When I became a Nerdfighter, in late 2011, Esther Earl had already died. Her presence as a significant figure in the history of Nerdfighteria always felt a little weird to me, and I wasn't totally sure how I should relate to it. Because despite the fact that she was such a huge part of the specific manifestations of a lot of Nerdfighteria's values, it kind of felt like it was disrespectful for me to embrace that, the way I embraced other parts of Nerdfighting. Even writing this feels really weird, now. I don't know if this is wrong, if I should be looking to someplace else to help. But the charity founded in Esther's memory, This Star Won't Go Out, is one of the best ways I can imagine to fight worldsuck and increase awesome. From the website:
The purpose of This Star Won’t Go Out foundation is to financially assist families struggling through the journey of a child living with cancer. Caring for a seriously ill child creates tremendous stress for the family system, and having to worry about money is both burdensome and distracting. TSWGO’s goal is to carry a bit of that burden for hurting families through financial gifts.
dftba.com sells This Star Won't Go out wristbands, which cost $5 and of which 100% of the proceeds go to the foundation. I've got a while of other charities to catch up on before I get to this one (though, hopefully, once I do have the money I'll be able to do several in a short period of time.) I haven't decided yet whether to buy the bracelet, or just donate $5 directly. On the one hand, if they don't have to pay the manufacturing and shipping costs of a bracelet, they get to keep more of the $5. On the other hand, the bracelet might get them more donations.
When Esther died, John Green made a Vlogbrothers video, which featured the first sight of the bracelets I'm aware of. At the time, This Star Won't Go Out wasn't a charity yet. I only saw this video when I was watching the backlog of all the Vlogbrothers videos, but I've watched it several times since. It's made me cry more than once. Rest In Awesome, Esther: