SSA Week

The SSA has a sweet matching offer on the table from Jeff Hawkins and Janet Strauss.  Because we feel like meeting that matching offer this month (it will be evaluated at the end of June) in order to get the fall semester off to a killer start, June 6th-June 16th will be SSA Week.

“Isn’t that ten days, JT?”  Yes.  Yes it is.

“You know a week’s not ten days, right?”  Yeah, yeah.  We decided to start SSA Week this Wednesday rather than this Saturday to incorporate long time SSA supporter Todd Stiefel’s AMA on reddit.  That AMA will take place at 11am EST on the IAmA subreddit.  Todd’s been very good to the SSA over the years.  A gift from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation is what created the job I now occupy.

Speaking of which, over the next week I’ll be doing a lot of blogs about what I do.  The message is always, “The SSA is doing such good stuff!  They’re adding insane numbers of groups!”  These are all very true, but I want to give you some specifics about what goes on.

The crown jewel of SSA Week will be Jen McCreight’s annual Blogathon.  It will take place on June 16th to bring the week to a close.  This year though, Jen wants everybody in on the act.  Lots of FtBers will be taking stretches throughout the week (you can see a full schedule on the SSA Week home page).  Do you run a blog and want in on this action?  Then go leave a comment on Blaghag and let Jen (or myself) know!

As for this blog, I literally don’t have a time over the next ten days when I could go for a full 24 hours.  However, Christina will be taking a 12-hour shift this coming Saturday (fro 9am-9pm EST), and then next Monday, June 11, Michaelyn will start things off at 7am EST.  She will do most of the heavy lifting, but we’ll tag team throughout the day (and night) for a full 24 hours.

There will be a widget up for people to donate throughout the whole week.  For the various Blogathon participants, you can pledge money per word, per post, etc.  For Michaelyn and I you can pledge money to have us write a post on a particular subject (got an argument from a theist you know that needs a good spanking?).  Because it’s such a good cause, I’ve even told Michaelyn that she can auction off info about me for some of her posts.

Everybody can get involved in this.  Are you part of an SSA group?  Write about your experiences (if you don’t have a blog, yell at me and I’ll set you up with a guest post here).  Support the SSA?  Tell the world about it.  We want to get as many people on board with SSA Week as we can.

So how much are we looking to raise?  We think that during SSA Week we can raise $100,000.  It’s ambitious, but I think we can do it.  If you have five bucks, throw it in.  We know there are 20,000 people who support the SSA.  At $5 apiece, we would have it.

If we hit our goal, I will do…something.  I’m not sure what.  Skydive?  Shave my body?  Roller coaster marathon?  Risque photo shoot?  Throw me some ideas.  Aside from me doing something crazy, the entire SSA staff has told me they’re willing to do something bonkers as well, perhaps at the SSA Annual Conference next month.  Give me some ideas for that too.

And no matter what, help spread the word.  Ask people you know to donate.  Again, even $5 helps (and gets doubled, thanks to the matching offer).  We have the chance to set up secular activists to rock faces over the fall semester.  We can do it in 10 days.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Michaelyn

    Skydive with meeeeee!

  • OmniZ

    I’d like to cast my vote for risqué photoshoot.

    • JT Eberhard

      Ok, one day this week I’ll do a day-long challenge. If it’s met, I’ll do the shoot.

  • Zed

    “Aside from me doing something crazy, the entire SSA staff has told me they’re willing to do something bonkers as well”

    …Do these seem a bit contradictory to anyone else?

    Regardless, I propose matching outfits for the SSA employees, in the theme of an old Disney Movie(s) for at least a portion of the SSA Annual Conference

    • JT Eberhard

      Ooooooooooooooooh, I like this idea!

  • Leo

    “Isn’t that ten days, JT?” Yes. Yes it is.

    Math FAIL! That’s actually eleven days…at least if you’re going from 12AM on the 6th to 11:59 PM on the 16th. You’re probably trying to do 16 – 6 = 10, but that only works if the start and stop times are the same. Considering that you posted this at 9AM, though, I’ll assume that as the start time, so that would be… 10 + 15/24 days at the most. Still, more than 10 as the “week” likely isn’t ending at 9AM on the 16th. :p

  • Chana Messinger

    Are we seriously already at $52,000?

    • JT Eberhard

      We seriously are. Though $50k came from a single donor (Todd Stiefel). ;)