngest children suffering from autism, but with an intelligent twist: in addition to working directly with autistic children, the foundation also trains the parents of foundation children in how to better care for their children once the foundation counselors have left.
Debi Faris is the founder of Garden of Angels, a charity that works to provide names and legal, honorable burials for abandoned newborns. She and her charity have provided the dignity of a proper burial to many dozens of infants, and she was instrumental in the passage of California’s Safe Arms for Newborns Law. For the good things happen to good people file: In late 2004 Debi won the California Lottery to the tune of $27 million.
Douglas Dart, a Minneapolis high-school teacher, spent a year without pay teaching English and American Studies to Slovakian high school students at The C.S. Lewis Bilingual Gymnaziumin. The school sits in the center of a former Soviet-era apartment complex in Bratislava’s Petrzalka district, and is short on supplies if long on enthusiasm. The school was particularly short on texts in English, and the Strengthen The Good network rallied to build a several-hundred-volume permanent English-language library for the school.