The Worldbuilders Check for Heifer Check is on the way!

Gray here, and today I get to write about one of the best parts – if not the best part – of my job: Sending the Heifer check.

Every year since even before Worldbuilders was founded there is a big “End of Year” fundraiser, when Pat Rothfuss and his friends do all sorts of things to encourage the geek community to donate to Heifer International. You can scroll back in this blog to see some of the shenanigans, or just browse our YouTube channel.

When the wonderful chaos is done…

That’s when the Worldbuilders Staff earns their pay. The hardest part of the job is in the capable hands of our Director of Operations, Zay Olsen, who takes the data – thousands of donors, over $100,000 in prizes – and squishes it all together with her team to do the Prize Draw.

A blue graphic with the steps for the prize draw illustrated.
Here’s the basic plan.
  1. Plug in all the data: checking for incomplete entries, address corrections, etc.
  2. Create the code: having an expert programmer ensure a true random selection process.
  3. RUN THE PROGRAM: We suddenly have thousands of winners!
  4. Pack up the prizes: our warehouse staff go into action, packing the prizes (this is a lot more difficult than in past years, because the Pandemic means that we can’t safely include volunteers in this process. We miss you!).
  5. Ship ’em all out! You’d think that this would be the easiest part, and physically it is (“Hello, Mr. Postman, Happy to see you!“). But again: COVID-19 means that shipping routes are still all verklempt, and that can cause complications that keep our Warehouse Coordinator Sydney up at night (it used to be Mike, the Store Manager, who would do this, but he cleverly arranged with his wife to have a baby right now and so is enjoying paternity leave instead of fighting with tracking numbers. Clever boy…)

What does the Executive Director do during all of this?

Well, mostly my duties consist of telling Zay and Sydney and the rest of the Prize Draw Team two things: “Good job!” and “Are we done yet?” But at a certain point I get a call from our bookkeeper, and I know that the best part of this career path is about to happen.

I get to sign the check. I get to put my name on a promissory note made out to Heifer International with way more decimal places than any other time of year. In case you forgot:

A happy girl with two baby goats next to text saying "We Did It! $1,051,640 raised for Heifer International!"

…and this is the time we get to put the check in the mail.

This year we’re starting a new tradition

We have a fancy high-definition printer here at Worldbuilders, which we use to send out art prints. This year, just before we mailed it, we took a picture of it and printed it out big to hang it on the wall at Worldbuilders HQ.

Not as some kind of humblebrag, and not as a “we have to do better next year!” bullshit arbitrary goal. No, this is going to be up there as a reminder to all of us of you. The Worldbuilders community, coming together to make sustainable change happen, creating a better world and having a lot of fun doing it.

We love our jobs, and and we love that you’re all part of making Worldbuilders possible.