August 22, 2010

Help, Please

I know that you will all join me in the Modest Needs campaign on Pepsi Refreshes the Gulf. I know that many have helped vote and comment. Modest Needs is now # 3 in the running. They need to be # 2 by the 31st. Please help this worthy cause! All it takes is a minute to vote and comment. We recently received help from this organization and it is true they help people who really need a relief from a crisis. They just helped US. So help us pay forward and vote. Voting and commenting ARE FREE and that lets you spend your green papers on kitty help if you feel we are a worthy cause, too. And we are. But just as you can click and help woofies and kitties get foodies, you can sign in (they won't use your email for spam! We don't get any from them!) and vote and comment and feel good about helping beans who need help in the Gulf. With a click and a comment.
We know we have been bugging you with this cause, but it is sooo dear to our hearts, and has been for several years. And we just asked for some help ourselves and got it. It felt like a small miracle and we are so greatful. We want to help the people in the Gulf, too.
Here is the last letter we got from the president of Modest Needs. It is quite touching. They need our help NOW. Please.
Here is the letter they sent to us:

Dear Carol,
I’m writing to you personally today because I have some very good news – a little sad news – and a very special, personal favor to ask of you, a favor that involves no money and only a minute or two of your time.

Because I know how busy you are, I wouldn’t be writing to you personally if it weren’t critically important. So, I want to thank you in advance for reading this note, and – more importantly – for helping me (and Modest Needs) out if you can immediately.

You probably already know that Modest Needs has been hotly pursuing a $250,000.00 grant from Pepsi. This grant will allow us to stop the cycle of poverty for thousands of persons who are newly unemployed as a result of the Gulf Oil Disaster and now stand to lose everything through no fault of their own.

For the past ten days, our rank has been stalled at number 4 (we have to be at least number 2 on 31 August 2010 to win the grant), and people have been understandably discouraged by the lack of progress we appear to have been making in our quest for this grant.

Today, I’m thrilled to tell you that we are now poised to bring this $250,000.00 grant home to those who need it most. Briefly, here’s what’s happened:

Late yesterday, Pepsi discovered that – sadly – a number of people competing for Gulf Coast grant proposals had been cheating. So Pepsi did the right thing. They completely canceled all illicit votes.

With the illicit votes gone, Modest Needs’ grant proposal has advanced to number three! In light of these developments, I am certain that, if we simply continued voting for our proposal on a daily basis we would have no trouble claiming the number one or two spot – and this grant – by the end of August.

But it is extremely important to me that we claim this grant as quickly as we can for a personal reason that I have not yet shared publicly, first, because it’s personal, and secondly, because this is news I wouldn’t want to share without the permission of the person involved.

Having only today received permission to tell you – a member of my ‘second family’ – what’s going on, I want to share this sad bit of news with you today in hopes you’ll help to wrap this competition up quickly.

To make a long story short, at present, my mother is seriously ill. Three weeks ago, after not feeling so well for a while, she finally went to the doctor. Last week, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma. As I write this note, my mom is in surgery. If that goes well, she will begin a grueling course of chemotherapy on Monday.

Of course, it is my hope that my mom will make a complete and speedy recovery. But right now, to be honest, things are touch and go (we’re unsure how my mom will react to chemotherapy – a dangerous treatment in and of itself), so for the time being, I’m on standby to travel in the event that my mother’s condition takes a turn for the worse.

In any case, Modest Needs can operate without me just fine, even if I am temporarily called away to be with my family. That’s not what worries me.

My fear is that if I am forced to travel during the final ten days of this grant competition, many people will simply ‘forget’ to vote for our proposal, as I will be unable to send daily voting reminders while I’m away. In that case, all of our hard work would come to nothing, and I would hate to see something like that happen.

Because you support this work, I know you feel the same way.

But Carol, the good news is that, if we all work together all at once, for just one day, we have the votes to end this competition right now. In just a few hours, we can secure the number one or two spot in this competition, put ourselves so far ahead in the voting process that, even if I am forced to travel, there simply will be no catching up to us, and prove to those dishonest persons out there that cheaters never really win.

And that’s the favor I need to ask of you.

Today, I’m writing to ask you if you would please take just a few moments to join me and the rest of the Modest Needs community in voting for Modest Needs’ grant proposal at Pepsi’s ‘refresh everything’ website as soon as possible today, preferably right now, as soon as you’ve finished reading this note.

If you do, then together, we can bring this competition to an immediate and successful conclusion today. And for the reason I’ve explained, for that small gift of your time, I would very grateful to you personally for your help.

Voting for Modest Needs’ grant proposal is both easy and free. Just follow these quick directions to ensure that your vote counts for Modest Needs.

1. From a standard Internet connection (laptop or desktop), follow this link:

2. When you get to this page, on the right side of the screen, you'll see a vote button. Click that button.

3. If you're already registered with Pepsi, you'll be prompted to login. If you're not already registered, you'll be prompted to register. Registration is spam free and takes about two seconds.

4. When you log in, you'll hear a sound like a Pepsi being poured into a glass. This doesn't mean you've voted. It means you're now logged in to Pepsi's site.

5. Now, click the 'Vote' button again. When you do, the vote button will change to display a message like 'Sweet!' or 'Right On!' and you'll get a message that says 'Now, why not promote this idea?' If you see those messages, you'll know you've voted correctly and that your vote 'counted' for Modest Needs.

6. Finally, please scroll down and leave a quick comment, even if it’s just two words. Pepsi is counting comments as well as votes, so this is an important step in the voting process.

Again, the direct link to our grant proposal is

I want to thank you in advance, and from the bottom of my heart, for taking just a moment to respond to this very special request. Of course, your help today would mean the world to our current and future applicants.

But for the reason I’ve explained above, it would mean just as much to me personally.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support both of Modest Needs and of this critical initiative. I look forward to hearing from you soon, but in the meantime, here’s wishing you and your family more health and happiness than your lives can possibly contain.

With Sincere Gratitude,
Dr. Keith P. Taylor
President / Executive Director
Modest Needs Foundation
‘Small Change: A World of Difference’
(212) 463-7042 x14


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