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Who Will Join Me?: The damage from Katrina is just off the charts, and the relief efforts are going to take months and years and will require tremendous resources. Who will match me in giving to the relief efforts?

  If I can find between one and five VC readers who will agree to match me dollar for dollar, I'll give $200 to the relief efforts today. If I can find between 6 and 10 people who will match me, I'll up my donation to $400. If I can find 11-15 people, I'll give $600; 16-20 people, I'll raise the donation to $800; and if I can find more than 20 VC readers will match me dollar for dollar, I'll give $1,000.

  If you're a VC reader and you want to match me, your donation will be anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on how many VC readers agree to join us. So who is in? If you are, either leave a comment or send me an e-mail at orinkerr (at) yahoo.com so I can get a head count and know how much to give.
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Clarifying My Post on Helping the Relief Efforts: My apologies for the lack of clarity in my initial post about helping the relief efforts. Three points to clarify:

  1) While I think it's great that lots of people are willing to give $200, and I urge you to do so, what I am really looking for is readers who are willing to give an amount up to $1,000, depending on how many readers are participating. That is, each of us will give $200 if there are six or fewer of us (counting myself); we'll each give $400 if there are between seven and eleven of us, etc.; $600 if there are twelve to sixteen; $800 if there are seventeen to twenty one; and $1,000 each if we can get more than twenty-one of us to give. How much we're each going to give depends on how many of us are participating.

  2) If a gift of this size is beyond your reach, feel free to find friends and pool together funds. For example, if you're a law student and find 9 friends to join in and divide your gift evenly, you'll be committing to give anywhere from $20 to $100. When you have your group together, just let me know by leaving a comment or by e-mail.

  3)Each of us will be responsible for giving on our own to the Katrina-related charity of our choice.

  Also, thanks to the handful of people who have already agreed to participate. It's much appreciated.
Up to $400: Eight VC readers (or pooled groups of readers) have now agreed to match, so the donation amount has been bumped from $200 to $400. Who else is in? Given that the VC gets about 1,000 visits per hour, many by high-income professionals, I can't believe that there are only a handful of people willing to join in. Two more pledges and we'll bump up to $600 each.
Up to $600: We're up to ten matching participants now, so that means we're each in for $600 at this point. Who wants to push us to $800?
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Almost at $800: If my count is correct, we're now at 14 matchers (some of them pooled efforts, which is great). One more match will push us to $800. And more importantly, we only need 6 more to get to $1,000 each, for a total of $20,000.

  I know a lot of VC readers are law firm associates and partners who are pulling in the big bucks. A few have donated already, but I'd say that the percentage of current matchers coming from megafirm lawyers is much lower than it should be. Does anyone want to step up and correct that? Plus, if we get six more matches I promise to stop annoying you with repeated posts.
Only Two More to Go: I am delighted to say that 18 VC readers (or, in some cases, pooled groups of readers) have committed to match my donation. I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to find at least two more generous readers who can help push us over the top to each give $1,000. Many thanks to those who are participating already, and thanks in advance to those who plan to join in soon.
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$26,000 For the Hurricane Relief Efforts: Great news — twenty-five members and groups of the VC community have pledged to match my donation to the hurricane relief efforts. That means that each of us will be giving $1,000 to the charity of our choice that is helping with the relief efforts, for a total of $26,000. I'll be making my donation to the Red Cross shortly.

  Our effort obviously is just a molecule in a drop in the bucket for a tragedy of this size, but at least it's a start. My personal thanks to everyone who has participated. And if you're a VC reader and are interested in matching with a $1,000 donation of your own, please let me know; it would be great if our $26,000 start continues to grow.
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Katrina Relief Challenge Update: News of more $1,000 donations keep coming in; by my count, we're now at 32 donations for a total of $32,000 in relief. A number of the donations are group efforts, too. Thanks again to everyone who is participating.
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Did Orin Inspire Warrick?

Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn has challenged every NFL player on every team except for the New Orleans Saints to donate $5,000 to hurricane relief efforts. Speaking on ESPN, he said Atlanta Falcons players alone will contribute at least $260,000. (The NFL itself has pledged $1 million.) This isn't enough to make me a Falcons fan, but it impressed me as a commendable and noble commitment.

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$40,000: We're now at $40,000 in donations among VC readers, and news of additional $1,000 donations keeps coming in to my inbox. Thanks again to everyone who is participating!