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April charity revealed; help us choose May!

Way back in February we asked you guys to share your favorite orgs via our Charity Suggesterator and we promised to use the results for our March donation.

Then Japan got hit with an earthquake and tsunami, so we tabled your recommendations and scrambled to donate $1,000 to Red Cross Disaster Relief, to be used wherever it is needed most. Now that it's April, we've returned to the Suggesterator and tallied the votes.

The smart masses have spoken, and thus we have chosen Autism Speaks for our $1,000 April donation. Apparently our voters could see into the future because it turns out April is National Autism Awareness month. Also: Records and Information Management Month, which is kind of fitting in a geeky way.

Autism Speaks

Founded in 1995 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism, Autism Speaks advocates the needs of the autistic and their families, increases awareness of austism spectrum disorders, and funds research into causes of and treatments for autism. If you're not the donating sort, Autism Speaks also organizes walks and events all over the US.

Let's just say that as geeks catering to geeks, we're kind of familiar with the spectrum--inside TG and outside--but in the very best of ways. Autism advocacy is a cause near and dear to our hearts so we were glad to see it get so many votes!

As for May, aka Zombie Awareness Month, we've pulled three very different top charities from the Suggesterator for a run off vote. Choose your favorite cause below by April 30th and you'll be entered to win a (randomly selected) $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate. But only vote once--the dedupe-o-bot is on patrol and will delete any double dippers.

UPDATE 5/2/11 1:24pm ET: Voting has closed! We're tabulating the winning charity now and will randomly choose our gift certificate winner shortly. We'll have an new blog post after the winners have been determined.

[ post a comment ]


meaningless icon! These are all wonderful causes, I wish I didn't have to choose just one. I chose "Kids Need to Read" because geeks need some loving too!
AddictedToGraverobber said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! Is there a way to keep suggesting charities for future months' consideration? The Charity Suggesterator seems to be labeled only for March. In case comments are the only way, I would love to suggest the Harry Potter Alliance (thehpalliance.org). They are a fantastic charity and you should check them out!
Sash1113 said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! Sash1113, the Charity Suggesterator is still open! We'll keep using the results there to get ideas, so please go ahead and add your HPA pick.
CarrieGouldin said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! I love this Temple talk, it sparked a mental shift that helped me to understand my son a little better. As he gets older I see more and more how his idiosyncrasies can be a valuable asset. Good stuff guys, keep it up!
FriedMadness said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! Its so great to see a company that's so willing to share their good fortune and asking its customer base's opinion (And being willing to pick the smaller charities).
Bean Si said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! How could you /not/ love the woman who invented something called a 'hugging machine'?
etherknight said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! Kids Need to Read is Nathan Fillion's charity. Support Captain Tight Pants!
athene said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! I already voted for Kids Need to Read, but knowing that it's Nathan Fillion's charity makes it extra-shiny.
Lothcat said this 2992 days ago.
meaningless icon! Thank you for supporting Autism Speaks! I work with autistic students and they face so many unique challenges. Thank you for helping such an amazing organization! Proud to be a Geek!
classicboo said this 2991 days ago.
meaningless icon! So when do you want the video of me ritually burning my stack of thinkgeek swag? I never thought the smart masses were so eugenicist. My favorite is decidedly the video where they talk about driving their kids off bridges (autism every day). I didn't think pseudoscience (think 'vaccines eat babies!") was ThinkGeek's bag either. Live, learn, burn Schrodinger's Cat shirt. Disappointed: When you are out of ice cream. Angry: When your favorite store donates to an organization that only spends 3% of their income on helping people and the rest on high rises, jets, and trying to prevent people like you from being born.
uvgkassi said this 2991 days ago.
meaningless icon! Why did you choose a charity that is considered to be hostile by most adults with Autism? A charity that is known as non-trustworthy by the BBB? A group that trades on fear and stigma, and does not actually assist autistic children or adults in a meaningful way? Please review your charities in the future. See: http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/autism-speaks-in-new-york-ny-1456 http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1935959,00.html http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=sdpblmeab&v=001lit4Td5f-aXwKsug-MYKR-yYfX7xFF1v16AjND6h6q7wVXHyXmaAVNdcbDEJgBY6VR2iusTDPDj9N-WsKNaxROd_a1kHcjQcYlsId5Eu0sJAq5jpqPN34jmUwG7irwnB80T_DxzjdY8yKie_EWqeB2dYBlhY4fC9OAOEYP9a5AiIlcf6tkms1WAnSPTVyRc4dkWXJHvZOghWnAYSBx_Z8P7GSXLp2Oy3uX_wEDrd65gqykjqBHWAI5o0g5ZsrY8Qp44ZUmcRNECsU2OA20ZTRI8F_hF-A49wf4HQlK9OY9fpTnI80FhCTtmrtZTJkXI7PlGYK7C6WTuAeR-bqsdSXmbul-HgicBHwM6Rpsd-CwGUvBfzs4EIl1OPNxAFkbKzfL4Ltb8I19QOWCwcZwKaF3FXpgiso3QasjkvuW1T0M4%3D&id=preview I am sending a note to customer service to remove my Think Geek account. I have seen others post online about burning your shirts. I am afraid you are no longer a vendor I can trust with my money.
Ogma said this 2991 days ago.
meaningless icon! It's great your site does donation drives, but I'd like to ask you to reconsider donating to Autism Speaks. They frequently say things that are very demeaning to those on the spectrum, one of their executives spoke openly in a video they produced about wanting to drive herself and her autistic daughter off a bridge but stopped when she remembered her neurotypical daughter at home, and they until recently had no autistics on their board. A far better choice in the future would be Autistic Self Advocacy Network. They're run by those on the spectrum and do a lot of good work.
nekusagi said this 2990 days ago.
meaningless icon! You should have asked autistics before donating to Autism Speaks. They are seeking a cure for autism, or pre-natal screening. Get it? No more Temple Grandin, no more Bill Gates, no more Andy Warhol. See beyond Autism Speaks' expensive niceguy rhetoric - they want to wipe us out. It's a league of parents embarrassed of their own children, raising money to legitimise their weakness of character by further marginalising us. They make us feel bad. If you care about making the lives of autistics better, please donate to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) or look into other charities run BY autistics FOR autistics. Autism is a vital part of geek culture and human culture. Thank you.
fraac said this 2990 days ago.
meaningless icon! As someone who's actually autistic, I would set my money on fire before I gave it to Autism Speaks. Why not pick an autism charity that actually works to help people on the autism spectrum instead of throwing all their money into BS "vaccine" studies?
antieuclid said this 2990 days ago.
meaningless icon! Antieuclid, fraac, nekusagi, ogma, and uvgkassi: Thanks for getting back to us with feedback; we really do appreciate it and definitely need it. Here's a little bit of what I wrote to Melodee just a minute ago, via email: "So this started when we set up a suggestion form for charities, and the top suggested charity was Autism Speaks. Autism is an issue that's close to us, but we weren't aware of the other side--and we didn't get this feedback until after the donation was made. We can't recall that $1,000; the donation has been processed. Since last Friday we've gotten lots of ideas for different charities working on autism issues, most notably ASAN, and we're looking into what we can do for them in the near future. And we'll definitely try to toss this out to as many as our readers, followers, and customers as we can before we donate again--you guys are the experts on this, not us, and we should have asked for feedback earlier in the process." So that's where we are right now on making sure the right groups get the right support, and that the right voices are heard. If you have suggestions on other groups (besides ASAN), or on ways of supporting those groups outside of monetary donations, please let us know. And if you have specifics that require lots of text or want to share contact information somewhere less public, please email replybot at thinkgeek.com and we'll reply that way. Sorry our donation was made without getting in touch with you guys first, and I hope you'll give us another chance!
CarrieGouldin said this 2988 days ago.
meaningless icon! Canadian Browncoat and librarian, throwing my vote for literacy and the Captain's charity of choice. Why? Because Kids Need to Read!
SadieKay said this 2988 days ago.
meaningless icon! Hey, the Zombie Bunny has become reality!!! Now...to wait for the PLAYMOBIL Apple store...
TheWordMaster said this 2987 days ago.
meaningless icon! Cool response Carrie. Now I can buy that twenty dollar Star Trek spork guilt free!
fraac said this 2987 days ago.

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