Time is running out to place bids on the more than 200 wonderful prizes being offered by Menu For Hope! Just today and tomorrow offer us the chance to see a skyrocketing of fundraising efforts for Lesotho's schoolchildren and local farmers. Helping kids have a good lunch, grown by farmers in their own country, will benefit the local economy and ecosystems as well as simply providing food where it's needed and helping young people to stay in school.
And, of course, there are all those mouth-watering prizes. I am naturally just a tiny bit partial to the prize I'm offering -- dinner for four at NYC's famed Union Square Cafe (prize code UE23). There's something sort of wonderful about a dinner for four. It's the opportunity to play host, to take loved ones out for a delightful meal. I can't wait to see who wins this -- and to ship them their special gift card!
But there are so many other delectable prize options. True confession -- I haven't placed my tickets yet, either. I've been waffling, so to speak, because there are so many delicious possibilities. Right now I'm feeling sort of pulled by some prizes that could lure us out to the Bay Area -- a dinner party cooked by Brett of In Praise of Sardines, whose new restaurant is called Contigo, meaning "with you." Brett's prize (UW10) is called Contigo Conmigo (with you, with me), since he's offering to cook dinner for you and SEVEN of your friends in his home. Mmmmm. Or the tea that Sam of Becks & Posh is offering (UW32) which comes with jam from the true empress of conserves and marmalades, June Taylor. A proper tea is one of my favorite meals, and whether Sam sends you a box filled with tea-time delights, or the prize earns $2,500 in bids -- at which point Sam and June will actually make a full-scale tea-party for the winner and guests -- it's all going to be sumptuous, I'm sure.
One of the things that's so special about Menu For Hope is that it's a bit more of an equal-opportunity offering than your normal charity silent-auction, for example. I find that I need to keep explaining to people that it's a raffle rather than an auction. An auction automatically means that the person with the most money to spend on their chosen prize will win. With a raffle, we've all got a chance, at least. True, if you can buy more tickets, you're certainly upping your chances -- but who knows, perhaps the person who buys just one ticket for their chosen prize will be the winner. Even better, the raffle means that each prize stands to earn quite a lot. With an auction, the prize only earns as much as the highest bid, whereas with a raffle, it earns all the bids of all the tickets, which means lots more aid for the schoolchildren and farmers of Lesotho.
Even if you only put one ticket, you might still win -- and it's that quality of possibility that I love. Many, many good things are available -- books and culinary tools and goodie baskets and chocolates and chances to meet swell food-obssessed folks and go on restaurant tours or stages. So go to Chez Pim and browse some prizes, then go to FirstGiving, donate to an excellent cause while placing your tickets, and dream...