Sometimes I still take editing contracts. I had a prolonged job hunt after finishing graduate school, during which time I filled my time, resume and bank account by taking contracts to edit manuscripts for Chinese scientists. At first, I kept taking contracts because it gave me some sense of job-security (two jobs are better than one?). But my career interests have quickly diverged, so I can't pretend that correcting bad grammar is going to help me up the career ladder. However, it's a fairly painless way to make some cash, which ends up in a Paypal account I tend not to think about much.
Today I went to check the balance there, and well- it was time to buy up some joy! I went to my favorite charity, Donor's Choose, and started looking for cool projects to support. First, I did a search for projects in high poverty school nearby me. It's pretty easy to forget in my cozy suburb that many of our neighbors are struggling; in fact, the project I found was in Bothell (where my grandmother lives). There, a science teacher is trying to implement a science competition for her 3rd and 4th graders. I gotta say, it makes me feel like some kind of super hero to just fund the rest of her project.
Donor's Choose encourages you to explain why you chose to support a project as a way to encourage teachers and students. One of the suggestions I say was from someone who was supporting a project where they went to school, and I realized I should check on whether there were any schools looking for projects in the district where I went to school. Juneau Schools didn't have any projects, but there was a teacher trying to develop reading and math curriculum that are developed with families in Ketchikan. I stepped up as their first supporter, and I'm hoping my friends and family who have ties to Southeast Alaska will also support the project.