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Hello, friends. We don't normally get involved in charity here; it's not that we're morally opposed to good works, it's just, well, daunting to arbitrarily choose one out of an ocean of worthy causes.
But when representatives for Iowa Touchdowns for Kids contacted BHGP last month about helping out with their cause, we felt like it was a no-brainer. For those unfamiliar, the program was started last year by the UIHC, and donors pledge a monetary amount of their choosing for every touchdown that the Iowa Hawkeyes score during the season.
(Quick aside, by the way: rest assured that BHGP and its authors are not receiving any money for our role in promoting this charity, and we are not involved in the actual collection of donations. All pledges are to go through the Children's Miracle Network; that information is later in the post. Good? Good.)
The University of Iowa Children's Hospital is currently ranked 20th in the nation among pediatric hospitals, and it's also the only one in that top 20 without its own dedicated hospital (its departments are scattered around the UIHC). There are plans to build a new facility for the Children's Hospital, overlooking Kinnick Stadium as the largest structure on the UIHC footprint, but those plans take money.
There are also auxiliary services at the hospital that depend on donations like these, so if you're worried that a donation of a dollar per touchdown won't be an effective way to make sure the new facility gets built, well, maybe it won't. But it could easily be the way to make sure someone's able to provide sibling counseling for a young child who can't quite figure out why his baby sister hasn't come home yet.
Further, while we like to have some good-natured fun by sharing Ricky Stanzi's passion for America, he's also passionate about helping children at the hospital--most notably "Princess Jenna," but also several others--often for no media fanfare whatsoever. And there are plenty of other Hawkeyes who join Ricky in their trips to the Children's Hospital--not because the team needs cheap PR, but because it's the right thing to do.
So if you want to really do right by Stanzi and the Hawkeyes, more than just putting an American flag in your avatar, all you have to do is pledge (at least) one dollar per touchdown to Iowa Touchdowns For Kids. For some context, in 2009, Iowa scored 32 touchdowns; over the past 5 years, Iowa has averaged 39 TDs a year. Hopefully they top that total with ease this season, of course, but there's your benchmark: basically 3 TDs a game on a 13-game schedule, or $3 a week. Your donations will help young children and their families in their direst moment of need, as well as benefit this university we've spent so much of our lives cheering for.
Now, the cool part about this is that we have a strong community here at BHGP, and here is a prime opportunity for us to demonstrate that strength. When you pledge a donation to TD4K, one of the fields on the form will be "How did you learn about this event?" One of the options is "Black Heart Gold Pants blog." Just select that option as you donate (NOTE: this won't affect any other aspect of your donation, including your privacy), and we'll be able to keep track of how much the BHGP community has raised. You can watch the progress of our community over the course of the season on the sidebar widget on the left of the homepage.
With that, here is the program's website, and here is the start page to register your pledge to TD4K. Donation amounts can be $1, $3, $6, $10, or more per touchdown. Again, this is all through the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and Children's Miracle Network, two organizations that have done immeasurable amounts of good for children and their families nationwide for decades. And with even just one pledge for just $1 per Hawkeye touchdown, every time you're at Kinnick, you can look over at the UIHC and tell yourself, "I helped brighten a family's life there." That doesn't just make you a better Hawkeye; it makes you a better person.
So, to officially kick things off, BHGP is making $3 per touchdown donation to Iowa Touchdowns For Kids. We have a donation bragging thread up in the FanPosts, so if you'd like to help encourage other members to donate and/or show off what a kind soul you are (y'know, like we just did), there'll be the place to do it. Giving to charity is a personal decision, so if you want to be private about it, that's your choice too.
Thanks, everybody, and we'll have more to come on this subject--including some very special guests.