Serious question on which I would like feedback:

When I started with that Donate button over there to the right, I figured that the HN Therabite Fund would get enough to buy a Therabite for person who needs one every six months or so.

Turns out the readers of this blog donated enough money to buy three in thirty-six hours, thus making my head explode, and the money is still coming in.

Which raises another question: I had planned to take the Donate button down after the HNTF hit two grand, because money is a pain in the ass to deal with, especially in large amounts. HOWEVER....

A situation has come to my attention. I can't give even the vaguest details, except to say that the people involved are tangentially related to the subjects this blog covers, the situation is dire, and the help I'm considering has not been requested in even the most oblique way.

What I'm saying is this:

You guys donated a shitload of money to a specific cause: getting jaw therapies to people who need them. So far, I have more potential Therabites than I do takers, so I'm donating the cash straight to the Oral Cancer Foundation to let them use it for research or bills or whatever they need. OCF is, like, two people--no staff, no fancy mailings--and the guy who runs it puts a whole chunk of his own change into it. Basically, I know the money's actually going to make a difference and not going to be wasted, AND it's going to something that y'all originally intended it to go to. Brian, the guy who started OCF, wants me to call him next week so we can talk about it.

There's extra money in the fund. It's not a small amount, and it keeps growing. With luck and goodwill and the generosity of readers, it'll continue to do so for some time.

May I use that money to relieve emergency situations, or would you rather I either keep it for oral cancer/some other established charity? It's y'all's call. I should mention here that even if you guys decide you'd rather have your money go to an established charity or three, I'm still going to do what I can to alleviate the crisis I mentioned above on my own, so you're not taking bread out of somebody's mouth.

You guys are the ones who gave the squish that got this whole dadratted thing started. Making decisions like this by committee is always a bad idea, but it's *your* money and so I want your input. I reserve the right to make the final decision by fiat, but I will take everybody's comment into account (unless it's all, "Send it all to me, dood.").

If the majority of comments lean toward establishing a recurring, say, quarterly fund for charity, then this is what I'll do: Solicit ideas and take a vote for two charities (with OCF being the third), then parcel up the money four times a year and make donations out of the fund.

If the majority of comments say "Do what you want" or "Fix the crisis", then I'll give you all as much detail as I can.

I'll make this pledge here and now: as near as I am able, if it comes to fixing a crisis, I will ascertain that the money will not go to waste. I'll consider any requests for cash with an extremely narrow eye, preferring to give out money to people who haven't asked for it. And I'll give you as good a story as I can about the recipients, dependent on their desire for privacy.

What do you say? I know what *I* would like to do, but I want to know what *you* think.