About donations…

So Andrew Sullivan spent a week or so rattling the tip jar on his blog and apparently fattened his bank account by some eighty or ninety thousand dollars.

And it kind of makes you do a double take, if you’re keeping a blog, especially a blog with a substantial readership. Hey, you think, maybe I should start rattling the tip jar. Hell, why shouldn’t I try to get paid for my work? (And, to be honest, you think: eighty thousand f**king dollars? Jesus F**king Christ on a crutch!)

But you know what? I do get paid for my work. I’m already making a pretty decent living off of this whole opinionating business. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t begrudge the average blogger his or her donations — it just doesn’t feel right for me. If you really feel a need to support my work, you can buy a book or a print or something. At least that way, you get something in return.

Still, I’m guessing that if I were to add a donation button to the blog, more than a few of you probably would contribute a buck or two, if only on principle.

So what if we take that impulse and channel it in such a way that we can actually make some small specific difference in the world? Something more important than fattening an online yuppie pundit’s wallet?

Specifically: there’s a non-profit here in Brooklyn called Hearts & Homes for Homeless Dogs, which, as you might surmise, cares for and finds homes for abandoned and abused dogs. (Brooklynites have probably seen them out finding homes for their charges at Seventh Ave and First Street on the weekends, or at Court and Montague all week long.) If you’ve been reading this website regularly, you might already be familiar with the story of my own dog, the happy fellow in the photo below, who was abandoned as a puppy with scabies, and is alive today only by the grace of someone who cared enough to take him in and nurse him back to health. So the work they do at Hearts & Homes strikes a personal chord with me.

Of course, since this is the internet, I’m sure I’ll get email from someone saying, why a dog charity, when there are so many other problems in the world? Well, I’m starting with this particular charity — and I hope this is only a beginning — because I support the work they do, and more importantly, because they are facing an emergency situation, and they need help, right now:

Unforeseeably, the shelter/home where Hearts and Home Inc. has worked from for the past 7 years has recently been sold. And now, they have only 2 short months to find adequate and affordable space — not easy in this economy! The costs of feeding and caring for an average of 21 dogs are staggering enough. But finding the funds to relocate everyone and everything could bankrupt Mel and Roseann, and they and their furry charges could wind up on the street.

So here’s the deal: there are a lot of you out there reading this site, and a dollar probably doesn’t mean much to most of you, one way or the other — but if every single one of you were to click here and donate a dollar or two to Hearts & Homes, then together, we could make an enormous, specific difference.

So come on. Who’s with me here?

Updated 2/21: Yeah, so I ended up adding a tip jar. I was a feeling a little more nonchalant about my income a couple of months ago…before my car was stolen, I got hit with a five-figure back tax bill, and I was faced with the imminent loss of a significant sources of income. I’m a little less sanguine now. So sue me.