Season of Sharing - Fall 2010 Fundraiser
Old timers on the site know my that my day job is working on the internet fundraising team at Mercy Corps , a humanitarian aid agency based in Portland, Oregon. It is a tremendously rewarding place to work but also quite demanding, particularly during disasters. This year, sadly, was full of disasters, most notably the earthquake in Haiti and the terrible floods in Pakistan.
In past years, when TFL members have asked how they can support or show thanks for TFL I've suggested they make a donation to Mercy Corps. TFL members have been extremely supportive. As well as the generous donations community members made one tool that I built for Mercy Corps that was tested by TFL members  ended up become a major component in our fundraising for Haiti, raising over $1 million dollars for Haiti Earthquake relief. It was even featured in the NY Times . That kind of success would not have been possible without the feedback I got from TFL members.
This year I've been so busy at work that my involvement on TFL has been sharply curtailed. Dstroy, EHanner, and other community members have helped keep the spammers in check, but lack of investment in development here is entirely my fault. Trust me, I'm aware that TFL is showing its age: the list of improvements I'd like to make here goes down to my knees. But I hope you'll understand that when given the choice between spending a couple of hours investigating a weird browser bug that effects 2% of people who visit TFL and helping design an email that'll raise enough money to provide a thousand sanitation kits to Haitians living in camps trying to avoid cholera, TFL does not win. I love this community and share your frustration with some of the quirks of the software here, but they seem like such "First World Problems " compared to what so many people are going through in Haiti, Pakistan, Sudan or the other countries my colleagues work in .
I was not going to hold a fundraiser this year, in part because I have not felt like my service to the TFL community has been good enough to ask for a "tip." But one community member just made a donation through last year's fundraising page  (thank you, Debra), which convinced me that there is at least some demand for this, so if you are looking for a way to say "Thank you" to The Fresh Loaf or just would like to help the lives of others less fortunate than yourself, consider making a donation to Mercy Corps . Your money will be put to good use.
If you are unfamiliar with Mercy Corps or want to learn more about what we do, this video that my colleagues Cassandra Nelson put together does a good job of capturing what we're about: not just disaster relief but making long-term infrastructure, economic, educational improvements in the countries we work in that we hope will last long after the disaster is over.
Regardless of whether you donate or not, thank you to The Fresh Loaf community for continuing to make this an extremely rewarding site to support.